Mat-Su Valley Fairs & Festivals

Experience the vibrant and diverse fairs and festivals of Alaska’s Mat-Su Valley. Immerse yourself in the annual state fair, music festivals, carnivals, snowmobile races, and agricultural events that showcase local talent and traditions. Connect with the community through interactive workshops, savor delicious local cuisine, and enjoy fun activities.

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Fairs & Festivals

Glacier View View All

This big pull­out doesn’t look like much, but each spring bird watch­ers from around the world gath­er here to look for elu­sive species of rap­tors and fal­cons. Migrat­ing north for sum­mer, red tail hawks, sharp-shinned hawks, gyre fal­cons and oth­er birds of prey gath­er in large num­bers here, play­ing on the uplifts along the windy cliffs. In addi­tion to see­ing impres­sive num­bers of hawks and rare species, bird­ers are drawn by the good light, with…  ...more

If you’re look­ing for a tra­di­tion­al 4th of July, you’ll get that and more in Glac­i­er View. Vis­it this small town with superb views where you can take part in a com­mu­ni­ty get-togeth­er that fea­tures a fly­over of King­dom Air Corps planes, a parade, com­mu­ni­ty bbq (bring your own meat to grill on pro­vid­ed grills), fire­works, and the launch­ing of a vehi­cle off a 300 foot cliff.

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Palmer / Wasilla View All

Season: Aug 18 to Sep 04

For over 75 years, the Alas­ka State Fair has been a gath­er­ing place for all Alaskans, and a last hur­rah” before sum­mer gives way to the long Alas­ka winter.What start­ed as a cel­e­bra­tion for the Mat-Su colonists in 1936 has grown into the state’s largest annu­al event. Each year, hun­dreds of thou­sands of fair­go­ers enjoyed night­ly con­certs fea­tur­ing head­line enter­tain­ers in the AT&T Con­cert Series, car­ni­val rides and games, hun­dreds of…  ...more

Held the sec­ond week­end in June, the town of Palmer com­mem­o­rates the area’s orig­i­nal farm­ers, and Palmer’s colony history.

One week after the town of Wil­low hosts the Idi­tar­od Sled Dog Restart, locals take advan­tage of the groomed trail by play­ing golf on it! Start­ed by the Cham­ber of Com­merce, this icy links tour­na­ment draws some 100 foul-weath­er golfers for a 9‑hole tour­ney. Accord­ing to par­tic­i­pants, the ball bounces on groomed snow just like on real grass. There’s a lim­it of two clubs per per­son, but teams can share their clubs (a put­ter and sev­en iron are…  ...more

In mid-Feb­ru­ary, the Mat-Su Val­ley hosts the begin­ning of the longest and tough­est snow­mo­bile race event in the world: the Iron Dog. In its 30th year in 2013, the race fea­tures teams of two snow­mo­bile rac­ers rid­ing from Wasil­la to Nome to Fair­banks, cov­er­ing more than 2,000 miles of rugged Alaskan ter­rain. Sea ice cross­ings, the frozen Yukon Riv­er, and treach­er­ous pass­es await these rugged snow­mo­bil­ers, who don’t slow down for any­thing; some of  ...more

Come see the thrill of human inge­nu­ity sur­round­ed by the majesty of Moth­er Nature. At this drag rac­ing track in Palmer — the only Inter­na­tion­al Hot Rod Asso­ci­a­tion track in Alas­ka, and the only NASCAR sanc­tioned oval track in the state, you can have a relax­ing but thrilling day of enter­tain­ment, with races every week­end all sum­mer long. Plus, it’s def­i­nite­ly a must-stop for any hot rod lover or rac­ing fan: this is arguably the most picturesque…  ...more

The Musk Ox Farm has host­ed the Run­ning with the Bulls” trail race in August since 2002. Don’t miss out on this unique­ly Alaskan one-of-a-kind race!

