Fall is here and we are busy getting ready for the Alaska State Fair Holiday Bazaar! The 2017 event will take place Saturday, October 21, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday, October 22, from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Raven Hall on the fairgrounds.
We love this special annual event, and we think you will, too. Here are our five favorite things about the holiday bazaar:
1. As always, admission and parking are free!
2. There will be more than 100 vendors with a wide range of items perfect for holiday gift-giving. (More on that below!)
3. You can keep your energy up for all that holiday shopping with a delicious array of fall comfort foods by Spruce Tip Café available for purchase. The menu includes soups, sandwiches, burgers, salmon or cod burgers and the most awesome spruce tip shortbread cookies in the world!
4. We’ll have free craft activities to keep the kiddos entertained while you shop.
5. Raffles for the chance to win great prizes donated by participating vendors. We’ll draw a winner every two hours, so there are plenty of opportunities to win!
With more than 100 vendors, you are sure to find the perfect gifts for everyone on your list. Here are 50 gift ideas that you can find at this year’s Holiday Bazaar:
2. Bath and body products
3. Beaded jewelry
4. Birch bark art
8. Christmas ornaments
9. Clothing and shoes
10. Cork crafts
11. Crochet crafts
13. Dog treats
15. Essential oils
16. Foods including jerky, popcorn, bananas, brittle, roasted nuts, biscotti, jams, jellies, fudge, cookies and more
18. Hand-dyed yarns
19. Hand-fused glass
20. Hand-made jewelry
21. Hats and headbands
22. Knives and swords
23. Leather products
27. Native spirit and skin masks
30. Pampered Chef
32. Pillow cases
33. Pot holders
35. Qiviut products
38. Stained glass
40. Tundra comics
41. Vintage jewelry
42. Wall hangings
43. Walrus ivory jewelry
44. Wildflower art
45. Wind chimes
46. Wine bottle trays
47. Wood carvings
48. Wood crafts
49. Wooden toys
50. And many more!
Hope to see you at the Holiday Bazaar!
Artwork brings Fair’s theme, “Better Together,” to life
Katie Sevigny returns this year for her fourth year as the featured artist for the Alaska State Fair. She continues to accept the invitation for several reasons, including her competitive drive to create pieces that she is proud of and that are successful for the Fair.
“I love the challenge of creating pieces that will resonate with fairgoers and make the Fair successful. I want the Fair to do well,” she shares.
There’s also the draw of being associated with one of Alaska’s largest and most beloved events.
“It’s such a historic event, and being part of that is huge,” says Katie, whose past work for the Fair included the commemorative 75th anniversary poster. “That was a very special thing to be part of.”
The long-time Alaska artist created three pieces for the 2017 Fair, including the Fair logo, which features two kids competing together in a three-legged race.
“The theme of this year’s Fair is ‘Better Together,’ so I thought, ‘What is something at the Fair that is better together?’ I think this is a really neat way to show the theme of the Fair,” Katie explains.
Katie also created the artwork that will be featured on the 2017 Fair poster. The piece depicts two young fairgoers riding their blue ribbon-winning cow across a field of flowers, with the Fair carnival in the background, Pioneer Peak on the skyline and the 2017 theme “Better Together” written in the sky.
“I thought about this piece like it was a story. The kids won first place, now they are riding their cow home, eating their Fair food against a beautiful backdrop. It’s like a page of a children’s book,” Katie says.
The other artwork Katie created for the 2017 Fair showed the silhouettes of four teenagers watching fireworks exploding in the sky above the carnival.
“That one was super fun,” Katie says. “It’s going to reach a new generation, and promote and attract a younger audience.”
Likely driven by the same competitive spirit that keeps drawing her back as the Fair artist, Katie’s career continues to flourish. In addition to her art gallery, Sevigny Studio in downtown Anchorage, Katie recently opened 7E Studio, a unique fashion boutique in South Anchorage showcasing Alaska artists, locally made furniture and women’s clothing, including her own brand, A Day in AK. On top of her art career, Katie is the mother of three boys.
