Alaska State Fair 2021
The 2021 Alaska State Fair takes place August 20 through September 6, 2021. Alaska’s largest event takes place in Palmer every August and early September, as the Alaska State Fair is a showcase of giant vegetables, concerts, contests, rides and food. Typically, the event is 12 days, but following the cancellation of the 2020 fair due to Covid, the extended 2021 event will span 14 days, across three weekends. The fair will be closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in 2021.
Each day is packed with events of all kinds. The last Friday of the Alaska State Fair is one not to miss, as the giant cabbage weigh off is held that evening. These world-famous cabbages can reach up to 135 pounds! The event has a “gladiator” type of setting, as contestants enter their giant cabbages in a ring, with hundreds of bystanders on the bleachers overlooking the scene. It’s a quintessential Alaska event! Amusement park rides, Alaska Native crafts, foods of all kinds and exhibits, including the popular livestock pavilion, will keep you entertained.
“Our goal by adding another weekend is to help spread out the Fair crowds and keep fairgoers as safe as possible as Alaska continues to respond to the global pandemic,” said Jerome Hertel, Fair CEO, adding that the Fair will be adhering to the current CDC recommendations for large events and will be filing a mitigation plan to the State. “The expanded schedule will also provide an additional economic boost for the over 400 vendors at the Fair and, of course, provide an extra weekend of fun for our guests."
In 2021, the Farm Exhibits building will be closed the first weekend, as the livestock owners need an extra week to prepare. The perishable exhibit items will also not be featured during the first weekend.
Hours of operation
The 2021 Fair, themed Seeing is Believing, will be held Friday, August 20, through Monday, September 6, at the fairgrounds in Palmer. Hours will be 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily. During the 14-day run, the Fair will be closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (August 24 – 25 and August 31 – September 1).
The Alaska State Fairgrounds are just south of Palmer along the Glenn Highway. It's approximately a 45-minute drive from downtown Anchorage, but be prepared for traffic congestion, particularly on weekend dates. Also, be ready for road construction along the Glenn Highway from the interchange at the Parks Highway through downtown Palmer. If coming from Anchorage, riding the Alaska Railroad is an option on weekends. Parking at the fairgrounds is $5 a day per vehicle. There are extended options including RV parking available as well.
Ways To Save
There are a number of ways to save on admission. Season passes include daily parking permits and you can save 65 percent off regular admission. There are also six- and four-pack options that include discounts. You can even save up to 23 percent on general one-day admission tickets if purchased online. You can purchase online tickets HERE, including discounted tickets including carnival ride packages and more.
The Alaska State Fair is packed with fun events throughout the 14 days. The fair is open from 11 a.m. 10 p.m. There are daily concerts scattered throughout the fairgrounds, performances by local dance groups, talent shows, Alaska Native dancers and similar events. All of these are free with fair admission.
One thing that makes the fair so fun is the exhibits. Photography, quilting, painting, pottery, woodworking - the talent on display by Alaskans is amazing! Stop by the Hoskins and Irwin Buildings to see these displays. Also, don't forget about the Farm Exhibits pavilion - you'll get to see all the livestock raised by local 4-Hers, as well as the giant fruits and vegetables raised under the Midnight Sun.