Mush­ing in Alas­ka is often a fam­i­ly activ­i­ty, with entire house­holds devot­ed to the feed­ing, train­ing, and care of dog ken­nels that can house more than 100 canines! Teenagers from these fam­i­lies, plus oth­er teens who have stum­bled into the world of mush­ing, com­pete in a 160-mile race the week­end pri­or to the start of the Idi­tar­od. It’s a small field, usu­al­ly under 15 peo­ple, and the race takes under 24 hours. You can catch the start of the…  ...more

Every Fri­day from late May through August, vis­it the pop­u­lar open-air mar­ket in down­town Palmer. Start­ed in 2002, this sum­mer-long fes­ti­val cel­e­brates down­town Palmer and the peo­ple and busi­ness­es that make the town great.

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Willow View All

Local bands, live paint­ings, cir­cus per­for­mances, local art ven­dors, and a pos­i­tive atmos­phere. Bring an instru­ment and join in the open jam ses­sions! Bring jug­gling equip­ment, fire spin­ning equip­ment, hoops, etc, and join in the live per­for­mance art.

This annu­al win­ter fes­ti­val, in exis­tence for more than 50 years, is held on back-to-back week­ends at the end of Jan­u­ary and begin­ning of Feb­ru­ary. With the state’s biggest win­ter fire­works dis­play, $1,000 bin­go cash pots, sled dog races, tal­ent con­tests, foot races and fat-tire bike races, the fes­ti­val is a region­al draw and a fun place for trav­el­ers to see Alaskans cut loose.The car­ni­val kicks off with a din­ner at the com­mu­ni­ty cen­ter, where…  ...more

The Offi­cial Race Start begins in the town of Wil­low on the first Sun­day in March. Come see the mush­ers head out on The Last Great Race” and get a feel for a small-town Alaskan win­ter. The race begins at 2 p.m., with mush­ers leav­ing the gate every two min­utes. Sev­er­al thou­sand fans show up to cheer on the 60 to 70 dog teams; ven­dors sell­ing food and sou­venirs set up at the Wil­low Com­mu­ni­ty Cen­ter. There’s usu­al­ly a shut­tle from Wasil­la, and…  ...more

Mush­ing in Alas­ka is often a fam­i­ly activ­i­ty, with entire house­holds devot­ed to the feed­ing, train­ing, and care of dog ken­nels that can house more than 100 canines! Teenagers from these fam­i­lies, plus oth­er teens who have stum­bled into the world of mush­ing, com­pete in a 160-mile race the week­end pri­or to the start of the Idi­tar­od. It’s a small field, usu­al­ly under 15 peo­ple, and the race takes under 24 hours. You can catch the start of the…  ...more

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Talkeetna View All

Bike & ski races, music festivals • Year-round events

March is the month to get out­side. The days are longer and the weath­er is start­ing to warm, but win­ter still has its icy grip. To avoid going stir crazy or for some good, clean Alaskan win­ter fun, head north to Trap­per Creek for the Cab­in Fever Reliev­er. Held the sec­ond Sat­ur­day in March in this pic­turesque small town (there are great views of Denali), the cel­e­bra­tion includes a pan­cake break­fast, a raf­fle, cross-coun­try ski races, games,  ...more

Tal­keet­na cel­e­brates the dark month of Decem­ber with its annu­al Tal­keet­na Win­ter­fest. This pop­u­lar fes­ti­val attracts folks from Anchor­age and Fair­banks with its famed Bach­e­lor Soci­ety Ball and Auc­tion. Come watch the bid­ding as Tal­keet­na Bach­e­lors fetch as much as $1,000 for a drink and dance at the ball. The auc­tion and ball, held the first Sat­ur­day of the month, are the high­lights. But don’t miss the Parade of Lights, held on the festival’s…  ...more

The Tal­keet­na Trio is made up of two dis­tances of 20 and 60 miles, FAT BIKES only. Beau­ti­ful rolling ter­rain with nar­row trails, with some riv­er run­ning and each lap takes you through down­town Tal­keet­na. Start­ing point is at the Denali Brew­ing Company.

If you love blue­grass and camp­ing in the Alaskan wilder­ness, this is the fes­ti­val for you. Bands play for 20 hours each day, and there are ven­dors sell­ing hand­made craft items and food of all kinds. The fes­ti­val is also focused around camp­ing, and the whole fam­i­ly is encour­aged to par­tic­i­pate: there’s even a des­ig­nat­ed fam­i­ly camp­ing area.

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