“It’s a full life,” she says.
Pick up your 2017 Fair poster at one of the Fair souvenir booths! See the Fair map for details.
No matter where you turn at this year’s Alaska State Fair, you are sure to be face-to-face with some fabulous entertainment – FREE with Fair admission! Here are some highlights – be sure to check out our 2017 daily schedule and fairground map for all the details!
Here is where you will see Loop Rawlins’ Wild West Show, as seen on America’s Got Talent, plus many other talented local and national acts!
Explore the World of Music, an interactive exhibit featuring woodwinds, string, brass and percussion instruments from around the world. Stroll through anytime, or plan to attend one of the daily shows.
Did you know there is a demonstration kitchen here on the fairgrounds? Join us for daily demonstrations and hands-on activities, including cookie decorating for kids!
Fred Scheer’s Lumberjack Show returns, with daily shows featuring world-class lumberjacks. Plus many other only-in-Alaska events and contests, including the Parent Child Look-Alike Contest and Duck Tape Contest!
Get your groove on with a non-stop line-up of local and national entertainers, playing all afternoon and into the night.
Step back in time and discover the roots of the Matanuska Valley in Alaska Far Away, the award-winning documentary celebrating Palmer’s Colony history. Plus, laugh it up at Senior Joke and Storytelling!
Just steps from Farm Exhibits, this stage is home to a nonstop eclectic assortment of talented entertainers, from magicians to comedians to musicians and more!
Experience and celebrate the rich, beautiful, diverse Alaska Native cultures through song, dance, drumming, humor, storytelling and more. Don’t miss the Native Youth Olympics, Native games and blanket toss and Eskimo Ninja Warrior Nick Hanson!
Stop by here to get your Cabbage Classic ticket! Guess the weight of this year’s Giant Cabbage Weigh-Off winner for your chance to win in this 50/50 split the pot – while raising money for Fair and Palmer Rotary scholarships!
If you like high-flying, heart-pounding excitement, don’t miss the King BMX stunt show, three times daily!
Around the Grounds
As you stroll the fairgrounds, keep an eye out for our around the grounds entertainers including Alaska’s Wildest Magic with Don Russell, and the amazing, amusing, astounding and confusing Magic by Robbie!
With all the fun (and FREE!) things to do at the Fair – how can you possibly fit it all in? The brand new Plan My Day feature on our website will help you create your perfect day at the Fair, and make sure you don’t miss a thing. Simply browse events on the Fair website and click the “add to plan” button to create and share your custom Fair plan!
One of the top questions we get asked is, “What’s new at the Fair this year?!” With that in mind, we’ve compiled our top 10 list of can’t-miss events, features and attractions at the 2017 Alaska State Fair! Things change, so be sure to visit our website and check out the daily schedule for details and the most up-to-date information.
- World of Music. Every year, we bring an exciting, high-quality, entertaining and educational exhibit to the Don Sheldon Events Center – and this year is no different! This year we are excited to present the World of Music, an interactive exhibit featuring instruments from around the world, educational programming including live animal talks starring parrots, mammals and other animals making their own music of nature, plus listening pods and educational stations. The exhibit is open daily throughout the Fair, with multiple shows daily.
- New food booth. Crêpes De Paris is the latest addition to the Fair food line-up! Owners Ghenadie and Marina Trocin hail from Chisinau City in the Republic of Moldova but have called Girdwood home since 2014. They say their travels through Europe inspired them to bring a taste of Paris to Alaska through traditional handcrafted French crêpes. Sample their sweet or savory crêpes at their booth on the Green Trail across from the Main Office. Check out our 2017 Fair food guide for information on all of this year’s food vendors.
