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Photos: Rain can't dampen spirits at the Alaska State Fair

A goat looks for attention on the opening day of the fair. The Alaska State Fair started today and runs through September 2. August 22, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Sherri Mulhaney works at Alaska Soda Jerk, which is in its second year at the fair. The Alaska State Fair started today and runs through September 2. August 22, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Even geese get in on the fun at the fair. The Alaska State Fair started today and runs through September 2. August 22, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Sherri Pfeil gives a henna tattoo to Lauren Kubla. Pheil has been a henna artist at the fair for 13 years. The Alaska State Fair started today and runs through September 2. August 22, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Lonely hula hoops lie unused in the rain at the fair. The Alaska State Fair started today and runs through September 2. August 22, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Paul Godwin, an umbrella hat salesman, whose sales pitch is "why be practical when you can be ridiculous?" The Alaska State Fair started today and runs through September 2. August 22, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
With rain in the forecast, expect to see lots of umbrella hats at the fair. The Alaska State Fair started today and runs through September 2. August 22, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Sarah Fleming and her daughter Brynn Fleming-Harris with freshly painted faces. The Alaska State Fair started today and runs through September 2. August 22, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
A BMX bike performer at the fair. The Alaska State Fair started today and runs through September 2. August 22, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Ava Cohen and her mom Susanna Philippoussis, visiting from New Jersey, get a hot chocolate from Kitty Mahoney at the Kaladi booth. The Alaska State Fair started today and runs through September 2. August 22, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Remy the rat gets yelled at by gamblers at the Elks Club Rat Race booth. The Alaska State Fair started today and runs through September 2. August 22, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Flying Bob's, one of the more kid-friendly rides at the fair. The Alaska State Fair started today and runs through September 2. August 22, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Balloons aplenty at the Alaska State Fair, which started today and runs through September 2. August 22, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Cavallo Equestrian Arts performes at the Alaska State Fair, which started today and runs through September 2. August 22, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Allan Kendall gets ready to dig into curly fries at the Alaska State Fair, which started today and runs through September 2. August 22, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
The Alaska State Fair started today and runs through September 2. August 22, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Loren Holmes

The Alaska State Fairgrounds are an hour’s drive north of Anchorage along the Glenn Highway, which every year is flooded with traffic coming from Alaska’s largest city. Thousands of Alaskans, from on and off the road system, make their way to Alaska's big summer festival in late August. 

There's much to do, but many fairgoers make the trip strictly for the food. Most favorites are returning -- such as Alaskan Elephant Ears, deep-fried batter smothered in powdered and cinnamon sugar, honey, berries or cream cheese; Cajun Cookin’s jammin’ jambalaya, fried jumbo and deep-fried pickles; or Phyllis’s Café bread bowls. Just remember the antacids.

When you finish stuffing yourself, there's a long list of events. One of the fair’s biggest draws is the music acts, and this year’s lineup ain’t too shabby.

MORE: Alaska State Fair 2013 gets underway