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Attendance Not Only Measure of Success for 2017 Fair

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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.

51th Annual Palmer Gun Show – “The Oldest, Continuous Show in Alaska”

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51th Annual Palmer Gun Show – “The Oldest, Continuous Show in Alaska”

Palmer Lions The 51th Annual Palmer Gun Show  “The Oldest, Continuous Show in Alaska” March 3 & 4th, 2018 Saturday – 10:00 am – 6:00 pm Sunday – 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Gun Show in Raven Hall and Craft Show in Hoskins Building Palmer Fairgrounds, Palmer, AK 99645 Adults $7.00 or 2 day pass for $10 Children Under 12 FREE w/adult Come look, trade, swap, talk, and get catalogs. Over 250 tables of rifles, pistols, knives, outdoor gear, displays, and more.

Fair Annual Meeting This Thursday, February 9

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Highlights include board election and door prizes

The Alaska State Fair, Inc. will hold its 2017 Annual Membership Meeting on Thursday, February 9. The annual meeting will take place at 7 p.m. in Raven Hall on the fairgrounds. Interested members of the public are invited to attend, but only Fair lifetime and 2016 annual members are eligible to vote at the meeting.

The primary order of business is the election of three members to the Fair’s board of directors. Each seat will have a three-year term. A total of five candidates, including two incumbents, will appear on the ballot:

  • Kristy Bernier, incumbent
  • Sabrena Combs
  • Danny Consenstein, incumbent
  • John Olson
  • Jason Ortiz

Candidate statements are available for review on the Fair website.

Fair members in attendance have the opportunity to win amazing annual meeting door prizes including:

  • 2017 concert ticket package
  • Fair season pass
  • Fair family fun pack
  • Monster truck ticket package
  • Mighty Matanuska Brewfest ticket package
  • Whittier fishing trip for two

For more information on the board candidates and annual meeting, please visit alaskastatefair.org or contact Jerry Baker, Fair administrative services manager, at jerry@alaskastatefair.org or 907.746.7155.

McCollums & Pinkelmans – 2017 Farm Family of the Year

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(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.

McCollum and Pinkelman families who operate both their farm, Northwest Land & Livestock, and their processing plant, Delta Meat & Sausage, Inc

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.

McCollum and Pinkelman family with Matt and Sue the Alaska State Fair Mascots!

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

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2016 Fair Highlights

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The Alaska State Fair celebrated our 80th birthday at the 2016 event, which took place August 25 – September 5 at the fairgrounds in Palmer. Here are some of our favorite highlights from 2016:

Attendance. An estimated 293,424 people came to help the Fair celebrate in 2016. This was down from 299,698 last year, but on par with the 293,827 fairgoers in 2014. Following the historical trend, Saturday was the most popular day to visit, with attendance of 19,064 on the first Saturday and 22,337 the second.

Concert

AT&T Concert Series. A total of 26,294 music-lovers attended the AT&T Concert Series this year, compared to 31,986 attendees last year. Of those, 5,150 fairgoers attended the rapper G-Eazy concert, making it the most popular performance, followed by The Band Perry and Volbeat.

 

Commemorative Fair Quilt Raffle Winner Lorraine StottsCommemorative quilt raffle. In celebration of our 80th birthday, we raffled off a commemorative Fair quilt, with all proceeds benefiting the Fair scholarship fund. The raffle brought in $3,990 for Fair scholarships. Those funds, combined with the proceeds from the Concert Kick-Off Party and Cabbage Classic lottery, will allow us to triple our 2017 scholarship award amount! Read more

 

4-H Showmanship Feature BoxRecord-breaking 4-H Junior Market Livestock Auction. This year’s livestock auction brought in $214,312.50, setting a new record for the 41-year-old event. The new record was set even with 16 fewer bidders and 17 fewer youth participants. Read more

 

 

Pumpkin Weigh-off Feature BoxSetting new state records. After pursuing the state record for five years, Dale Marshall finally broke it with his 1,469-pound entry in the Midnight Sun Great Pumpkin Weigh-Off this year, beating the previous state pumpkin record by 180 pounds. Five other new state records were set at the 2016 Fair. Read more

 