- Cheers and Beers, A Toast to Alaska’s Finest Craft Beer. Join us at the Aaron Watson concert pre-party, featuring local brews from breweries across the state. Purchase taste tickets at the door for $1 each. After you’ve chosen your favorite brew, you can fill a commemorative mug with your choice of beverage for $20. (Supplies are limited, so come early!) Fairgoers going to the Aaron Watson concert can show their ticket to receive five free samples! For fairgoers ages 21+ with valid ID. August 29, 4 – 7 p.m., Borealis Plaza Tent.
- Silent Disco. Slip on a set of sleek, glowing headphones and dance to your own beat at the Fair’s first-ever silent disco! Boogie down August 31, September 1 and September 2 at 8:30 p.m. at the Borealis Plaza Tent. Powered by Silent Events, the company that brought silent discos to Bonnaroo, Vans Warped Tour, and X Games.
- Loop Rawlins Wild West Act. Loop Rawlings’ unique Wild West act of trick roping, whip cracking and fancy gun spinning has thrilled thousands of audiences, from the stage of NBC’s America’s Got Talent to Cirque Du Soleil on the Las Vegas strip. He’ll be performing daily at the Alyeska Pipeline Colony Stage. View the daily schedule for details.
- Meet Daniel Tiger and Clifford the Big Red Dog. Daniel Tiger, star of PBS’ Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, and Clifford of PBS’ Clifford the Big Red Dog are coming to the Fair! Young fans can say “hi” to Daniel Tiger at daily meet and greets August 24 – 29, and give Clifford a scratch behind the ears at meet and greets August 30 – September 4. Clifford will also join the Kids’ Dance Parties on August 31, September 1 and 2! See the daily schedule for time and location details.
- Social Media Takeovers. For the first time, we’re bringing together six Alaska social media influencers to take over the Alaska State Fair Instagram account! Takeovers are popular activities on social networks where well-known personalities “take over” an account for the day. Scheduled takeovers are:
- August 25: Erin Kirkland/AK on the Go
- August 26: Scott McMurren/Alaska Travelgram
- August 27: Mikey Huff/Akela Collective
- August 31: Laura Sampson/Little House Big Alaska
- September: 1 Adam Legg/LeggLife
- September 3: Angela Gonzalez/Athabascan Woman
Keep up with the takeovers by following our official Instagram account @officialalaskastatefair or follow the hashtag #AKFairFun on Instagram or Twitter!
- The Last Bandoleros. Described as “Los Lobos meet The Monkees,” this Tex-Mex/pop-rock outfit is an “Artist to Watch,” according to Rolling Stone, while Entertainment Weekly lists them as one of their “Breaking Big” artists. Catch them at the Sluicebox August 26 and 27.
- Fastest Fish Slayer and the Eskimo Ninja Warrior. There are a lot of exciting things going on at The Gathering Place this year, and one event you will not want to miss is an appearance by the Eskimo Ninja Warrior Nick Hanson and Marjorie Tahbone, who took silver in the fish-cutting competition at the 2017 World Eskimo-Indian Olympics! September 4, 2 p.m., Dena’ Stage at The Gathering Place.
- Plan My Day. There are so many fun things to do at the Fair – how can you possibly fit it all in? Our brand new Plan My Day feature on our website will help you create your perfect day at the Fair, and make sure you don’t miss a thing. Simply browse events on the Fair website and click the “add to plan” button to create and share your custom Fair plan!
We are almost ready to open the gates to the 2017 Alaska State Fair! Here is everything you need to know about getting to the Fair this year.
- Drive. Hop in your car, pile in your friends and head to the Fair! We’re located at 2075 Glenn Highway in Palmer. Check out our parking maps and parking fee information.
- Fly. Take advantage of a special discount from our official Fair airline, Alaska Airlines! Receive 10% off any published fares between Anchorage and any intra-Alaska, Alaska Airlines city (not including Prudhoe Bay) when you fly between August 23 – September 4, 2017. Find details on how to book.
- Ride the rails. Hop on board Alaska Railroad’s Fair Train for a stress-free, scenic ride to and from the fairgrounds! View fares and schedules.
- Bus it. Check out the Valley Mover bus schedule.
