One of Americas’s most quintessential traditions is the State Fair…and the 49th state puts on a great one! The Alaska State Fair started as a celebration for the Mat-Su Colonists in 1936 has grown into the state’s largest annual event. While visitors do enjoy a wider range of events, and entertainment than in the past, the heart of the fair still centers on the things the original colonists started with – agriculture, produce, lots of food, flowers, friends and family, and an old-fashioned, good time.
Every year hundreds of thousands of visitors enjoy the carnival rides and games on the midway, the food and vendor booths and an awesome concert series with big-name popular performers. The fair has a fantastic agricultural history – including the world-famous giant veggies – in 2012 the first place cabbage weighed in at a whopping 138.25 pounds. That’s a big cabbage!
There are thousands of exhibits, contests and events: art, baked goods, woodworking, quilting, livestock and poultry, beekeeping…Tractor pulls, lumberjack shows, rodeos and horse shows, face painting and cosmic hair…Contests for cooking, singing, goat milking, beard growing and fiddle playing. The fair grounds have colored ‘trails’ to make getting around and locating events and exhibits easier. Of course there is no shortage of fair food – elephant ears, corn dogs, beer batter halibut, kettle corn, ice cream, cream puffs, ice cream, turkey legs, reindeer dogs, BBQ, and deep fried everything…come hungry!
The 2016 fair runs from August 25 – September 5 and is located in Palmer, on the State Fair grounds. It’s worth the traffic and the crowds…it’s a great way to wrap up another awesome Alaskan summer.
Click HERE for daily tickets prices, season pass, directions, hours, etc. The Alaska Railroad has train service from Anchorage to the fair several times a day – pretty cool way to get there if you can do it 🙂