Annual Forest Fair Kicks Off
Organizers say they've struck a balance between family friendly entertainment and a party atmosphere
GIRDWOOD - The Girdwood Forest Fair kicked off Friday with the sound of homegrown bands and the smell of barbecue wafting through the air.
Organizers say they’re expecting 5,000 visitors every day to wonder along the often-muddy paths and visit Alaskan artists and food vendors.
If they aren’t eating or buying hand-made crafts, visitors might be found in the tightly controlled beer garden enjoying an Alaskan brew.
"I remember when it was a community festival, when we rolled a keg of beer into the creek and lit a camp fire and played guitars and drank beer all night," said Chief William Chadwick of the Girdwood Fire Department.
That was 37 years ago.
Today, the festival has evolved and grown, to a point where much stricter regulations are needed.
"We had a really bad year in 2007 we really lost control of the situation so we cancelled it in 2008," said Chadwick.
In 2009, organizers pushed the restart button and installed tighter rules for camping and drinking.
"It’s never done, it's constantly a work in progress, but I think for the passed couple of years we've had a really good vibe,” said the head of the organizing committee, Gus O’Malley.
Organizers say they've struck a balance between family friendly entertainment and a party atmosphere.
The fair continues Saturday, July 7 from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. with a parade at 10:00 a.m. And Sunday, July 8 from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.