2021 Fair Brings Return of End-of-Summer Rituals
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After a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Alaska State Fair was back in full swing this year, with guests returning to the fairground for a jam-packed schedule of Fair fun.
“We are grateful and happy that everyone was able to join us at the Alaska State Fair in 2021. We hope the return of a familiar end-of-summer tradition gave you joy and happiness, making memories for years to come,” says Jerome Hertel, Fair CEO.
The 2021 Fair, themed Seeing is Believing, featured sold out concerts and events, multiple new state crops records, and record-setting proceeds from the youth livestock auction. Highlights included:
- Tickets sold out for the Jon Pardi and Billy Idol shows, both part of the 2021 AT&T Concert Series at the ConocoPhillips Borealis Theatre
- The Demolition Derby and all three All Star Monster Truck shows also sold out.
- Five new state crops records were set, including:
- Garlic, .380 pounds, grown by Deb Blaylock of Palmer
- Pepper – hot, 15 ¼” long, grown by Deb Blaylock of Palmer
- Strawberry, .115 pounds, grown by Ken Blaylock of Palmer
- Fennel, 11 pounds, grown by Theresa Phillips of Palmer
- Long gourd, 128 7/8”, grown by Dale Marshall of Anchorage
- The 4-H Junior Market Livestock Auction set a new record, bringing in $352,000 through the sale of 82 animals.
The 2021 schedule also included the 25th annual Giant Cabbage Weigh-Off and the 15th annual Midnight Sun Great Pumpkin Weigh-Off. Winners of the cabbage weigh-off included:
- First place, 86.15 pounds, grown by Brian Shunskis of Salcha
- Second place, 77.95 pounds, grown by Keevan Dinkel of Wasilla
- Third place, 62.4 pounds, grown by Warren Keogh of Chickaloon
Dale Marshall of Anchorage took first place in the pumpkin weigh-off with a 1603.5-pound entry.
The 2021 Fair took place at the fairgrounds in Palmer from August 20 – September 6, an extended 14-day schedule intended to help spread out the Fair crowds and keep fairgoers as safe as possible. Other pandemic-related health safety measures included encouraging fairgoers to purchase parking and admission tickets in advance online; providing additional handwashing and sanitizing stations; cleaning and disinfecting regularly; encouraging fairgoers to wear face masks in congested areas and social distance where possible; and asking patrons to stay home if sick or experiencing symptoms.
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