For koi competitors like Chester Bailey, this weekend’s koi and goldfish show in Fishers is the ultimate event.
It got even bigger this year.
For one, a koi judge is traveling all the way from Japan.
“It’s a very prestigious honor to have a Japanese judge come from the organization. They don’t take judging lightly and travel on their own dime to judge our koi unless we have high quality koi,” said Bailey, the event’s co-organizer.
The judge is Kunizo Narita, an official from Zen Nippon Airinkai (ZNA), an internationally known koi organization in Japan that conducted the first national koi hobby show in 1969.
The 10th annual Koi and Goldfish Show and Pond Expo is Saturday and Sunday at Seasons Gardens.
Bailey said the Fishers show, the Northern Midwest ZNA Koi Show, has been recognized as one of the top koi shows in the Midwest by koi hobbyists because of its very high quality, variety and larger sizes of koi.
It’s where Bailey can share his knowledge, show his fish and meet others with the same interests.
The event will offer donated and new items for sale and by auction as a fundraiser for the nonprofit club.
“We barely meet expenses yearly to host these koi shows. The show is our way of educating the public and hobbyists and promoting the hobby overall,” said Bailey, 56, who lives just south of the Hamilton County line near Geist Reservoir.
Bailey organized the event along with Dick Thomas, 62, Lafayette, and Tamara Skaggs, 41, Camby. The organization expects more than 80 koi — a record number — entered in the competition. More people will attend because of the Japanese judge, he said.