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.
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 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
Record-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
Setting 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
Exhibit 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 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-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.
Educating 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!