OK, you made it to the Fair – now what?
- Park. There are three main parking lots – Red, Yellow and Purple. Check out our parking maps for details on traffic patterns for the weekdays (Monday – Thursday) and weekends (Friday – Sunday). The maps also include location information for disabled, motorcycle, RV, tent and premier parking.
- Pay. The daily parking fee for a car or truck is $5. Going to the Fair a bunch? Pick up a season parking permit for $25. Want the VIP treatment? Order a daily or season premier parking permit for a little more ($25 daily, $125 season). Get your permit in advance at the Pass Office on the fairgrounds or purchase when you get to the Fair.
- Drop off. Want to drop off or pick up a fairgoer? Use our convenient Green Gate access! This is also the best place to drop off and pick up disabled passengers, and is the location for will call tickets.
- Planning to camp? Check out our website for details on RV parking and tent camping fees, locations and regulations.
Things to expect along the way
Good news! At this time, there are no known construction projects or detours that will impact Fair traffic this year.
Alaskans are taking over the Alaska State Fair! Well, not literally … This year, for the first time ever, we’ve invited six talented, interesting Alaskans to “take over” the Fair Instagram account for a day.
What’s a takeover, you ask? Takeovers are popular activities on social networks where different people “take over” an account for the day. The Anchorage Economic Development Corporation’s (AEDC) “I Love Anchorage” campaign was a popular example where Anchorage residents took over the AEDC Instagram account. During the campaign, a different person took over the AEDC’s Instagram account for several days, posting about their life, work and play in the city.
In the Fair takeover, each of our invited guests will contribute custom content to the Fair Instagram account for a day. You can see the Fair through different eyes and follow their adventures at our official Instagram account @officialalaskastatefair or follow the hashtag #AKFairFun on Instagram or Twitter.
Here’s who will be taking over the Fair this year:
- Friday, August 25 – Erin Kirkland, AK on the Go. Erin Kirkland is a freelance writer, author of the “Alaska On the Go” guidebook series and publisher of AKontheGO.com, Alaska’s only family travel resource. Her work has appeared in Alaska Magazine, Alaska Beyond Magazine and other national outlets. Erin is also a columnist for the Alaska Dispatch News and contributes to KTVA 11’s Daybreak morning show as the station’s “Family Fun Expert.” You can find Erin on Instagram at @akonthego and at akonthego.com.
- Saturday, August 26 – Scott McMurren, AlaskaTravelgram. Scott McMurren is an Alaska travel junkie who publishes the Alaska Travelgram, an email travel newsletter, as well as the Alaska TourSaver, a 2-for-1 travel coupon book. Scott lives in Anchorage with his wife, dog and his kids “as they drift hither and yon” and with “lots of sporting equipment in various states of disrepair.” You can find Scott on Instagram at @alaskatravelgram and at AlaskaTravelgram.com.
- Sunday, August 27 – Mikey Huff, AkelaCollective. Mikey Huff is an Alaska-born photographer with a penchant for adventure. Discovering photography late in his high school career, he took to it without looking back. His pursuit of images has taken him from the North Slope of Alaska, to the flea markets of rural Florida. He is a social media entrepreneur, working to build up the community around him. You can find Mikey on Instagram @mikeyhuff and at mikeyhuff.com.
- Thursday, August 31 – Laura Sampson, Little House Big Alaska. Laura Sampson is on a mission. As a lifelong Alaskan, she wants the entire world to know that there’s more to the state than snow and hockey. Laura shares about real life in Alaska, recipes, and other family topics on her blog Little House Big Alaska. She’s a digital influencer, social media specialist, freelance writer and Livestreamer for hire. Laura lives in her original colony house in Palmer with her husband, two of their sons, two dogs and two cats. When she’s not online she enjoys knitting, biking, volunteering and rousing games of badminton. You can find Laura on Instagram @littlehousebigalaska and at Little House Big Alaska.
