[et_pb_text admin_label="Chris Fitzgerald byline; remember to tag post as various-contributors" saved_tabs="all" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" header_font="Arimo||||" text_font="||on||" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] Chris Fitzgerald, KP News
Key Peninsula Community Fair volunteers outdid themselves, according to results reported by fair board Vice President Mike Hays. Attendance increased 20 percent over last year, and Thursday’s Teen Night was a success — about 350 young people took advantage of teen-only “first look” at events. The carnival was well-received, with receipts up by 50 percent. A portion of gate receipts stays with fair-owners: Longbranch Improvement Club, KP Civic Center, and KP Business Association, for return to the community.
Hays says the kids’ daily tractor pull events posed stiff competition to the midway — it was a popular interactive alternative to traditional carnival rides.
Vendors were either “thrilled or not happy — clearly the difference was product-related,” with success according to how well the vendor matched what people wanted to buy, Hays said. The fair board did almost no marketing to vendors this year, with enough returns from last year, or self-initiated newcomers to fill 75 booths easily. Next year, Hays anticipates the board may focus more on local arts and crafts, and may be more proactive in vendor selection.
The advertised mechanical bull ride was shut down early on opening day by the fair board due to improper vendor permits. “We have zero tolerance for (safety) discrepancies,” Hays says. “The state did not shut them down, we did.”
Agrivision was a favorite among children, with many animals available for pampering at the petting zoo, courtesy of the Sherman family farm.
Parelli Natural Horsemanship horse handler Chuck Kraft hosted two hands-on educational sessions daily for six lucky local horse owners and an attentive audience. And the first-ever wine competition and display was enthusiastically received with over 32 entries. Best of Show went to Kent Adams of Graham for his raspberry wine. Judges from the Puget Sound Amateur Beer and Wine Club reportedly were surprised at how well the first-year competition went. “They are encouraging us to continue,” says Hays.
The Farm owner, Mike Salatino, co-sponsor with Trillium Creek Winery and the PSABWC, agreed, saying, “For a first year, it was an extremely successful event. (We had) impartial judging; the contestants were not competing against each other but against standards.”
“We extend a huge thank you to all the volunteers,” Hays says. “This was the biggest fair (yet) and it was put on 100 percent by volunteers, with not one paid employee. And thank you to the community for supporting your community.”
The fair board is still winding down and compiling information from and about the event. Hays expects about two-thirds of the existing board to remain, with elections to seat a new executive committee occurring in the next few months.
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