Forest Fair in Girdwood returns after two year pause

Forest Fair makes return in Girdwood after two-year hiatus
Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 10:06 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The holiday weekend means fun events all across the state, including the return of the Girdwood Forest Fair. After two years of absence due to COVID-19, the annual fair is back with a focus on Alaskan art, hand-crafted goods, and a gathering of the community.

The Forest Fair is a family fair run solely by volunteers that has become a beloved yearly affair in the resort town of Girdwood. The annual event features vendors and booths, exotic foods, live music and good company. This yearly celebration also prides itself on being an environmentally conscience event for the benefit of the people. Like the craft booths, the focus is on original Alaskan works and brings diverse musical styles to the stage so that there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

In its 47th year, the fair can boast 225 all Alaskan vendors, but that wasn’t always the case. Terri Adkins, a board member for the Forest Fair, said that it started from very humble beginnings.

“The event originally started out as few artists who were looking for a way to sell their artwork and originally started off in the main front part of the park here and has grown now all the way to the ball field over the course of time,” Adkin said. “We’re very excited to have all these handmaid arts here and all the food that we have is eclectic style food vendors.”

The Forest Fair focuses on the mission statement of not being overrun by greed and free of moral conflicts created by dogs, politics or religious beliefs. With such an open philosophy,l artists of all ages are welcome to set up shop. All booths are free for kids 12 and under and although kids booths are limited, event organizers do their best to fit them anywhere in the park. Cedar Ruckel is one such young vendor learning the business by selling rhubarb lemonade that comes right from his garden.

“This is the first time we’ve had a teen booth beside the kid booth and we used to do the foam swords and then now we’re onto different things,” Ruckel said.

The event brings in large crowds so parking is difficult. Glacier Valley Transit runs a free shuttle direct from the Day Lodge to The Forest Fair grounds in addition to their regular route.

The event is set to run through Sunday and features a parade on July 2 at 10 a.m.

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