Alaska Life

10 things to see and do in the final days of the Alaska State Fair

The final stretch of the 2023 Alaska State Fair kicks off Thursday, running through Labor Day on Monday. The fair features plenty of sponsored days, including Military Appreciation Day on Sunday and First Responders Day on Monday.

Here are 10 cool things to check out at the fair as it winds down, and details on the five remaining main stage concerts.


AKU-MATU: noon/2 p.m/3:30 p.m. at The Gathering Place

Check out Iñupiaq rap and performance art from AKU-MATU. With her name based on Bronx rapper KRS-ONE, it is a hyphenation of two of her Iñupiaq names, Akootchook and Matumeak.

Cosplay Contest: 4 p.m. at Holland America Princess (HAP) Events Tent

Thursday is Cosplay Day at the fair, and the contest is an opportunity for people to dress up as their favorite character and go up against everyone else in attendance. There’s a cosplay meet and greet at 1 p.m. Sign-up starts at 3:30 p.m. and the contest begins at 4 p.m.


Demolition Derby: 6 p.m. at MTA Grandstand


Who can hold out the longest and withstand the most crashes? We’ll find out Friday as there are categories for large cars and compact cars. Tickets for ages 13 and up are $13, ages 6-12 are $9 and kids 5 and under get in free.

Air Force Band Of The Pacific: 7:30 p.m. at Alyeska Pipeline Colony Stage

The 11th Airborne Band performs on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Initially constituted as the 236th Army Band on Jan. 7, 1944, the band was established as the 11th Airborne last year.


Fiddle Contest: 11 a.m. at Alyeska Pipeline Colony Stage

Grab your fiddle and play a tune or just check out some of the state’s best sawing on their instruments in a number of categories, including youth, teen, open and twin fiddling. Dancing is encouraged!

Alaska Seafood Throwdown: Noon/1:30 p.m./3:30 p.m. at Holland America Princess (HAP) Events Tent

Chefs from the state do battle using wild Alaska seafood. With three tastings during the day, there’s plenty of opportunity to try samples to determine your vote on the People’s Choice award.

All-Star Monster Trucks: 1 p.m./5 p.m. at MTA Grandstand

Check out four monster trucks going bumper to bumper with a wheelie contest, side-by-side racing and a “no-holds-barred freestyle throwdown.” Tickets for are 13 and older are $15, ages 6-12 are $10, ages 2-5 are $5 and under age 2 are free. That’s all happening at 1 and 5 p.m. Saturday, and 4 p.m. Sunday.


Homesteader Games: 4 p.m. at SBS Woodlot

The competition is open to all adults to compete against lumberjacks. The categories include ax throwing, water hauling, cross-cut saw and wood splitting. Sign-ups start at 3:30 p.m.


Hobby Works Radio Controlled Supercross: 11 a.m. at MTA Grandstand

Alaska’s best radio control drivers compete in high-speed action on a supercross course with 1/8 or 1/10 scale cars. Practice starts at 10 a.m. with qualifying at noon. The main event starts at 3 p.m.

Alaska’s Got Talent Finals: 3 p.m. at Alyeska Pipeline Colony Stage

There’s $2,500 on the line for the top talent in the state. The top 10 performers who won prelim rounds compete in the finals with statewide winners from fairs across Alaska.

This week’s main stage Borealis Theatre concerts

Thursday: J. Boog, Polynesian-tinged reggae music from the West Coast. Concert 7 p.m.; doors open 5:30 p.m.; tickets cost $39/$45.

Friday: Killswitch Engage, Grammy-nominated Massachusetts metalcore. Concert 7 p.m.; doors open 5:30 p.m.; tickets cost $49/$59.


Saturday: The String Cheese Incident, trailblazing Rocky Mountain jam band. Concert 6 p.m.; doors open 4:30 p.m.; tickets cost $59/$79.

Sunday: Little River Band, hit-making classic rockers from Australia. Concert 6 p.m.; doors open 4:30 p.m.; tickets cost $39/$69.

Monday: Noah Cyrus, multi-platinum pop artist from a famous musical family. Concert 3 p.m.; doors open 1:30 p.m.; tickets cost $45/$59.

Chris Bieri

Chris Bieri is the sports and entertainment editor at the Anchorage Daily News.