Kids goods

Forest Fair in Girdwood returns after a two-year break

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) – The holiday weekend means fun events across the state, including the return of the Girdwood Forest Fair. After a two-year absence due to COVID-19, the annual fair is back with a focus on Alaskan art, crafts and a community gathering.

The Forest Fair is an all-volunteer run family fair that has become a beloved annual affair in the seaside town of Girdwood. The annual event features vendors and stalls, exotic food, live music and good company. This annual celebration also prides itself on being an eco-friendly event for the benefit of the people. Like the craft booths, the focus is on original Alaskan works and brings various musical styles to the stage for everyone to enjoy.

In its 47th year, the fair boasted 225 all-Alaska vendors, but that wasn’t always the case. Forest Fair board member Terri Adkins said it started with very humble beginnings.

“The event was originally started by a few artists looking for a way to sell their artwork and originally started in the main part of the park here and has now expanded to the ballpark over time,” Adkin said. “We are very happy to have all these serving arts here and all the food we have is eclectic style food vendors.”

The Forest Fair focuses on the mission statement of not being overrun by greed and free from moral conflicts created by dogs, politics or religious beliefs. With such an open philosophy, artists of all ages are welcome to settle. All booths are free for children 12 and under and although booths for children are limited, event organizers do their best to set them up anywhere in the park. Cedar Ruckel is one of those young vendors who learns the trade by selling rhubarb lemonade straight from his garden.

“It’s the first time we’ve had a teen booth next to the kids booth and we used to do the foam swords and now we’re onto different things,” Ruckel said.

The event draws large crowds, so parking is difficult. Glacier Valley Transit offers a free shuttle directly from the Day Lodge to the Forest Fairgrounds in addition to their regular route.

The event is scheduled to run through Sunday and includes a parade on July 2 at 10 a.m.

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