The people in charge of the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds want to find more year-round uses for the facilities.
“We want to build the fairgrounds into a winter wonderland,” Fairgrounds Executive Director Lara McGinnis said. “The fair isn’t just about the fair. The facilities should be used year round and it’s a way of starting to showcase it more."
She said her family as well as other families, groups and businesses in and around Ninilchik have come forward to create that wonderland. They have chosen a spot and started hanging lights.
“If somebody has a vision I am totally open to them creating their vision; their family corner of the fairgrounds.... It can be anything from me telling you what to do to creating your own masterpiece. The sky’s the limit,” she said.
This is the second year McGinnis has tried to light up the fairgrounds around the holiday season. She and the volunteers want to continue decorating and thinking of events so it becomes tradition. McGinnis and her family plan to set up a train set and create a Winter Christmas Village.
“But we’re open to any ideas anyone has and wants to bring.”
Decorations aren’t the only feature for this year-round idea. McGinnis hopes to start an annual Winter Ball. And the annual Christmas Bazaar is already scheduled for later this month. It’s been operating for the last 20 years and held at the fairgrounds since 2005.
“I know there are a couple of groups that are going to have little art projects that the kids can work on while the parents shop. I know that the parents are going to be able to choose everything from... Native Alaskan crafts to blown glass.... If it’s made or sold, we’ve got it here,” she said.
The Bazaar will be Dec. 14 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Groups have already been at work turning the fairgrounds into that Winter Wonderland that McGinnis envisions. She said if anyone is interested in having their own space they should contact her through the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds website or the Facebook page.