Have a Ball at the Fair this Holiday

Even though the 2010 Alaska State Fair is over, you can still have a ball at the fairgrounds – at the 2010 Holiday Ball! The annual gala takes place Friday, December 10 from 8 p.m. – 12 a.m. at Raven Hall. Tickets are $30 each or $200 for a table of eight.

This year’s event, built around the theme “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” will surely get you in the holiday spirit, with hors d’oeuvres, dessert and no host bar, and live music and dancing to John Tracy & the Chill Factor Band!

The semi-formal ball will also feature the Festival of Trees, a benefit for the Mat-Su Special Santa Program, which grants Christmas wishes for children in need. Last year, the program provided toys, winter wear, toiletries, bedding and other much-needed items to more than 3,000 children.

What’s the Festival of Trees? Five beautifully decorated trees will be on display at the Holiday Ball, including:

  • The “Night Before Christmas Holiday Ball Tree” – purchase a ticket for your chance to win this beautiful tree in a drawing held the night of the Holiday Ball! Tickets are just $5 each.
  • The “Gift Certificate Tree” – bid on this tree, decorated with a variety of gift certificates from local businesses, in a live auction at the Holiday Ball.

Holiday Ball guests are also invited to bring a new, unwrapped toy (no stuffed animals please) or make a cash donation to support the Mat-Su Special Santa Program.

Ready to have a ball? Get your tickets to the 2010 Holiday Ball now by stopping by the Fair office, visiting the Fair Web site or calling 907.745.4827!

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Brewer Selected for 2011 Official Fair Beer

It’s official – Denali Brewing Company will brew the official beer for the 2011 Alaska State Fair! The brewer was selected by 2010 Mighty Matanuska Brewfest attendees, who voted on their favorite beer at the event, held October 15 and 16 at Raven Hall here on the fairgrounds.

Denali Brewing Company’s Purple Haze brew took top honors, earning the brewery the opportunity to brew our 2011 official beer. We’ll be working with them over the next several months on the official beer – stay tuned for details.

The 1,000 folks who attended this year’s brewfest chose Denali Brewing Company’s beer from among more than 50 different beers featured at the event. (Our guess is that it’s the 10 pounds of wild blueberries that are brewed into every barrel that makes it so tasty!)

We’re excited to feature the work of Denali Brewing Company – one of Alaska’s newest breweries – at the 2011 Fair. Located in Talkeetna, the brewery celebrated its first anniversary this summer, after serving its first beer in July 2009.

This is the second year we’ve had an official Fair beer. The 2010 official beer was the Cream of the Coop from Kassik’s Kenai Brew Stop. (Read more about it in our previous blog post.) The inaugural year was such a hit, we decided to continue again at the 2011 Fair.

Did you get a chance to sample the 2010 official Fair beer? What did you think? Comment here or share your thoughts on our Facebook page.

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Blood Bank Honors Fair with Award

During the past 10 years, thousands of fairgoers have given the gift of life by registering to give blood at the Alaska State Fair. Since the Blood Bank of Alaska began coming to the Fair in 2000, a total of 5,696 people have registered at the Fair to be blood donors.

The Blood Bank of Alaska commemorated this milestone by presenting us – and our vendor and exhibits manager Pamella Meekin – with the Outstanding Community Support Award during the 3rd annual Gift of Life Awards ceremony on October 22 at the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage.

“As the Fair coordinator, it has been a pleasure working with the Blood Bank for the past 10 years,” Pamella says. “I am proud to be part of ‘Outstanding Community Support’ and look forward to many years of continued partnership.”

The Blood Bank is one of 66 nonprofit organizations that came to the 2010 Fair to educate fairgoers, fundraise or encourage participation on a variety of important issues in Alaska.

Are you one of the thousands of fairgoers who gave the “gift of life” at the Fair? We want to hear your story about why you chose to give blood. Comment here or share your thoughts on our Facebook page.

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