Annual Events in the Mat-Su Valley

The Mat-Su Valley is filled with events for the whole family, from film festivals and concerts to running races, community celebrations and annual events. Check out the calendar of events to plan your stay in the Mat-Su Valley. Or, plan your trip around one of our popular annual events such as the Iditarod, the Alaska State Fair, Palmer Colony Days or Talkeetna Winterfest.

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Willow Winter Carnival: Two weekends of events including outhouse races, sled dog races, a large fireworks display and community activities. Last weekend in January and first weekend in February. Sponsored by the Willow Area Community Organization. Contact (907) 495-6633.


Wasilla / Big Lake - Iron Dog Snowmachine Race: World's longest snowmachine race. The Pro Race class covers 1,971 miles of unforgiving Alaskan terrain from Wasilla to Nome, and back to Wasilla. Third Sunday in February. Contact (907) 563-4414.


Willow - Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Restart: World-class sporting event covered by news media from around the world. Starts in Anchorage on the first Saturday of March, restarts the following day on Willow Lake and concludes in Nome 10-20 days later. The Willow area affords a multitude of viewing opportunities at the starting line in the city and along the trail. Sponsored by Iditarod Trail Committee, Inc. Contact (907) 376-5155.

Talkeetna - Oosik Classic Race & Tour: One of the state's most popular cross-country ski races, with distances of 10K, 25K and 50K. Second weekend in March. Sponsored by the Denali Nordic Ski Club.

Talkeetna - Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge: The seasonal lodge opens for three weeks every March. 


Sutton - Annual Coal Miners' Ball: Fourth Saturday of April. Alpine Civic Club and Community Council. (907) 745-3395.


Palmer - Memorial Day Observance Ceremonies: Memorial Day Observance in recognition of today's veterans and in remembrance of those who served. All Alaskans are invited to attend the ceremonies. Contact (907) 376-8810.


Palmer - Palmer Colony Days: Festival honoring the people who came in 1935 to start a farming colony. Parade, colony family reception, arts and crafts fair, children's games and contests, horse drawn wagon rides, 5K and 10K races, shopping cart races, nurseryman's market, and much more! Friday through Sunday, second weekend in June. Contact (907) 745-2880.


Sutton - Old Timer's Picnic: Potluck honoring the Sutton coal miners. Contact (907) 745-3395.

Palmer - Palmer Pride Picnic: Free picnic with music and awards. Provided by the business community. Fourth Friday in July. Contact (907) 745-2880.
Wasilla - Independence Day Celebration: Includes fireworks, parade, kids' events and a 5K walk/run race. July 4th weekend. Contact (907) 376-1299.

Talkeetna - Don't miss Talkeetna's Fourth of July parade. The floats go down Main Street, and then turn around and come right back, giving you the opportunity to view it twice!


Houston - Houston Founder's Day: Live band, free BBQ, fireworks. Third Saturday in August. (907) 373-0826.

Palmer - Alaska State Fair: Alaska's largest event combines delicious food booths, legendary giant vegetables, and nonstop entertainment for the whole family. Three weekends of fair fun ending on Labor Day each year. Contact (907) 745-4827.


Back to school! High school homecoming football games happening throughout the Valley.


Trick-or-treat! Stock up on all that candy now. Don't miss the Halloween Hollow event at the Alaska State Fairgrounds, which is a fund-raiser for the Toys for Tots program.


Palmer - Veterans Day Ceremonies: The public is invited to attend the annual Veterans Day ceremonies to salute America's veterans. Contact (907) 376-8810.

Happy Thanksgiving! Local organizations provide food baskets to needy families throughout the Valley. Donations are always welcome.


Palmer - Colony Christmas Celebration: A Norman Rockwell Christmas celebration! Horse drawn sleigh or wagon rides, reindeer sled rides, parade, community Christmas tree lighting and caroling, arts and crafts fair, entertainment, visits with Santa, contests, fireworks and more. Second Friday and Saturday in December. (907) 745-2880.

Talkeetna - Talkeetna Winterfest: Month-long celebration in December. Features the internationally recognized Bachelor Society Ball/Wilderness Woman Contest and includes the Parade of Lights, community Christmas tree lighting ceremony, "Celebrity Trees" unveiling and auction, guest artists, gingerbread contest, treasure hunt and much more. (907) 733-1234.