Save the Date for 14 Days of Fun at 2021 Fair
Alaskans will have even more time to enjoy the Alaska State Fair in 2021, as organizers have announced an expanded 14-day schedule for this year’s event.
The 2021 Fair, themed Seeing is Believing, will be held Friday, August 20, through Monday, September 6, at the fairgrounds in Palmer. Hours will be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
During the 14-day run, the Fair will be closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (August 24 – 25 and August 31 – September 1).
“Our goal by adding another weekend is to help spread out the Fair crowds and keep fairgoers as safe as possible as Alaska continues to respond to the global pandemic,” says Jerome Hertel, Fair CEO, adding that the Fair will be adhering to the current CDC recommendations for large events and will be filing a mitigation plan to the State.
“The expanded schedule will also provide an additional economic boost for the over 400 vendors at the Fair and, of course, provide an extra weekend of fun for our guests,” he adds.
The schedule for the 14-day Fair will look much the same as previous years, with a couple of noteworthy exceptions during the first weekend, August 20 – 23:
- The first weekend will feature fairgoer favorites, including carnival rides, vendors and concerts.
- The first weekend schedule will also include a free-with-Fair-admission RAM Trucks Timed Event Challenge in the Grandstand.
- The Farm Exhibits building will be closed the first weekend, as the livestock and their owners need the extra week to prepare. Animals will be in the barn on Thursday, August 26.
- Perishable exhibit items will also not be featured the first weekend.
- Early admission prices will be extended through Monday, August 23.
The announcement offers some good news after a challenging year. Last summer, the Fair made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 event, to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. That was only the second time in the Fair’s 85-year history that the event was canceled; the last time was a hiatus from 1942 – 1946 due to the War.
“Like so many other Alaska businesses and organizations, the Fair has struggled over the past year. As a private nonprofit 501 (c)(3) corporation, we rely on the support of fairgoers, sponsors and grant-makers. That support was significantly reduced in 2020 due to the tough decisions we had to make to protect the health of our fairgoers, staff, volunteers, vendors, entertainers and others,” Hertel says.
While the annual Fair did not occur, Fair staff was able to organize several smaller events in 2020 that encouraged community support and involvement, while adhering to public health recommendations. Those events included the Encore Drive-In Nights concert series, pop-up drive-in movie series, Food Truck Fare, Harvest Fest, and the Bright Up the Night holiday light display.
“We found some creative ways to connect with our community, but we missed coming together at the Fair last year. We look forward to once again being a gathering place for Alaskans at the 2021 Fair,” Hertel says.
In This Issue
50 Years of ANSCA
Fifty years ago, as the Watergate scandal swirled around then-President Richard Nixon, he signed into law the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). It was the largest land claims settlement in the nation’s history and a stark departure from agreements forced on Tribes in the Lower 48.