Exhibits FeatureboxExhibit entries across Alaska and beyond. A total of 8,719 entries came in from across the state, as well as 33 from outside Alaska. Flowers and crops continued to be the two most popular categories, with 2,066 and 1,501 entries respectively. See exhibits results

 

Giant Cabbage lit up by the sun (2)Giant fun at Cabbage Weigh-Off. Steve Hubacek once again took first place in the Giant Cabbage Weigh-Off, claiming the title with his 83.4-pound entry. Hubacek bested Brian Shunskis’ second-place, 66.05-pounder and Keevan Dinkel’s 63.15-pound cabbage, which took third place. Read more

 

Monster Trucks Feature BoxMonster-sized fun. After a 16-year hiatus, monster trucks returned to the Fair, drawing sell-out crowds to the Grandstand. The All Star Monster Truck Tour made its debut at the 2016 Fair, with 5,327 fairgoers attending.

 

 

Recycling. Dedicated volunteers collected 34,829 pounds, or 17.3 tons, of recyclable material, including plastics, cardboard, mixed/office and newspaper, aluminum, steel cans and glass. This was almost identical to the 34,953 pounds collected last year.

 

Two young girls at FairEducating our youth. In a continued demonstration of the Fair’s commitment to combining entertainment and education, a total of 2,335 students in grades kindergarten to fifth grade participated in Fair educational programs this year. More than 700 students were on the waiting list for this popular program.

 

Don’t miss out on the fun next year! Mark your calendar for the 2017 Fair, which will take place August 24 – September 4. And be sure to stay in touch with us throughout the year on our website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube!

Scholarship Awards Triple

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Quilt Raffle Helps Triple Fair Scholarship Awards

Commemorative Fair Quilt Raffle Winner Lorraine StottsThe Alaska State Fair will be able to triple our scholarship awards next year thanks to several successful fundraising efforts including the commemorative quilt raffle that took place during the 2016 Fair.

In celebration of our 80th birthday, we raffled off a commemorative Fair quilt, with all proceeds benefiting the Fair scholarship fund. Lorraine Stotts was the lucky winner of the quilt, which featured artwork designed by Alaska artist Ruth Hulbert and was sewn by local quilter Kathy Rockey. The quilt raffle brought in $3,990 for the Fair scholarship fund.

The Concert Kick-Off Party, another fundraiser for the Fair scholarship fund, took place April 2 at the Glenn Massay Theater in Palmer. The event, which featured food, drinks, live music and the AT&T Concert Series line-up announcement, raised $4,000 for Fair scholarships.

This year’s Cabbage Classic brought in an additional $390 for Fair scholarships. Established in 2012, the 50/50 Split the Pot lottery allows fairgoers to purchase a ticket and guess the weight of the winning cabbage in the Giant Cabbage Weigh-Off. Proceeds from the lottery are split between the Fair and Palmer Rotary Club scholarship programs.

These funds, combined with our annual scholarship budget, will allow us to award $12,880 in scholarships in 2017. That’s more than triple what we distributed this year, when we awarded five scholarships totaling $4,250!

The Fair scholarship program is open to all Alaska junior and senior high school students who plan to attend college or vocational school. The application period for 2017 scholarships will open early next year, and recipients are announced in April. Watch the Fair website and Facebook for more details!

Bee Stylish in 2016 Souvenirs

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Bee Stylish in 2016 Souvenirs

Commemorate your time at the 2016 Alaska State Fair with one of our 2016 souvenirs! From clothing to collectibles, these souvenirs are the perfect way to remember the 2016 Fair. All prior year T-Shirts are on-sale for $5 (available in souvenir booths only).

shop-942399_640

2016 Farm Family of the Year

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Congratulations to the Plagerman family of Delta Junction, who has been selected by the Alaska agriculture community as the 2016 Alaska State Fair Farm Family of the Year. The Plagermans will be honored at opening day of the Fair on Thursday, August 25.

Scott and Connie Plagerman established Scott Plagerman Farms LLC in 2008. They grow hay and sell it to horse owners, beef, yak and sheep farmers, and the Musk Ox Farm. They also sell bison for consumption to Delta Meat and Sausage Co.

