Southeast Fair organizers hope to secure funding for a weekly concert series at the Klondike Stage at Dalton City. (Lex Treinen/Chilkat Valley News)

Organizers at the Southeast Alaska State Fair are hoping to bring residents to Dalton City each Thursday through a free, weekly live music series beginning in May.

Fair director Amanda Randles said organizers have already been in talks with several bands, and have even booked a big name in the Alaska music scene to play on June 20: Blackwater Railroad Company. 

But the fair is still hoping to raise some $10,000 in funds to be able to pay musicians — both local and from Outside — to perform at the Klondike Stage with picnic benches oriented towards the main street. 

“This is a ‘probably-going-to-happen,’ but it’s not a sure thing yet,” said Randles about the series, tentatively called Dalton City Limits.

The concerts would be two hours long with a family friendly atmosphere and wide-ranging music styles. Organizers picked Thursday for the concerts because fewer cruise ships are scheduled to be in town and that could encourage more locals to attend. It’s still not clear whether alcohol would be served, but Randles said attendees could bring their own. 

Randles said the series also fits in with the fair’s longer term goals of developing stronger connections with musicians around the region, and boosting the public-facing businesses of Dalton City. The buildings at the site — which was originally constructed for the set of the 1991 film White Fang — host a handful of businesses that are open seasonally like the Vintage Rose and the Magpie Gallery. The fair acts as a business-incubator site by charging relatively cheap rents to those businesses.

“A rising tide floats all boats,” Randles said. “Which means business is better for everyone.”

Nick Schlosstein and his partner, Leah Wagner, recently rented one of the storefronts which they hope to open as a cafe sometime in May. Schlosstein, who is also a member of the fair’s board of directors, said he hopes to open the cafe doors for the concert series, even though he’s still not sure what will be on the menu yet. 

“I hope this is a step towards having more people at Dalton City year-round,” he said. 

If organizers secure the funding, concerts would run 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.