Despite a record-breaking heat wave, the Key Peninsula fair was a great success. There were more volunteers this year, which meant more booths, rides, security, attractions, and more fun.

It was the volunteer spirit that helped bring a community fair out to the Key Peninsula in 2000. Since then, the fair gets bigger and better each year.

It was hard to miss the flushed faces of two particular girls at the Volunteer Vendors booth by the main entrance. Amy Olive and Haley McDoneld, Peninsula High School students, spent their weekend helping the vendors with their badges, bracelets, setting up booths, and answering questions. They had many friends there just hanging out with them. When asked if they had any comments, there was one common response, “It’s hot!”

Friday night’s opening ceremony exhibited a wonderful show of pride and patriotism as the VFW District  No. 4 Honor Guards raised the American flag while Whitney Moore sang her beautiful version of “The Star Spangled Banner.” An emotional farewell to Fred and Mary Ramsdell, longtime citizens of the Key Peninsula, was part of the event. The couple has dedicated a lifetime of service to this area and are finally ready to retire and relax in Hawaii.

The petting zoo, run by the Sherman family, was a favorite attraction for all ages. The Shermans have been coming out to the fair for five years now with their animals. Parents Kris and Scott Sherman are very proud of their two young sons, 12-year-old Johnny and 9-year-old Robert. The boys take primary responsibility for the care of the animals. “It is their turn to show pride in what they’ve done all year,” Kris Sherman said.

Besides a variety of agricultural booths with everything from Pigmy goats, dwarf ponies, chickens with fancy hairdos and cute little piglets, there was also a local resident showing off his collection of rare varieties of pigeons. Orrie Moore of Longbranch has been breeding and showing pigeons since 1946. Moore is one of only three other registered international pigeon judges in the world. He admits that he loves all animals but raising pigeons is “the best hobby in the world.”

At the other side of the fair, kids flocked around a fire truck to cool themselves from the squelching heat of the afternoon. One of the massive fire hoses had been turned into a giant sprinkler. Nearby bands played music, magicians mystified their audiences, and a variety of carnival rides created smiles, laughter, shrills and thrills from their riders. A group of teens did comment that they would have enjoyed a few more “bigger people” rides.

There were ample concession stands, which offered a large variety of foods and beverages. Candace Taylor of Port Orchard ran the Little O’s Donut stand. With a flushed face and some disappointment in her voice, she said, “It’s way too hot. Not as many people seemed to show up.” Within the cooler walls of an actual building, Kristi Adams of Purdy ran Homerun Concessions.  It was her first year at the fair. “It has been a lot of fun. I mainly started this for the Little League teams, which will end in August,” she said.

Most folks didn’t seem to mind the heat too much, as they knew it would not last long in this part of the state. Chris Morris, wife Dawn Morris, and their kids sat at a table enjoying their dinner.  They have lived in Port Orchard for five years and had never been to the KP Fair before. Even though it was hot, Chris Morris laughed and said, “The kids are excited to get on the rides and sample some fine fair cuisine!”

As night approached, aromas from delicious multicultural foods lingered in the air, music could still be heard in the distance, and the rides glistened in the beautiful summer sunset.

One would have to say that all in all, the weekend’s KP Fair events fared really well this year!

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