Holiday Spirit, Community Support at 2010 Ball

Hundreds of holiday revelers gathered at the Alaska State Fair for our annual Holiday Ball, held in the beautifully transformed Raven Hall on December 10. In addition to enjoying hors d’oeuvres, dessert, no host bar, live music and dancing, attendees also supported the Mat-Su Special Santa Program by bringing a toy, making a cash donation, or by purchasing a raffle ticket or bidding on a tree in the Festival of Trees.

The Holiday Ball wasn’t the only event held at the Fair this season – four other organizations held holiday gatherings at the festive fairgrounds, drawing well over 1,000 guests total! Interested in hosting your next event at the Fair? Contact us at 907-745-4827 or!

We held our annual Holiday Ball on December 10 at the fairgrounds.

Raven Hall was transformed into a winter wonderland for this special event.

More than 300 guests joined us to celebrate the season.

This year, through the Festival of Trees, our ball also supported 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. The program expects to assist 3,100 kids this year.

Holiday Ball guests supported the Festival of Trees and the Mat-Su Special Santa Program by purchasing raffle tickets for the chance to win one of the beautifully decorated trees. Guests could also bid in the live auction for the "Gift Certificate Tree," which was decorated with a variety of gift certificates from local businesses.

Fair board member John Tracy led the live auction for the Gift Certificate Tree, which was purchased by Anchorage resident Joe Shaw for $475. The other four trees featured in the Festival of Trees were taken home by the winners in the raffle drawing. Renee Johnson of Palmer won the Carpet World tree; Wyatt Brandt of Wasilla won the State Fair tree; Giselle Neiser won the Half Moon Creek Gallery tree; and Lori of Wasilla won the Vagabond Blues tree.

John Tracy & the Chill Factor Band provided the evening entertainment, and many Holiday Ball guests headed out onto the dance floor.

Holiday Ball guests enjoying the music and ambiance of the event.

Having a ball at the Holiday Ball!

Whether young or young at heart, everyone had a good time at the ball. See you next year!

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Trashy Fun at the Fair

Who knew having fun at the Alaska State Fair could create so much trash? Each year, tons and tons of garbage is created by fairgoers, vendors and Fair staff. But each year, through the Fair’s recycling program, tons of that trash is collected and recycled, minimizing the amount that goes to the landfill and maximizing environmental benefits!

The recycling program, which is sponsored by BP, is a partnership between the Fair and Valley Community for Recycling Solutions (VCRS). At the 2010 Fair, volunteers collected 37,176 pounds – or 18.58 tons – of recyclable material, including plastic, glass, mixed paper, aluminum, cardboard, plastic film and steel cans.

The recycling effort is led by husband and wife team David Pelto and Judith Anderegg, who have been involved in the Fair program for the past seven years. Looking back over their seven-year involvement, David says the biggest change he’s seen is the growth in positive support from fairgoers.

“The rolled-up diaper dumped into a recycling barrel is now a rarity and has been replaced with perhaps a 30 to 40 percent increase in the volume of plastic and aluminum that is placed correctly into our receptacles,” he says.

David says Fair vendors have also gotten on board – virtually all vendors now participate in the recycling program, and many reuse their packaging, eliminating the need for recycling or disposal completely.

“As a result, clean-up the four days after the Fair has become easier and much less daunting,” David says.

Much of the recycling program’s success hinges on dedicated volunteers. In 2010, more than 220 volunteers pitched in over the course of the Fair, with eight to 12 people helping out during each shift. David gave a special call-out to the Colony High School ROTC members, who spent their weekends and Labor Day volunteering at the Fair.

Looking to the future, the Fair will continue its close partnership with VCRS, and will be seeking even more ways to make the Fair earth-friendly. David says they’re also looking forward to using VCRS’ new recycling facility next summer, which will help the Fair recycling program be even more efficient.

Trash isn’t the only thing that’s recycled at the Fair. At the end of the 2010 Fair, we also donated the leftover giant vegetables to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, where the animals enjoyed a smorgasbord of giant cabbages, zucchinis, turnips, radishes and gourds. Read more about this new partnership on the KTUU Web site.

Have an idea how the Fair can become even more “earth-friendly”? Comment here or share your thoughts on our Facebook page.

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Love the Fair? Become a Member!

Love the Alaska State Fair? Want to get more involved? Become a Fair member! Join now – the deadline for 2010 Fair membership is 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 15, 2010. This is also the deadline to submit application materials for the Fair board of directors; read more about this in our previous blog post.

There are lots of benefits of Fair membership. Our annual members receive:

  • Early ticketing opportunities for entertainment at the 2011 Fair
  • Voting privileges at the 2010 annual membership meeting, scheduled for February 10, 2011
  • Invitation for two to the Director’s Reception held during the 2011 Fair

And if you sign up as a lifetime member, you’ll receive:

  • A lifetime membership pin
  • Early ticketing opportunities for entertainment at the Fair
  • Voting privileges at all annual membership meetings
  • A 10 percent discount on selected official Fair souvenirs
  • Invitation for two to the Director’s Reception held during the 2011 Fair

Who can become a Fair member? Members must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be an Alaska resident
  • Complete a membership application and submit fee by 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 15, 2010

How much does it cost? Annual memberships are $25 per year, and a lifetime membership is just $250.

Want to join? Simply fill out the online membership form or download and complete the membership form.

Already a member? Tell us the best thing about being a member of the Fair! Comment here or share your thoughts on our Facebook page.

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