The Alaska State Fair kicks off Friday in Palmer, with three weekends of entertainment extending until Sept. 5.
Thousands of people will descend on the fair for giant vegetables, live music, rides, animals, vendor exhibits, carnival games and food galore. This year’s longer schedule means that there’ll be no festivities on Tuesday or Wednesday at the state fairgrounds in Palmer for the next two weeks; you can visit the fair’s website for complete details on vendors, exhibits, admission and parking.
Here are this week’s entertainment options:
• Caamp: Headed by Taylor Meier and Evan Westfall, this folk band kicks off the fair’s entertainment slate. The group plays Friday at 7 p.m. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and tickets are $34-$39, not including fair admission.
• Chris Janson: A Tennessean who is a fast-rising star on the country scene, Janson takes fans into the weekend with a Saturday performance at 7 p.m. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and tickets are $39-$49, not including fair admission.
• Blue Oyster Cult: This classic rock band is known for hits like “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper.” This Sunday evening concert starts a little earlier at 6 p.m. with doors set to open at 4:30 p.m. Tickets for the show are $39-$49, not including fair admission.
• TobyMac: A multi-talented Christian artist who works as a producer, a songwriter and a hip-hop performer, TobyMac takes the stage Monday at 7 p.m. with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. Tickets for the show are $35-$69, not including fair admission.
• Chayce Beckham: The champion on Season 19 of “American Idol” has blossomed into a major country star. Beckham will bring crowds back to the main stage Thursday at 7 p.m. with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. Tickets for the show are $25-$39, not including fair admission.
Alaska Greek Festival: 3-9 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday; 2800 O’Malley Road
In its 28th year, this festival is a huge celebration of Greek culture each summer. Not only does it feature some of the best Greek delicacies like homemade gyros, souvlaki and pastries, but there’s also a market, bookstore and musical options. There will also be traditional Greek dancing throughout the weekend. Visit the festival’s Facebook page or website for more details.
Chugach Fest: starts at 5 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday; Arctic Valley Ski Area
Chugach Fest includes a number of Alaska’s top bands like Sundog, Blackwater Railroad Company, The Jangle Bees, Highway 9, Casey Smith Project and Wiley Post. Tickets are $30 for adults and $20 for teens in advance, and $35 and $25 at the gate. There will be food trucks and a beer garden, plus a number of food options. Check Arctic Valley’s website for more details.
Radiance AK: 2 p.m.-2 a.m. Saturday; Alaska Cannabis Exchange, 2906 Spenard Road
Radiance is a one-day concert celebrating the local arts scene in Spenard. It includes a number of DJs, including the duo Dystraxion and Guest List. Tickets are $20.
Hmong Festival: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday; Chinook Lot, 225 E St.
This celebration of the Hmong New Year includes a number of traditions like “pov pob,” a ball-tossing custom. There will be other showcases and traditional garments as well food vendors and produce for sale.
Dog Days of Summer: 5 p.m. Saturday; Bernie’s Bungalow Lounge, 626 D St.
This puppy pageant show is a fundraiser for the Alaska SPCA, which helps provide care and welfare for dogs, cats and rabbits. The event includes a free raffle and will showcase a number of SPCA’s success stories.
Alaska Latin Dance Fest: 8 p.m. Friday, noon Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday; Alaska Dance Promotions, 300 E. Dimond Blvd.
This three-day event features plenty of salsa and cha cha dancing, workshops and parties as well as a picnic on Sunday. Passes for the entire weekend are $75. Individual workshops are $15 and parties on Friday and Saturday starting at 10 p.m. are $10 each.
Anchorage RunFest: 10 a.m. Saturday-Sunday, various locations
The Anchorage Running Club hosts this two-day event that features a marathon, marathon relay, half marathon, a 49K ultra race, a 5K, a Kids’ 2K Fun Run and the Anchorage Mile. Be sure to check the RunFest website for details on starting times and locations for the various races.