Alaska Vendors Association

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Current Events & Announcements

Latest: TVSF Annual Meeting | ASF Annual Meeting Recap


AVA Annual Meeting

The 2017 AVA Annual Meeting will be held at 1:00 p.m. on September 5, 2017 in the Beer Garden Tent.

The AVA Board of Directors is available to address any concerns and take suggestions at any time. Let them know what you think by filling out this online form. Don't be afraid to voice your issues—AVA is here for you.


Tanana Valley State Fair 2017 Annual Meeting

The 2017 Tanana Valley State Fair annual meeting will take place on April 28, 2017. If you'd like to vote at this meeting, you'll need to become a member of their association. You must join no less than 7 days prior to the meeting, so make sure you get your application in by April 6, 2017. Start your membership now.

Please get in touch with us for more information, or details on AVA's positions.


ASF Annual Meeting Recap

The ASF Annual Meeting was held on 2/11/16 at the Raven Hall on the fairgrounds.  

The president of the ASF board of directors, Carol Kenley, spoke about many of the positive aspects of the 2015 fair in regards to her families enjoyment of them.  A few of the items she touched on were - amazing gardening on the grounds, 4H participation, giant cabbage growing and native display.  She had glowing comments on those areas of the fair and more.  It was a good fair with attendance up. 

Candidates for the board gave their statements and voting was completed during the intermission in the evening agenda.  

The intermission included a sampling of 7 booth offerings of menu items in an attempt to be the next food booth offered an opportunity to vend at the fair.  No voting of the 7 booths was done, just free sampling of their items. 

After intermission, General Manager Jerome Hertel gave his comments on the last years fair, projects to be completed before next fair and preview of 2016 fair.  Some of the capital improvements mentioned - Gathering Place will get a new performance platform, many of the bathrooms on the grounds will be remodeled, better sound quality system to be installed at the Borealis concert area and the Grandstand will receive new bleachers and fencing.  The 2016 fair will be a "No Smoking" fair with areas outside of the fair entry gates for smoking.  The fair will celebrate it's 80th Anniversary with the theme "Bee Happy".  Golden Wheel Amusements will be celebrating their 50th year.  ASF won big at the IAFE (International Association of Fairs and Events) with 14 awards during the last convention.  Look for some favorite entertainment to return to the fair for 2016.  Around the grounds will be - BMX Stunt Show, Washboard Willy, Branch & Dean, Rodeo, Monster Truck Show, Alaska's Got Talent and many more.  The main headliners are going to be announced at a special Kick-off Concert Party on April 2, see the ASF website for full details.  

Ballot count announced with incumbents Steve Brown and John Tracy winning the vote.  

Member comments section - Discussion on varied views of the "Smoke Free Fair", moving the headliner concert line in another direction to stop blocking the trails, closure of the meat processing plant and it's effects on the 4H program and that legislative cuts fo not effect fair with the downturn of the Alaska economy - the fairs main budget funding comes from it's own receipts.  

Board comments section - many of the board members encouraged Jason Ortiz to run again next year with several board seats will be open.  This seemed a positive position from the board to accept him in the future.


Alaska State Fair ANNUAL MEETING & ELECTION 2016

ALERT! The Alaska State Fair Annual Meeting will be held February 11, 2016.

Watch your mail for your Alaska State Fair Annual Meeting Notice, with the vote-by-mail ballots enclosed.

PLEASE vote! Use your mail-in ballot, or attend the meeting and vote in-person.  

AVA will be sending an email with candidate endorsements and further voting suggestions, so check your inbox!

Your attention to the State Fair ballot is appreciated. Let's keep our AVA voice strong!


Alaska Airlines Gift Card Winner Announced

This year’s AVA Annual Meeting and membership drive came with a twist: a chance to win a $200 Alaska Airlines Gift Card. AVA is thrilled to announce the winner of that drawing: Alex Paroan, from Fair Hair booth at the Alaska State Fair. Thanks for supporting your AVA, Alex, and we’ll see you again next year.

Look for the gift card drawing to appear again next year at the 2016 Annual Meeting and membership drive during the fair season. Remember, you get two entries if you turn in your membership forms before the meeting. That’s two chances to win!

