Gyros, elephant ears, killer shrimp, giant cream puffs…the Tanana Valley State Fair has enough food to fill your belly ten times over. Then head over to the midway filled with rides to satisfy everyone from preschoolers to thrill-seekers plus games for all ages.
One of Interior Alaska’s most anticipated events, the fair will celebrate its 85th anniversary in 2016. First held in Fairbanks in 1924, the fair is the oldest and original state fair in Alaska. August 5 through 14, Fairbanks locals and visitors will swarm to the fairgrounds for fun, entertainment and even a little enlightenment. The theme of this year’s fair is “A Community Affair ‘Family, Fun & Fair’.” In addition to usual fair features, you’ll also find activities and attractions unique to the northern locale including gold mining day, World Eskimo-Indian Olympics demonstrations and a freight dog pull. If you’ve ever wanted to see the power the midnight sun has on Fairbanks’ growing season, you can check out the giant cabbages, pumpkins and other massive vegetables on display.
Scheduled activities include old school classics such as bubble gum blowing and pie eating contests, a gunny sack race along with around-the-clock music and entertainment by local and visiting bands and performers. Check out handmade arts and crafts by local artisans on display and for sale. Other not-to-be-missed events are the Annual Baby Show, lawn mower races, a magician, a rodeo and much, much more! On Friday night, August 12, the Tanana Valley State Fair will rock with The Born To Be Wild Tour featuring original members of Steppenwolf and Pegasus. You’ll hear 16 Top 40 Hits, including "Born to Be Wild" and "Magic Carpet Ride.”
By 11pm Saturday night, August 13, Interior Alaskan nights are just beginning to grow dark enough to enjoy a spectacular show of fireworks. Grab a bag of kettle corn and a cup of hot chocolate from one of the many vendors and snuggle up on the grandstands with your closest friends—the perfect way to ring in summer’s end.
For more information about the Tanana Valley State Fair and for a schedule of events, go to www.tananavalleystatefair.com.