The Tanana Valley State Fair: part 1

V.4 : August 2nd to 14th

Fairbanks, Alaska

audio track: "A Gypsy Tune" : trad; adpt. & arr., Folksinger

I arrived in Fairbanks with a day to prepare for the fair. It had been mostly rainy since I got to Alaska, a very wet summer; so it was good to climb out of the coastal zone and into the interior and some welcome sun. But the Fair has a reputation, and sure enough, the first day of the fair the clouds moved in, and five minutes before openning time, the rain began to fall. But I was glad to be back. For a large fair, Tanana Valley is the best I've been at. They are on a par with hot cocoa and cookies, in terms of consideration and thoughtfulness, making it a real community event with an at home feel. I felt welcome, and it was good to see so many people who remembered me, and many friends I'd made on my last trips. The Fair is a community, of crafters and performers, artists and artisans, food vendors, venders, the carnival and the headliners and everyone coming to the fair. In the 9 days of the fair, I did an hour on stage every other day, and otherwise, set up in a pavillion to play all day. It was a bit slow, due to the almost non-stop rain, but I was in a pretty dry, semi-protected place. I circulated the Captain's log and photo-album from the trip with "Further" (see the ARCHIVE) among my friends in the booths. I watched the horses warming up in the mornings and the many cranes arriving from the North Slope; and even a few geese; allready drifting south. I got the video set up, but still am a bit inhibited at using it; or afraid it will distract from the show to be filming it. Still, that is what I got it for, in hopes of capturing even a few of the great scenes that happen. The fair gets into gear and so do I, and the show begins!