The annual Alaska State Fair always touts it famed giant vegetables and the overwhelming selection of carnival rides. And where else can you get a better funnel cake than the fair? This year, though, the fair is adding a new “flair” – medieval jousting in full-on metal and body-to-body clashing contact.
Full-contact jousting is billed as the most extreme equestrian sport in the world. Shane Adams, of “Full Metal Jousting” on the History Channel, is the featured guest. Other Knights of Valour will break lances daily in this show, which takes place in the France Equestrian Center on the fairgrounds in Palmer.
Fair organizers say the show is not scripted – so if you see a little bloodshed, it will be real, although let’s hope that won’t happen. Tickets are $10 for adults, and $5 for children and seniors, and take place just about daily. Be sure to check it out between those rides and binges at the food booths.
Another much-anticipated event at this year’s fair is the announcement that Flo Rida would be performing at the Fair, at 6 p.m. Aug. 31. The Florida-born rapper is the final performer to join the 2014 AT&T Concert Series. His hits “Good Feeling,” “Right Round,” “Wild Ones,” “I Cry” and hit No. 1 “Whistle” will be part of the lineup. Lawn tickets are $40 and reserved seating is $75.
For those who like the traditional aspects of the Fair, do not fret – the giant vegetables and 4-H shows are still on. They are the backbone of the annual event, which continues to preserve the Mat-Su Valley’s past while embellishing it with new favorites – rappers and jousters among them – of the present.
After all, the Fair’s beginnings date to 1936, after the first colonists to the area spent an entire summer clearing land for settlements. In an effort to celebrate their achievement, they created the Matanuska Valley Fair Association and the first celebration was on. This year marks the 78th celebration of that first event.
Alaska State Fair info
The Alaska State Fair runs Aug. 21-Sept. 1, and features live music, daily programs and this year, a heavy-metal jousting tournament, among many other highlights. For a full list of events, go to Alaskastatefair.org. Here are some of the highlights.
Full Contact Heavy Metal Jousting: 6 p.m., daily
Flo Rida: 6 p.m., Aug. 31
KC & the Sunshine Band: 7 p.m., Aug. 21
The Stars of Duck Dynasty: 7 p.m., Aug. 30
Pentatonix: 3 p.m., Sept. 1
Tickets range from $20 for general seating to $75 for reserved, and are in addition to Fair entry.
Jousting tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youth and seniors. Weekday Fair entry is $11 for tickets purchased before Aug. 20, $7 for youth (ages 6-12) and seniors. Tickets on Fridays through Sundays are $13 and $8, respectively.
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