Comedy shows, music, pig racing, horseback rides, kettle corn available at the Kenai Peninsula Fair in Ninilchik

The Kenai Peninsula Fair opens at the Ninilchik Fairgrounds on Friday. The theme for the year is “It’s a Family A-Fair.”

“We chose the theme for the fair because it’s the perfect opportunity for kids to connect with their grandparents and create memories that will last a lifetime,” Lara McGinnis, fair coordinator, said.

McGinnis has been the coordinator since 2005 and is a third-generation family member of people who have contributed service to the event.

For 69 years the community of Ninilchik has hosted the event.

The idea for the fair was first inspired by school teacher Mary Hawkins, McGinnis said.

“When Mary Hawkins first started teaching in Ninilchik she realized that the children had nowhere to showcase their art or the things they were learning how to do in school and they needed a way to connect with the community.”

The first fair took place in the basement of the school and later moved to the area where the old post office is located, McGinnis said.

“The annual event finally found a permanent home at the fairgrounds we have now.”

The main highlights McGinnis mentioned for this year are a comedy show with Greg Morton from America’s Got Talent. This is a ticketed event that will take place Friday at the Arches Amphitheater at 7 p.m.

Stilt Circus, a stilts troupe, will be performing. According to their website, the cast of Stilt Circus has been performing all over the world at theme parks, festivals, corporate events and international music tours since 2000.

“They are stilt-walking entertainment with beautiful, crazy bright costumes. They are so much fun,” McGinnis said.

Coral Creek Blue Grass, with roots to original founder Hawkins, have come home to perform with a tribute to her, McGinnis said.

There will be shows from Rodeo Alaska and an educational petting zoo sponsored by the Trail Blazers 4-H club.

On Friday, the fair received sponsorship money from Global Credit Union and South Peninsula Hospital to allow for half-off admission for kids and seniors.

McGinnis also lists horseback rides, bouncy entertainment, obstacle courses and other carnival games for people to enjoy.

This year the fair has also partnered with the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank in Anchor Point to sponsor attendees on Sunday if they bring food to donate. The fair admission fee is $10 so a donation of approximately that much food in value is what is needed.

The vendor booths are sold out this year.

“The majority of the food booths are from Anchorage and beyond, so this will all be new food on the Kenai Peninsula including fully loaded baked potatoes, kettle corn, Dippin’ Dots, knotty pretzels,” McGinnis said. “But, I am most excited about bubble waffles and they are actually from Ninilchik, an awesome sweet treat.”

She also encouraged visitors to check out the racing pigs.

“They race around the tracks just like greyhounds or horses. We take bets and if you place your bet on the right pig you’ll walk away with a piggy bank donated by Enstar.”

For more information and schedule of events for this weekend’s Kenai Peninsula Fair, visit