Come one, come all, to the great Alaska State Fair! Be sure to celebrate Alaska’s last hoorah of summer at the fair with rural life showcases, huge vegetables, and great crafts and food.
Set for Aug. 22 to Sept. 2, the 12-day event is a time-honored tradition held in Palmer, just one hour north of Anchorage.
The most famous attraction of the Alaska State Fair has to be the giant cabbage contest, which began in 1941. That year, the manager of the Alaska Railroad, Colonel Ohlson, offered a $25 prize for the largest cabbage. The winner was a 23-pounder grown by Max Sherrod.
The tradition has grown, as have the cabbages entered. In 2009, Steve Hubacek set a Guinness world record by entering his 125.9-pound vegetable.
The fair itself has an interesting history. In May 1935, over 200 families from Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Oklahoma were selected to begin a farming colony in the Matanuska and Sustina valleys. The goal was to provide food for Alaska in case of war and also offer these families a new start.
Colonists in the Last Frontier built homes, cleared fields, and built a farming community. By July 1936, they were ready to celebrate, and the Matanuska Valley Fair Association was born. They hosted a four-day fair, which also coincided with the opening of the Knik River Bridge. The new bridge connected Anchorage and the Matanuska Valley for the first time.
2013 will mark the 77th Alaska State Fair, which now boasts over 10,000 exhibits, but still maintains an old-time charm. Visitors to the fair will enjoy a wide range of events and activities, including big-name entertainers. The true pulse of the fair still lies with its roots in agriculture, lots of food, friends and family, and a truly good time.
From everyone at Kelley & Canterbury LLC, we encourage you to head north from Anchorage to visit one of the truly great events Alaska has to offer.