2023 Alaska Summer Fairs and Festivals Guide (2023)

May 28 – Memorial Day weekend usually marks the unofficial start of summer in Alaska. For many, this means fishing, camping and spending a lot of time outdoors. But it also means attending festivals and fairs across the 49th state.

From Kodiak to Chicken and places in between, here's your guide to the 2023 summer festivals in Alaska.

Crab Festival: Kodiak, May 25-29

The Kodiak Crab Festival and Parade includes five days of events celebrating the Kodiak community. The parade takes place on Saturday, May 27, but there will be live music, competitions and events throughout the day from Thursday to Monday, including chess and Lego competitions.

Great Alaska Craft Beer and Home Beer Festival:Haines,26.-27。少校 (old-old)

The Great Alaska Beer Festival features beers from Alaska and the Yukon. Fridays are homebrew competitions (registration required; not open to the public), and Saturdays start with the Slammin' Salmon Fun Run, followed by beer tastings. Don't forget to bring cash to buy food.

Sitka Music Festival: Sitka, May 31-25. June

Are you a lover of chamber music and classical performances? This year's 52nd season, the Sitka Music Festival has several concerts and guest artists planned. Check out their website for tickets and more information.

Spenard Jazz Festival: Anchorage, 1.-4. June

The 16th annual Spenard Jazz Festival will be an opportunity to experience local up-and-coming artists as well as meet professionals both inside and outside the jazz world. Tickets can be purchased for individual concerts, but members receive free admission and discounted concert admission fees. There's a week of music and shows, band battles, First Friday performances at the Anchorage Museum, and backyard jam sessions.

Trapper Creek Bluegrass Festival: Trapper Creek, 1.-4. juni

The Trapper Creek Bluegrass Festival, held at Boot's Bison Ranch, is a weekend full of folk entertainment and music. Admission is limited to 500 people, and festival admission is $150 for three days or $200 for four days, which includes camping.

Yakutat Tern Festival: Yakutat, 1.-4. June

The 12th annual Yakutat Tern Festival is a celebration of Yakutat, Art and one of the largest breeding colonies in the Aleutians, arctic terns and a wide variety of other birds that breed on or near Yakutat. There are four days of family-friendly activities and activities for kids and adults.

Sun Lit AK Festival: Fairbanks, June 3

The second edition of the festival is held at Growden Memorial Park, featuring Matt Hopper and Roman Candles, Bikini Trill and the Matt Lewis Band. The festival runs from noon to midnight and features local vendors, beer and food.

3 Barons Renaissance Fair: Anchorage, 3.-4. 10.-November June

3 Barons Renaissance Fair is taking place over two weekends in Anchorage this year with lots of crafts, activities, competitions, food and more. The first weekend is all about pirates, the second weekend is fantasy. General admission is $10.

Kenai River Festival: Soldotna, June 9-10

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Soldotna Creek Park will celebrate the Kenai River throughout the weekend with booths, crafts, swag and live music. Check out the educational area for kids, browse the Alaska Artisan Market, browse food vendors and more.

Colonial Days: Palmer, June 9-11

Colony Days is Palmer's summer party for the whole family. There will be races and competitions, a carnival, a farmers market and more. Check out their website for a chance to win prizes in the cornhole, or baked with rhubarb.

Vaniversary: ​​Anchorage, October

The 5th annual Vanniversary featured 28 bands playing live at Van's Dive Bar, one of the busiest venues in Anchorage, in one day, and 364 other days. Food, art and fun come and go

Last Frontier Theater Session: Valdez, 10.-17. June

Theater kids, unite: Prince William Sound Academy hosts annual Last Frontier Theater Conference in Valdez. Featured artists include Kevin Armento and Joseph Biagini. Programs include Valdez Theater Fringe and Monologue Workshop. Register now on their website.

Seldovia Summer Solstice Festival: Seldovia, 15.-18. June

The 22nd annual Seldovia Music Festival will showcase music from genres as diverse as hip-hop, swing and tavern and even Celtic harp. It's a celebration of Alaskan summer, the endless solstices and the beauty of Kachemak Bay.

Chicken soup: Chicken, 16.-17. June (sold out)

Woodstock is out, chicken soup is in! The 17th annual Chickenstock Music Festival will fill the weekend with Alaskan performers, local food and craft beer, games, crafts and more. This top of the world music festival is sold out.

Moose Pass Summer Solstice Festival: Moose Pass, 16.-18. juni

Moose Pass offers vendors, music, art, food and fun for the Solstice Festival. Blackwater Railroad, Wiley Post and The Jangle Bees are among the musical acts planned. Celebrate sunshine at Moose Pass.

Sunset: Anchorage, 16.-18. June

The Sundown Solstice is in its second year with an even bigger roster and a move to Cuddy Family Midtown Park. Rae Sremmurd will headline the final day, with Chromeo, Big Boi and Slander also at the top. There's a bar, food trucks, carnival rides and interactive art curated by Moose's Tooth. Three-day general admission tickets range from $149 to $249.