Scott and Connie were raised in families who have farmed for many generations. Scott grew up on a Washington dairy farm and received a degree in dairy farming from the University of Utah. Connie grew up on an Iowa grain farm and has experience in pig farrowing and poultry laying operations.

At their farm in Delta Junction, Scott handles all of the equipment, sales and marketing, and Connie manages the finances, is a farm hand, and homeschools their three children, who also work on the farm along with one part-time employee.

The Plagermans say they enjoy the unique challenges and freedom Alaska farmers face. Future plans are to increase their bison herd and improve on their crop production.

When not working their farm, the Plagermans are involved with the Healing Hoofbeats 4-H club (a therapeutic riding program for special needs children and adults) and are members of the Delta Farm Bureau. Scott also serves as a board member of the Alaska Farmers Co-op.

During the holiday season the family opens their home to church and community friends so that all ages may enjoy horseback riding, hay and sleigh rides, and socializing with one another. “It’s a great way to raise a family and be outdoors working with nature,” Connie 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.

“Congratulations to all of the nominees and the Plagerman family. They are to be admired for the dedication and commitment to farming in Alaska and are setting a good example for the next generation of Alaskan agricultural producers,” said Jerome Hertel, the Fair’s general manager.

Recent Farm Family of the Year winners include the Pettit Family of Little Pitchfork Ranch (2015), Williams Family of EagleSong Family Peony Farm (2014), and Vern Stockwell and Becky Gardner of Stockwell Farm (2013).

 

Alaska Dogs Gone Wild

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Alaska Dogs Gone Wild

 13th Annual Summer Solstice Tourneys

June 20 – June 24 starting at 8 a.m.

Alaska Dogs Gone Wild, Alaska’s first flyball club, was created in 2004 and is based in Anchorage, Alaska. Our main goals are to have fun with our dogs, enjoy socializing with our teammates, and promote competitive flyball in Alaska.

Four days of racing
• Stunning backdrop of mountains
• A “midnight sun”
• Hospitality as big as the great state of Alaska

Participant Flyer

All Fair Concert Tickets Now on Sale!

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Tickets are now on sale for all 12 shows in the Alaska State Fair’s 2016 AT&T Concert Series, including the most recently announced acts – KONGOS with special guest July Talk and Cheech & Chong featuring special guest Shelby Chong! Tickets for these two shows went on sale to the general public today, Friday, June 3, at 6 a.m.

The rock band of brothers KONGOS, Canadian rockers July Talk and iconic comedy duo Cheech & Chong complete the 2016 concert line-up, which features:

  • Home Free, Thursday, August 25, 7 p.m., presented by KBRJ
  • X Ambassadors, Friday, August 26, 7 p.m., presented by Pabst Blue Ribbon, KMBQ and KBBO
  • The Band Perry, Saturday, August 27, 7 p.m., presented by Heineken and KBRJ
  • KONGOS with special guest July Talk, Sunday, August 28, 6 p.m.
  • Cheech & Chong featuring special guest Shelby Chong, Monday, August 29, 7 p.m.
  • Old Dominion, Tuesday, August 30, 7 p.m., presented by Bud Light and KBRJ
  • Thousand Foot Krutch, Wednesday, August 31, 7 p.m., presented by KAFC
  • G-Eazy, Thursday, September 1, 7 p.m., presented by KFAT
  • Volbeat, Friday, September 2, 7 p.m., presented by KWHL
  • Randy Houser, Saturday, September 3, 7 p.m., presented by Coors Light and KASH
  • Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo, Sunday, September 4, 6 p.m., presented by Anchorage Press and KOOL
  • Andy Grammer, Monday, September 5, 3 p.m., presented by KGOT and KYMG

You can get your tickets:

  • Online at alaskastatefair.org and print at home. Convenience fees apply, and Fair admission is additional.
  • On the Fair’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/alaskastatefair.
  • On a mobile phone. Convenience fees apply, and Fair admission is additional.
  • The Kendall Toyota Borealis Box Office during the Fair. No convenience fees at the Fair box office. Fair admission additional.

Find more info on this year’s line-up on our website, featuring ticket prices, bios, photos and performance samples. We’ll see you at the show!