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History of the Fair

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The Tanana Valley State Fair was founded July 7, 1924 and is the oldest fair in the state of Alaska. The incorporation of the Tanana Valley State Fair Association as a nonprofit organization was restated in 1993.

The first Tanana Valley Fair was held September 11-13, 1924, downtown at the Auditorium in the Moose Hall on First Avenue. Through 1950, the Fair was held in several locations in downtown Fairbanks, most notably at the Masonic Temple and Fairbanks High School.

In 1952 that all changed. On March 22, 1952, a group of people interested in reviving the Fair met and were unified in one thought, there would be a fair, bigger and better than ever. In April approximately one hundred people met and elected a Board of Directors. In June, the board secured forty acres of land from the University of Alaska on a ten year lease, located on College Road.

With the help of many organizations and companies in the Fairbanks area, the land was cleared, two wells were dug, picnic tables were donated, large pavilions and a permanent concession booth and band stand were built, tents were loaned for exhibit displays. Even though carpenters and electricians were still hard at work the morning of August 21, the gates opened to the public at 7pm that evening. Now the Fair had a permanent home!

Currently the Fairgrounds encompasses 100 acres, the length of the Fair has increased from 3 to 10 days, and the 100th anniversary is right around the corner in 2024!
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