Nikiski Days Family Fun in the Midnight Sun: Nikiski, 17

Family Fun at the Midnight Sun Festival is Nikiski's annual Winter Solstice Festival. The day starts at noon, but there is also a 5K fun run at noon, and bicycles and parent-child prizes will also be given out.

Juneteenth Citywide Celebration: Anchorage, 17.-18. juni

Juneteenth, June 19th, marks the end of slavery in the United States. Juneteenth is celebrated in Anchorage with a weekend of events including a health fair on Delaney Parkway, an educational fair, parties, parades and shows.

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June 17: Fairbanks, June 17

The Fairbanks chapter of the NAACP will host a Juneteenth cultural celebration on June 17. Parties are held sporadically at Allridge Park in Fairbanks. Stop to sample food, browse vendors, and enjoy a variety of cultural performances.

Chugach Fest: Anchorage, 23.-24. juni

This two-day musical event at Arctic Valley Ski Resort is hosted by Arctic Valley and Anchorage Ski Club. The party included more than a dozen of Alaska's top bands such as Hope Social Club, Hot Dish, Wiley Post and The Jangle Bees. Camping is available, as are beer vendors and food trucks.

Midnight Sun Festival: Fairbanks, June 24

Fairbanks knows how to celebrate the solstice. Thousands gather in downtown Fairbanks to enjoy 12 hours of entertainment for the longest day of the year. Head north for live music, games and numerous vendors.

Anchorage Pride Parade: Anchorage, June 24

The Anchorage Pride Parade returns to showcase Alaska's LGBTQ+ community. It is scheduled to start at 11:30 a.m. and circle the Delaney Park Strip. Afterwards, the Celebrate Pride Festival takes place on the Park Strip, featuring local vendors, food trucks, musicians and drag performers. There are many other events and parties in June related to Anchorage Pride Month.

Scottish Highland Games: Palmer, 24.-25. June

The Alaska Scottish Highland Games are a celebration of Scottish heritage and traditions. Stop by the Alaska State Fairgrounds for a game or to watch a game. There will also be traditional games, music and of course food. Discounted air tickets are now available.

Aloha Alaska Music Festival: Anchorage, June 25

False vocals by legendary Hawaiian Slack Key artists Ledward Kaapana, Liam Moleta and Kekoa Kane, Alaska's very own Island Reggae band H3 and more will be filled with Hawaiian and island reggae. Held at Lei's Poke Stop, tickets to the one-day festival start at $35.

Kachemak Bay Highland Games: Homer, July 1

Palmer's Highland Games will be followed by Homer's Kachemak Bay Highland Games, in case you can't get enough of them. Not only will there be traditional games and races, but there will also be a 5km run in kilts and a reading of Shakespeare's Macbeth. Held at Karen Hornaday Park, the event features vendors, food trucks and plenty of Scottish pride. Tickets are $10 per day.

Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival: Fairbanks, 2.-28. Juli

Throughout July, the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival hosts more than 200 workshops and events. Registration is now open. Pre-holiday choir and singing tutorials begin July 2nd and run until July 15th. Then, the festival really kicks off on July 17, with workshops on everything from instrumental performances to dancing, painting and cooking.

Fourth of July Marathon Mountain: Seward, July 3-4

In Alaska, there may not be a better summer duo than Seward Township and the Fourth of July. Filled with merriment, festive booths, fireworks and mildly disturbed athletes, Seward heads to the fourth edition, parading on land and water. On Tuesday, July 4th, the annual Mountain Marathon races up and down steep rocky slopes.

Skov Fair: Girdwood, July 7-9

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The annual Girdwood Forest Fair is about local arts and artists, handmade and homemade products, and the Girdwood community. Parking is limited, so carpooling is encouraged, and there is a shuttle service to and from Anchorage for $5 each way. There are no entry fees, no dogs, no politics, and no religious order. Public camping is prohibited during the Forest Expo.

RustyRavin's Rock'n the Ranch: Kenai, 7-8. July

Featuring local bands like Blackwater Railroad Company, Danger Money and Tune Weavers, this music festival is a great place to learn about Alaskan talent, eat and hang out. There will be vendors and booths, a beer garden and plenty of space to sit, relax and enjoy the music.

Love My Pet Fest: Anchorage, July 8

The event is free to the public and features all types of products and services related to keeping pets. The Arctic Recreation Center's inaugural festival has everything for your furry friends.

Bear Paw Festival: Chugiak-Eagle River, 12.-16. Juli

The Bear Paw Festival is a great way for the Chugiak and Eagle River communities to come together and celebrate summer. There's always plenty of food and merchandise to see, and there's a fairground from Thursday to Sunday. The festival also offers a sweepstakes to win two Alaska Airlines tickets, as well as unique events like the Human Foosball Tournament and the Salmon Skiing Olympics.