- Friday, September 1 – Adam Legg, LeggLife. Adam Legg is a digital strategist, small business owner, social media nerd, YouTuber, nonprofit executive director, and bearded male. He and his wife Sherri love experiencing Alaska, traveling and sharing their adventures via their LeggLife YouTube channel. You can find Adam on Instagram @AdamLegg and at LeggLife.
- Sunday, September 3 – Angela Gonzalez, Athabascan Woman. Angela Gonzalez (Koyukon Athabascan) is the indigenous communications manager for First Alaskans Institute. She enjoys taking photos and blogging about the Athabascan culture and Alaska Native topics on her blog, the Athabascan Woman. Angela is a member of the Alaska Native Media Group and the Public Relations Society of America – Alaska Chapter. You can find Angela at @ayatlin on Instagram and at Athabascan Woman.
Remember: You can keep up with the takeovers and see what’s happening at the Fair by following our official Instagram account @officialalaskastatefair or follow the hashtag #AKFairFun on Instagram or Twitter!
(Palmer, AK) – The McCollum and Pinkelman families of Delta Junction have been selected by the Alaska agriculture community as the 2017 Alaska State Fair Farm Family of the Year. They will be honored at the Alaska State Fair on Thursday, August 24.
Doug and Cathie McCollum and their daughter and son-in-law Jeannie and Russ Pinkelman operate both their farm, Northwest Land & Livestock, and their processing plant, Delta Meat & Sausage, Inc. The farm began in 1984, when Doug and Cathie purchased 17 heifers and a Galloway Bull from a farm in South Dakota. Today they raise between 400 and 500 head of Galloway/Angus cattle and 350 pigs. Delta Meat & Sausage, Inc. was established in 1997, and is a full-service slaughter and meat processing facility. They market beef, pork, buffalo, yak, elk and reindeer from local farmer, and process specialty game from local big game hunters.
The McCollums have lived in Alaska for 49 years, and currently three generations of the family work on their farm in Delta Junction. Doug and Russ work on the farm, with Doug doing the mechanical maintenance and Russ managing the livestock and building. Cathie and Jeannie run the plant, and Doug and Cathie’s grandchildren Quinn and Lincoln help with chores on the farm. They also hire part-time help. Their future farming plans are to continue business as usual, and to maintain the quality that the local communities have been getting from them for years.
While not working their businesses, both families sponsor many local non-profit kid’s events, little league, youth hockey, and local 4-H kids. The families say they love farming because they love the soil, the fresh air, the animals, and the satisfaction that at the end of the day you have worked hard and have a sense of accomplishment. “It’s doing something that we love to do, and being able to make a successful business from our hard-earned endeavors,” Jeannie said.
The Farm Family of the Year award, sponsored by the Matanuska Valley Federal Credit Union, was established by the Alaska State Fair in 2000 to honor an Alaska farming family and show appreciation for all the hardworking Alaskans committed to agriculture. After reviewing nominations, an awards committee chaired by the Alaska Division of Agriculture selects the winning family based on production of quality Alaska Grown products, community and agricultural organization involvement, and overall image.
“Alaskan agriculture is an endeavor that takes a lot of hard work, perseverance and dedication. Due to our isolated location and our short growing season, many aspects of agriculture here take unusual measures and creative thinking. To that end, we congratulate all the Alaskan farmers and especially the McCollum and Pinkelman families of Delta Junction,” said Jerome Hertel, the fair’s general manager.
Recent Farm Family of the Year winners include the Plagerman Family of Scott Plagerman Farms (2016), the Pettit Family of Little Pitchfork Ranch (2015), and the Williams Family of EagleSong Family Peony Farm (2014).
CONTACT: Johanna Herron, 907-761-3870, Johanna.Herron@alaska.gov
DNR Newsroom: http://dnr.alaska.gov/commis/dnr_newsroom.htm
DNR on Social Media: http://dnr.alaska.gov/commis/social_media.htm
DNR Public Information Center: http://dnr.alaska.gov/commis/pic/