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Sold out concerts, record-breaking fundraiser point to successful year

Palmer, Alaska – Attendance numbers aren’t the only measure of success for the 2017 Alaska State Fair, which took place August 24 – September 4 at the fairgrounds in Palmer. Sold out concerts, a record-breaking fundraiser, and increases in advance ticket sales all point toward another successful year for Alaska’s largest annual event.

While estimated and paid attendance were down 3.59 percent and 2.75 percent, respectively, from 2016, the fairgoers who attended came to enjoy everything the Fair had to offer. Both the Josh Turner and Doobie Brothers concerts sold out, as did all three of the All Star Monster Trucks shows.

The slight decrease in attendance was perhaps a reflection of Alaska’s economic uncertainty, as was the increase in fairgoers taking advantage of available discounts. Sales of advance admission tickets – which offered discounts up to 30 percent – were up by 5.5 percent. Meanwhile, attendance on $2 Buck Thursday – when admission was just $2 between noon and 2 p.m. – was up 29 percent.

Fairgoers were generous when it came to supporting local 4-H youth. For the second year in a row, a record amount was raised at the 4-H Junior Market Livestock Auction. The auction set a record last year, bringing in a total of $214,312.50. Supporters helped set another record this year, when 94 livestock animals were auctioned for a total of $221,000.

“Rain or shine, every day was a beautiful day at the 2017 Alaska State Fair,” said Jerome Hertel, Fair general manager. “Memories were made, friendships were formed and an annual tradition lives on.”

“Thank you to everyone who attended the 2017 Alaska State Fair, brought friends or family and made it ‘Better Together.’ We hope you had a wonderful time and invite you back again next year to help us celebrate the people, traditions and culture of Alaska.”

The 2018 Alaska State Fair will take place August 23 – September 3.

Author: Betty Shadura

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