Activity of the Week: It’s fair time! Fairbanks hosts “Barn in the USA”

07/30/2010
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What makes the Tanana Valley State Fair unique is its emphasis on local talent and showcasing the best of Alaska’s Interior. The oldest fair in the state, The Tanana Valley State Fair has been whooping it up since 1924 — that’s 86 years! The nine-day event features a variety of local performers, agriculture and livestock competitions, food booths and all the other stuff we love about fairs (did I mention food?).

Fairgoers can enjoy the Antique Tractor Pull Demonstration featuring classic tractors, many over 100 years old; the Backhoe Rodeo that pits highly skilled backhoe drivers against one another in a competition of complicated driving maneuvers; or join in traditional games such as the pie-eating contest and the moose and hog calling competitions. Some of the oldest ongoing competitions that date back to at least 1926 include the Baby Show, the Farm and Garden Display, Most Attractively Decorated Advertising Booth and of course, the biggest cabbage.

Creating “pun” themes for the fair is also a popular tradition, beginning with 1982’s “Fun for You in ‘82” theme and continuing to more recent years, such as “Lettuce Entertain Ewe” in 1990. The 2010 fair, “Barn in the USA” takes place August 6-14.

If you go:

Be sure to take advantage of special rates available all summer at the Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge. Tickets for the fair and a schedule of events is available online here.

“Activity of the Week” is a weekly blog series that profiles adventures, destinations and tour operators from across Alaska.