The 2020 Southeast Alaska State Fair has been canceled due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
“It goes without saying that this was a difficult decision. As an international fair, we feel it is our responsibility to aid in protecting the health and safety of our small community of Haines as well as the communities everyone returns to once the Fair is over,” the board announced on May 1.
“For us and many across Southeast Alaska and the Yukon, the Fair is something to look forward to at the end of the summer, a moment of congregation and fun separate from the rest of the year. 2020 has instead united us with the common goal of preserving the health and safety of loved ones and strangers alike. We find great beauty and community in this act of sacrifice,” the group said. “We, the staff and board of directors, are heartbroken with this decision but know it is the right call to make. While we cannot join together in 2020 under Paysons Pavilion, dancing in the fading light from the west on a warm July night in Haines, we are committed to be there for you in 2021. “
The first Southeast Alaska State Fair was held in August of 1969 at the Haines American Legion. It was called the “Chilkat Valley Fair” and abut 600 people attended the event organized by the Chilkat Valley Homemaker’s Club. This year’s fair would have been July 30-Aug. 2.