Copper River Zalmjam: Cordoba, 14.-15. Juli

The Copper River Salmon Jam will feature music to raise money for the arts in Córdoba, a Salmon Run to get you moving, activities for the kids, and of course, salmon cooked in a variety of ways. Check out Salmon Jam to support the Cordova community in a way that works best for you.

Prime Day: Fairbanks, July 15

The celebration of the founding of Fairbanks dates back to 1952 and is fun for all ages. Events in 2023 include what organizers say will be the largest parade in Alaska, a street fair and a rubber duck race along the Chena River.

Back to Bluegrass Fest: McGrath, July 22-23

The annual festival supports local radio station KSKO. This year's festival features Nothin' But Trouble, Gold Dust Rising, Flintlock Special and Glacier Hoppers.

Bear Feast: Rangel, 26-30. July

Wrangell's Alaska Bear Festival is about... you guessed it - bears! The festival includes cultural events, art workshops, golf tournaments, food and entertainment, and a marathon, half marathon and 5K on July 30. The night before the game, recharge your carbs with a pasta dinner followed by live music.

Southeastern Alaska State Fair: Haines, 27.-30. July

The fair has many displays, contests and competitions, from horseshoes to parades and wearable art reviews. Entertainment options include Gordie Tentrees, Boomtown Saits, The Lack Family, Lovely Colors and Avery Wolves.

Gold Rush Era: Valdez, 2.-6. August

Celebrating Gold Rush Day in Valdez is a way to honor the city's past, present and future. There will be vendors and fundraisers and, perhaps more importantly, Hoosegow, a traveling prison wagon from the Gold Rush era. Check the website for more information as the festival date approaches.

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Salmon Festival: Ninilchik, 4.-6. August

Salmonfest is an annual three-day music festival in Ninilchik centered around fish, love and music. There's concerts, the Super Bowl of Lox, activities and games for the whole family. Headliners include the Old Crow Medicine Show, Sierra Ferrell and Leftover Salmon. Early bird tickets start at $179 for youth and seniors and $189 for adults. Three-day passes for children ages 6-12 are $35.

Blueberry Festival: Ketchikan, 4.-6. Augustus

The Ketchikan Blueberry Arts Festival is an annual celebration of the arts that has been held in Ketchikan since 1975. The festival kicks off with a pet and doll parade, and also features booths, live music and other events throughout the city. Other highlights include a handcrafted human blueberry rowboat and Richard Brautigan, Dick Whitaker and Lillian Ference Memorial Trout Fishing in America Poetry Slam and Flounder Free Form Poetry Contest.

Kenai Peninsula Exposition: Ninilchik, 11.-13. Augustus

Weekends include music, exhibits, vendors and more at "Alaska's Largest Mini Fair." Fair starts from 12-20. Friday 10am-8pm. Sat & Sun 12pm-5pm.

Galway Day Irish Festival: Anchorage, 12 August

The Galway Days Irish Festival is a free event at City Square Park in downtown Anchorage, featuring live Irish music throughout the day, Irish dancers and buskers throughout the park. Tents and booths include children's activity tents, talks and workshops on Irish culture and history, family tents, vendors, food, bake sales and more.

Alaska Greek Festival: Anchorage, 18.-20. August

The Alaska Greek Festival offers some of the best Greek food in the state, including homemade gyros, kebabs and pastries, for just one weekend a year. The festival also includes a bookstore selling imported Mediterranean and Orthodox items, as well as dancing and live music by a Greek folk band.

Alaska State Fair: Palmer, August 18-September. 4

The Alaska State Fair is an annual tradition that includes concerts, rides, games, vendors and food. Featured artists include Flogging Molly, Megadeth, Yung Gravy, Noah Cyrus, Noah Kahan and more. Visitors can also view competitions and exhibits in art, photography, crafts, crops, flowers and livestock. Tickets are on sale now.

Champignonbeurs: Goldwood, 2.-3. September

The annual Girdwood Fungus Fair is back this year with an opportunity to educate and appreciate Alaskan fungi and forests. More information will be released in July.

Champignonfestival: Córdoba, September 8-10

The theme of Córdoba's 17th annual Mushroom Festival is gathering and discovering the hidden treasures of the earth. There are teaching opportunities, workshops, children's activities and more. More information will be provided closer to the event.

Holy places: Ninilchik, 8.-10. September

In its second year, the electronic music festival will feature headlines from The Trees, Boogie T and Daily Bread. The festival also has an environmental focus and aims to limit bottom trawling. A variety of tickets are available, including VIP with special add-ons.

Did we miss your favorite Alaska fair or festival? Email the information to Chris Bieri, Entertainment and Sports Editor atcbieri@adn.com, we can add it to this list.

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