Palmer Buzz

Everywhere you look in Palmer, there are clean cars. There are clean trucks too. Never have we seen so many shiny vehicles. This isn’t because of rain. This is because of a new Car Wash in town, which is offering free car washes for a short while. With all these freshly washed vehicles, the glare from the sun is so intense we all have to wear shades—all the time. Of course some of the older vehicles are now also showing more afflictions, because the accumulated dirt had kinda successfully kept the wounds private. Now the rusting, scratches and other doinks are fairly obvious. It’s an exciting world with clean cars and trucks. And soon there will be clean dogs too. This is the Three Bears Convenience Store/Gas Station/ at the corner of Arctic and the Glenn Highway. Traffic is snarly there but a clean car may be worth it.

Purebred Poultry—Sunday was the day that the Last Frontier Poultry Association had their Inaugural American Poultry Association Show in Palmer at the fairgrounds. This was more than just a bunch of chickens. It was a well-organized event designed to promote standard breeds, conserve rare and heritage breeds, and promote responsible poultry husbandry in the North. The experienced Judge examined each of the 42 birds individually and explained the good and bad characteristics of each. Who knew that a bird could have seven toes? Who knew that the sex feathers were distinctive? Who knew that GMO supplements could affect fertility? Who knew that juices were excellent nutrition for cocks, hens, pullets and cockerels? This show is an example of one of hundreds of attractions at the Alaska State Fair. If you let yourself be curious, if you let yourself be open, and you let yourself wander—you will find out all sorts of things you never knew you would be interested in learning.

Fair Updates—There are some really nice new features at the 83rd Alaska State Fair, this year:

More inside

First of all are the picnic tables and seating options lined up in the middle of the wider trails. This is a great add and allow for continual rest spots in the surge of walking. It allows folks to linger in a certain spot and “get out of the mainstream” quickly.

Another great add is the new Rasmuson Pavillion, near the circle roundabout at Pioneer Plaza. This is a perfect shelter, next to the hula-hoops, next to the garden, and next to the saxophone player. It is beautifully built and in a great convenient location.

Over three thousand exhibits are new this year. This includes all the epic entries everybody brings to the fair to share. These exhibits are how we get through winter and these exhibits are what makes our fair, our own. It is especially interesting that there was a huge increase in “first time entries,” this year. This means that many brand, new people are entering something, for the very first time.

Puddles in Palmer—Because of the drought, there have been no puddles in Palmer, until last week…for a very short time. On Friday, we finally saw some rain, in some parts of town. And puddles happened. Normally Palmer puddles are fairly predictable and not a cause for great excitement. Unless you are a toddler. And unless you haven’t seen one since you learned to walk. Over at the state fair grounds, a little toddler spied a puddle on Saturday morning—and headed directly for it. The child’s adults at first tried to stop him. But then they realized the child hadn’t seen a PUDDLE all summer! So yes, the Alaska State Fair had yet ANOTHER new attraction……a puddle! Once again the Alaska State Fair comes through!

This is Labor Day Weekend—And in P town, the only thing happening is the Fair. Of course there are mountains to climb, berries to pick, hikes and bikes and garden harvests. But the Fair is King. Immerse yourself in it. We will all get back to normal after the Fair is over. In the meanwhile, enjoy and participate in this once-a-year celebration.

Barbara Hunt is both Palmer writer and artist. She works hard to keep the robust pulse of Palmer, Alaska. She shares the good stuff and occasional reviews on the weekly Palmer Alaska Buzz in the Mat Su Valley Frontiersman and daily on the Palmer Alaska Buzz Facebook Group. Contact at

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