Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966


Makeover at state fairgrounds


The east side of the state fairgrounds is getting a makeover.

A recently built pavilion will give the Southeast Alaska State Fair a new, family-friendly acoustic venue, and the Kids’ Stage is being razed and rebuilt, said executive director Jessica Edwards.

The pavilion, measuring 20 by 40 feet, is part of a project that will also create a trail and grassy lawn, with a stage for acoustic performances and year-round community activities.

Located by the pedestrian gate, the pavilion will transform an area of the property that wasn’t being used, Edwards said. Potential uses include weddings, parties and picnics, Edwards said.

The idea for the project came from former fair executive director Ross Silkman, who was looking for a spot for an acoustic stage and wanted to rehabilitate and beautify the northeast corner of the fairgrounds, Edwards said.

The pavilion was built by Henry Construction and designed by former board member Bob Musseman.

The fair’s traditional singer/songwriter and fiddling contests will be held under the new structure, Edwards said.

With $2,500 donated by the Chilkat Valley Community Foundation and $23,000 from the Rasmuson Foundation, the fair will add a grassy lawn facing the stage, and a trailhead in the parking lot leading to a planned perimeter trail.

Edwards expects the cost of the entire project to come to $38,122. The cost includes site preparation, trails, lawn, pavilion, concrete pad and electrical work, as well as fencing.

The lawn and trailhead will be put in after the fair.

Separate from the pavilion project, workers this week removed the walls and roof of the Kids’ Stage building, which had become unsound. The deck will be covered with a tent for this year’s fair. Plans are to replace the entire structure, Edwards said.

The fair will be held July 25-28. The deadline for submitting non-perishable exhibits is July 20. Call the fair office, 766-2476, for more information.