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Alaska State Fair gearing up for 2021 opening day

Published: Aug. 16, 2021 at 6:15 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Alaska State Fair is less than a week away and since it was canceled last year, they are expecting a good turnout.

The fair will run for three weeks long with its opening day on Aug. 20, and it will run through Sept. 6. The fair will be closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

By having the fair span over three weeks instead of two, fair organizers said it is one way they are trying to keep people safe and allow for social distancing.

“That’s the end goal, is to have a safe opportunity for people to come out, socialize, reconnect, enjoy some of those family traditions that they have so enjoyed in the past,” said Jerome Hertel, CEO of the Alaska State Fair. “And people are real excited about doing that this year.”

Hertel said there are currently more than 400 vendors attending the fair this year, and noted that some are new with many being returning vendors.

Theodore Kelly is one of those returning vendors. This would have been his 30th year at the state fair, but because of last year’s cancellation, it will be his 29th year.

“It was really sad across the community though,” Kelly said about the fair being canceled in 2020. “I got a lot of customer calls, of what are we going to do, you know, but we made it through.”

But he said he is excited to see some familiar and new faces this year.

“We’ll see a lot of our customers that we haven’t seen, which will be great, and other vendor families, we’re a pretty tight family, and to miss a year is a big thing,” Kelly said.

Another addition to the fair is a new roller coaster called the Aftershock. This is the largest roller coaster in the state.

“I think this is going to be one of the most popular attractions, this year at the fair.” Hertel goes on to say, “It’s 1,182 feet of exciting joy, bone-chilling excitement to ride.”

Alaska State Fair will run from August 20 - September 6.
Alaska State Fair will run from August 20 - September 6.(KTUU)

Plus there is a full lineup of concerts that include Billy Idol and Portugal. The Man.

Fair officials said they are just excited to see people come out and enjoy the long tradition of the Alaska State Fair.

Fair officials are also encouraging attendees to purchase tickets online by visiting the Alaska State Fair website.

Alaska State Fair will run from August 20 - September 6.
Alaska State Fair will run from August 20 - September 6.(KTUU)

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