In addition to abundant wildlife, stunning mountain views and long summer days, July and August also offer memorable northern fairs and festivals. From state fairs that boast rides, oversized vegetables and fresh Alaska seafood to music festivals that showcase some of the finest talent in Alaska and the Yukon, these festivities in the Land of the Midnight Sun are nonstop summer fun.
Dawson City Music Festival, July 18 – 20
Established in 1979, the annual Dawson City Music Festival plays host to numerous artists across a wide range of musical genres. World music, rock, pop and instrumental are all represented at this popular Yukon festival. Due largely to the high quality of performances and diverse musical experiences, Georgia Straight — a Vancouver newspaper — dubbed this event “Canada’s tiny, perfect festival.”
Southeast Alaska State Fair, July 31 – Aug. 3
One of Haines’ largest annual events, this event offers a uniquely Southeast Alaska flair to its fairgoers. Aside from numerous arts and crafts vendors and a full schedule of local music, the Southeast Alaska State Fair holds a logging show where men and women are invited to participate in a variety of competitions including log rolling and power sawing. The fair also holds a Most Loveable Dog Contest, a disc golf tournament and the “Unleash Your Beast” 5K Adventure Race.
Tanana Valley State Fair, Aug. 1 – 9
Have you ever seen a cabbage that weighs more than a hundred pounds? Huge vegetables are only some of the many things to enjoy at the oldest state fair in Alaska. Located in Fairbanks, the Tanana Valley State Fair offers carnival rides, music and vendors, as well as the Interior’s best in agriculture, livestock and entertainment. The event also boasts the northernmost rodeo in the U.S. with events like bull riding, barrel racing and team roping.
Alaska State Fair, Aug. 21 – Sept. 1
The largest fair event in the Last Frontier, the Alaska State Fair takes place in the heart of the Matanuska-Susitna Valley in Palmer. This fair might be most famous for its giant vegetables —prize-winning cabbages have been known to weigh in at over 100 pounds! Be sure to arrive hungry; in addition to gargantuan cabbages, the fair is known for its unique cuisine such as fresh Alaska oysters, BBQ turkey legs, donut burgers and chocolate-dipped bacon. The Alaska State Fair also hosts local and nationally-touring entertainers, handcrafted arts and crafts, farm animals, rides and a variety of contests and competitions.