Kilee Barnes leads a boy on a pony at the Kenai Peninsula Sport, Rec & Trade Show on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Kilee Barnes leads a boy on a pony at the Kenai Peninsula Sport, Rec & Trade Show on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Sports show to run through Sunday

Fishing, horse riding and local wares all on display

Days before the start of the Kenai Peninsula Sport, Rec & Trade Show, organizer Kelly Martin of the Kenai Peninsula Association of Realtors said they wanted the event to be a kickoff to the summer.

On Saturday, a warm sun poked through the clouds, children gathered around the trout pond shouting louder with excitement than the splashing of their hooked fish, and an array of vendors displayed gear, vehicles and services designed to fill the rapidly approaching summer months.

In addition to vendors trying to sell gear or services, several booths were run by government entities like the Department of Fish and Game, where attendees could purchase their fishing, hunting and trapping licenses.

The High School Rodeo featured pony rides, face-painting and a mechanical bull. Kathleen Kitson said the event was an effort to raise money for sending their kids to National Finals — middle schoolers to Georgia and high schoolers to Wyoming.

“They don’t even take their own horses,” she said. “They go down there and they ride other horses they don’t know and compete against five countries.”

Kilee Barnes, an 11-year-old competitor looking to make it to Georgia, said she’s been working with horses all her life — that she first rode one at the age of 3. On Saturday she was leading a pony around — giving a ride to a variety of children while their parents took photos.

Most kids, she said, start a little nervous on the animals — but by their second lap, they’ve got it figured out.

Barnes said it was exciting to introduce children to horses potentially for the first time and to do it while working to make it to the national competition.

In addition to the fish pond and the pony rides, a booth was set up for ax throwing with everyone from children to seniors trying their hand at lodging the tool into a wall.

On the upper floor of the complex was a space for “Alaskan Made” crafts — wood carvings, tools, jewelry, art and others.

Michelle Carmichael hosted a booth in the exhibit for her business Wild Coho Clay Earrings. Her table was covered with a variety of ceramic earrings in different styles and designs, with lots of Alaska themes.

“I have a pair of earrings for everyone,” she said.

She said after the birth of her son she was looking for an outlet.

Carmichael is based in Happy Valley, near Anchor Point, and said that while she does a lot of business in Homer, the Sports show is her first time branching out to the central Kenai Peninsula. Running three days, the sports show also comes in as the biggest appearance for her work, she said.

“It’s been really fun to be creative,” she said. “And then people actually want to purchase it.”

The Kenai Peninsula Sport, Rec & Trade Show runs tonight until 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, visit facebook.com/KenaiSportShow

Reach reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.

Children fish for rainbow trout at the Kenai Peninsula Sport, Rec & Trade Show on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Children fish for rainbow trout at the Kenai Peninsula Sport, Rec & Trade Show on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

A young boy reels in a rainbow trout while another moves in with a net at the Kenai Peninsula Sport, Rec & Trade Show on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

A young boy reels in a rainbow trout while another moves in with a net at the Kenai Peninsula Sport, Rec & Trade Show on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Vehicles and vendors fill the floor at the Kenai Peninsula Sport, Rec & Trade Show on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Vehicles and vendors fill the floor at the Kenai Peninsula Sport, Rec & Trade Show on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Vehicles and vendors fill the floor at the Kenai Peninsula Sport, Rec & Trade Show on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Vehicles and vendors fill the floor at the Kenai Peninsula Sport, Rec & Trade Show on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

A young boy rides a horse at the Kenai Peninsula Sport, Rec & Trade Show on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

A young boy rides a horse at the Kenai Peninsula Sport, Rec & Trade Show on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Ceramic earrings made by Michelle Carmichael are displayed at the Kenai Peninsula Sport, Rec & Trade Show on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Ceramic earrings made by Michelle Carmichael are displayed at the Kenai Peninsula Sport, Rec & Trade Show on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

More in News

Jack Penning, managing partner at Volaire Aviation, speaks to the Kenai City Council in Kenai, Alaska, on Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai Airport can support expansion, study says

New services could include a direct line to Seattle

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Soldotna man dead after Nikiski collision

The Kenai Spur Highway was closed for around four hours.

Copies of the Peninsula Clarion are photographed on Friday, June 21, 2024. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Announcing a new Peninsula Clarion print schedule

Our last Wednesday edition will be delivered June 26.

A bucket of recently caught sockeye salmon rests on the sand while anglers seek to fill it further at the mouth of the Kasilof River on Monday, June 26, 2023, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Dipnetting in Kasilof opens Tuesday

Dipnetting will be allowed at all times until Aug. 7

The Kasilof River is seen from the Kasilof River Recreation Area, July 30, 2019, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Fish and Game restricts bait on Kasilof, Ninilchik Rivers

The use of bait on the rivers will begin Friday and extend to July 15 in Ninilchik, July 31 in Kasilof

A man fishes in the Kenai River on July 16, 2018, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion/file)
Slow sockeye fishing on Kenai, Russian Rivers

Northern Kenai Fishing Report for June 20

Alaska Department of Fish and Game logo. (Graphic by Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Bag limits doubled for sockeye salmon in Resurrection Bay

The increase is effective from June 21 to July 31

Most Read