April 26, 2012 | Vol.42 No. 17

Fair 'fling' benefits member drive

The annual Spring Fling community barbecue and dance 5:30 p.m. Friday, April 27, will feature local performers Julia Scott and the Perpetual Beer Run at the fairgrounds’ Harriett Hall.

“I think we have great musicians in town, and it’s really lovely to be able to have a community party where we feature those local musicians, especially people who are up and coming,” said Jessica Edwards, assistant director of the Southeast Alaska State Fair.

Lead vocalist Scott said the group formed in March and includes residents Liam Cassidy, Bryan Harmon, Jim Lampkins and “some special guests” on instruments like bass, guitar, mandolin, trombone and ukulele.

“We are absolutely stoked to do the Spring Fling,” Scott said.

Admission is $5 for fair members and $10 for non-members, covers the meal and music, and tickets are available at the door. The concert will be on the Harriett Hall lawn, weather permitting, or will stay indoors.

Edwards said the Spring Fling is part of the organization’s annual membership drive and kicks off a season of events such as the Great Alaska Craft Beer and Homebrew Festival, fishermen’s barbecue and the July 26-29 fair. Memberships are $25 for individuals, $50 for families, and $100 for businesses and can be purchased at www.seakfair.org.

“Membership is a financial boost in terms of our facility, keeping the property open to the public, and making sure we can continue doing community use with our property,” Edwards said. “Also, membership is something that helps us get funding from donors.”

She said memberships show community support and help the fair earn corporate and foundation sponsorships and grants. Edwards noted the fair received a $122,000 legislative grant last year that paid for fixtures, furnishings and equipment.

“There are more upgrades to Harriett Hall above last year, particularly acoustic treatments; we put about 250 acoustic panels in the hall,” she said. “If people remember last year, it was like an echo chamber in the hall.”

The fair in 2011 raffled off a Subaru Forester after selling 350 tickets at $100 each. This year’s 50-50 raffle will have a cash prize of up to $20,000, Edwards said, because the goal is to sell 400 tickets. The minimum payout for the winner is $5,000.