Something I have been excited about since before we unpacked our boxes in Anchorage is the Alaska State Fair.
I’m not even kidding, I put it on our calendar back in May.
You see, I’m one of those really corny people who love fairs. Where else can you go to see giant veggies, cows on cows on cows, rides with questionable structural soundness, and gain 10 lbs. in one day from the food?
…yeah, no where else!!!
In the past, I’ve been the the North Carolina State Fair in 2010, and I went to the Texas State Fair in 2012. The texas fair was better than the north carolina, so I figured Alaska’s had to be better because the state is more than twice as large the fair should be twice as good.
We bought our tickets well in advance (Thanks Costco for selling a 4-pack at a great discount!) and found some friends to attend. We went on a rainy saturday morning, arriving at noon. This was good because it wasn’t too crowded, so we could take our time and enjoy.
So below are some of my pictures of what I saw at the State Fair.
Upon seeing the prize winning chickens, I was immediately craving Chik-Fil-A and begging Matt if we could get a chicken so I could enter it in the Fair for next year. I was denied on both counts. The former due to geographic restrictions, the latter due to Matt claiming chickens are ‘messy’.
Like seriously… these are 93 lb. cabbages! Each!
For those of you who think Alaska can’t grow anything… you would clearly be wrong. I’m assuming that it is because our summer may be short, we do not lack on sunlight. Sunlight provides nourishment via photosynthesis and you can water your plants as much as you want up here because your water bill is the same every month. This is my theory, and all of the science I can spout.
One of the food vendors had a donut burger. What is a donut burger? it’s a beef patty with bacon, cheese, and fried egg, nestled between a glazed donut. Did my cholesterol go up from looking at it? yes. Did I devour it and find it incredibly delicious? ABSOLUTELY!
Another amazing thing I had to try: Waffle on a stick. I’m a big fan of waffles, so this was clearly a no brainer. Fun Fact: I saw a little girl walking with one and had food envy, so I had to get one.
No regrets on eating this, as it was good. Now to figure out how to make this myself…
One of my favourite things about fairs is the beer: It’s always a good time to get a beer and enjoy the sights. Unfortunately, the Alaska State Fair doesn’t allow you to leave the beer hall with your beverage (but they’re supposedly working on it for next year!) so we got to hang out and listen to live music!
One thing we enjoyed was that every band that played at the Sluce Box (at least while we were there) played Wagon Wheel. Wagon Wheel is a great song to me, bringing me back to memories at Clemson where this song was played several times at every party. I have fond memories of good times with friends, so every time I hear this song, I get really happy.
We also swung by a wine bar. If you look closely, you’ll notice that when it is not a great spot for drinking wine, it doubles as a church. I guess the theory that “hey, Jesus drank wine!” really went into this decision.
Throughout the fair, they had things for kids. Our friend Jason showed off his skills as a hula hooper. After my last hula hooping excursion (JLG’s Big Night Out – February 2013) I decided to sit this one out. Probably best for those involved.
We did want to go ride some of the carnival rides, but as it was SIX DOLLARS to ride the Zipper, we politely declined. Where’s a Carowinds or Six Flags when you need one?
And of course we couldn’t leave the fair without seeing THE MOST AMAZING VEGGIE EVER! Pumpkins, large enough to carve out and turn into little homes.
These pumpkins were enormous. I’d been reading a lot about them in the weeks to come from the Anchorage Daily News. Apparently, there was one pumpkin set to win it all, but with the excellent growing conditions, it grew too quickly and developed a hole.
One of the rules for entering into the competitions is that the pumpkins must be structurally sound. This hole disqualified it. Had it been entered, it would have won, weighing in at 1700 lbs. Instead, that pumpkins owner took a second place victory with another pumpkin he grew. Man, I’d be really upset.
Here’s the article if you’re as fascinated as I am about growing large food.
Needless to say, I had a great time at the fair.
Minor complaints: the food vendors were spread throughout the fair. I thought this was bad because you’d settle for a donut burger because you thought it was the best there was, and then walk down another section and see the giant turkey legs. I’m just saying, if they were all in one spot, it would be way easier to find what you’d like to eat.
Also, I would have liked to see more sweets. I’ve been dreaming of the Trés Leche cake that I had at the Texas State Fair since I had it last year, and my sweet tooth was not satisfied.
When we go next year, we fully plan on taking the train. The railway will drop you off right at the gate of the fair, and bring you home via train for only $12/person! This would be amazing because you don’t have to fight traffic, you don’t have to pay for parking, you don’t have to walk 5 miles to your car, and you get to ride a train! Unfortunately, the train sells out fast.
Do you think I should see if the tickets are available for purchase for next year yet?