Alaska Life

In Palmer, a busy scene as workers prepare for the return of the Alaska State Fair

Vendors and construction workers are busy getting ready for the Alaska State Fair, which was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year the fair has been expanded to 14 days in order to spread out fair crowds, according to marketing manager Melissa Keefe.

“We are anticipating just as many fairgoers as normal,” said Keefe. “We all missed out on the 2020 fair, so everyone’s excited to be back.”

More than 400 vendors will be at the fair this year, including five new food vendors. In addition, the 2021 fair will debut a new permanent roller coaster, the Aftershock, which Keefe says is Alaska’s largest roller coaster.

The fair opens Friday, Aug. 20 and runs through Sept. 6. The fair will be closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to allow for additional cleaning. For more information visit

Loren Holmes

Loren Holmes is a staff photojournalist at the Anchorage Daily News. Contact him at