The Alaska State Fair celebrates its 76th birthday this year. // © 2012 Alaska State Fair
The Alaska State Fair, which will be held in downtown Anchorage from Aug. 23 through Sept. 3, is celebrating its 76th anniversary this year. Filled with activities that the whole family can enjoy, the fair will offer a petting zoo, livestock competitions, carnival rides, games, cultural performances, food booths, the AT&T Concert Series, a new multi-faceted equine entertainment show and more.
New this year, the fair will enlighten audiences with the “Our Body: Live Healthy” exhibition. The traveling science exhibit consists of approximately 200 preserved organs, human bodies and other anatomical specimens, revealing the mysteries of the human anatomy in an educational environment.
“The ‘Our Body: Live Healthy’ exhibition teaches all of us the importance of taking care of ourselves by making healthy lifestyle choices,” said Elizabeth Ripley, the executive director of Mat-Su Health Foundation, which has partnered with the fair to facilitate the exhibit.
The fair will also host the Raven’s People program to share and celebrate Alaska’s Native cultures through live performances, arts, crafts and film. This year’s program features Native Youth Olympics demonstrations, including the ever-popular blanket toss and the Alaska Native arts and crafts program, with Native artists exhibiting daily.
Performances by several traditional and contemporary Alaska Native dance groups — such as the Barrow Traditional Dancers and the Hooper Bay Traditional Dancers — and a documentary film series will provide a glimpse of the history of Alaska’s Native peoples.
Making its debut at the fair this year is “Equi-mazing,” a multifaceted equine entertainment show featuring specially trained and costumed local riders and horses. Visitors can expect high-speed Western vaulting and stunt riding, bridle-less liberty riding and trick roping.
The 2012 AT&T Concert Series, taking place at the Borealis Theatre on the fairgrounds, will feature a mix of musicians, old and new, including Styx, Hot Chelle Rae, Air Supply and Creed. The lineup is as follows:
• Aug. 23: Creed
• Aug. 24: Theory of a Deadman
• Aug. 25: Big & Rich with Cowboy Troy and Bradley Gaskin
• Aug. 26: Styx
• Aug. 27: Air Supply
• Aug. 28: Jo Dee Messina
• Aug. 29: The Avett Brothers
• Aug. 30: Jeff Dunham
• Aug. 31 Five Finger Death Punch
• Sept. 1: George Thorogood
• Sept. 2: Gary Allan
• Sept. 3: Hot Chelle Rae
General admission concert tickets range from $20 to $40. Concerts take place rain or shine, and ticket prices do not include fair admission. Fair admission is $9 per person on weekdays and $11 per person on weekend days.