Join AVA! (PDF)



Annual Membership Meeting


Win a $200 Alaska Airlines Gift Card at the 2015 Annual Meeting

A drawing will be held at the AVA Annual Membership Meeting on September 8. A lucky recipient will receive a $200 Alaska Airlines Gift Card, just for returning the AVA membership application and fee! A representative from AVA will be visiting booths on Wednesday, September 2, with information about AVA membershp and the drawing. Return your application and fee to the representative, and you'll receive 2 tickets to enter the drawing. If you miss the representative, you'll still receive 2 tickets if you return your application and fee to AVA Treasurer Patricia Perry at The Original Gourmet Ice Cream Bars before the meeting. If you sign up at the meeting, you'll receive one ticket. (Members do not need to be present to win.)

The Annual Membership Meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 8 at the Oasis Beer Garden Tent at 1 p.m. Come find out what your AVA has been doing for you. Lunch will be served at the meeting.

AVA Annual Meeting Flyer (PDF)
AVA Membership Form (PDF)

Why you should renew your AVA Membership (What AVA does for you)


AVA Board Takes Care of Vendor Concerns at ASF

Do you have immediate concerns or suggestions regarding the state fair? Take them to T.J. Kelly, AVA Board President, at the Express Yourself Espresso Booth, across from the main office. T.J. has daily, immediate access to state fair staff and will bring your concerns to their attention.

The AVA Board of Directors will also address concerns and will take suggestions at the 2015 annual meeting on Tuesday, September 8. Let them know what you think by filling out the section on the flyer, or via this online form. Don't be afraid to voice your issues—AVA is here for you.


Why You Should Renew Your AVA Membership

Dear Past AVA Members,

On behalf of the Alaska Vendors Association, I would like to thank you for your past membership. Our impact and strength as an organization is only as strong as our membership. Without your support we would not able to move forward and make progress in accomplishing our mission: to improve business conditions and operations for vendors participating in fairs and events in the state of Alaska. Thank you for being part of this mission.

Your past membership has enabled us to accomplish and grow in invaluable ways – we hope you’ll join us to continue these efforts.

  • Our AVA members website has been redesigned and we are hoping this year to make it a more vital part of AVA communication to its membership. Watch for the quarterly board meeting notices and the minutes from past meetings – keep informed. Keep us informed of you needs through our website email.
  • AVA is currently represented in Fairbanks for the Tanana Valley State Fair with a board member living in the area. He is able to make the immediate contacts AVA requires for issues that current there. Several of our AVA board members are vendors at the TVSF and keep AVA looking into issues that AVA can address. Recently the sewer/waste water changes for TVSF mobile vendors were addressed and a solution found.
  • AVA is committed to open communication with the Alaska State Fair. One means of this is through liaison meetings with ASF staff as needed. If you did not attend the ASF Annual Meeting this past September, you'll be interested to know that Pam Meekin, Vendor Manager, and Ray Ritari, General Manager, spoke with our membership, giving important updates and some future fair directions. Some of this is covered in the article below.
  • AVA has a representative attending many of the ASF monthly board meetings, keeping the AVA board informed of the plans and directions of the ASF. This gives AVA board an opportunity to lobby our views to ASF board members on issues of concern.
  • Along with the above representation, AVA recently had a representative invited to attend the yearly Association of Alaska Fairs. This group is made up of all the major fairs in the state. Our representative was well received and respected for his comments and presence.
  • This last year we continued our commitment to communication with the ASF staff by maintaining our presences at the morning meetings each day of the ASF. Our representative is allowed into these meetings and is often able to take vendor issues directly to staff for fast solutions.
  • AVA has been invited to have a similar representative present at the same daily fair staff meetings for TVSF and the KPSF in the coming season. This request was extended during our representatives attendance at the Association of Alaska Fairs recent meeting.
  • AVA continues its support of 4H Youth Programs at both ASF and TVSF with donations. The AVA board has voted to increase that donation to $200.00 a year to each of the fairs programs.
  • AVA continues its directive of the AVA organization: to elect or appoint representatives to Fair or Event management and boards. To be successful in this direction, AVA needs its membership to maintain current membership in the Alaska State Fair Association and vote in person at the ASF Association Annual Meeting held each February.

We invite and encourage you to renew your membership today! We have new members this year but we need your support. Not only is our modest budget driven by our annual dues, but our organization needs your voice in the coming year to help us achieve these and other goals we have set forth for the AVA. AVA continues to grow—we hope you’ll grow with us!

TJ Kelly
AVA President


Alaska State Fair Rated among Top 5 in Nation

As vendors at the Alaska State Fair, most of us know that we have something very special. But it’s even more dynamite when it’s validated on a ratings scale at the national level! Alaska State Fair was recently rated the #2 state fair in the USA by Country Living Magazine, one of the 50 biggest magazines in America.

The rating was done by writer and retired school teacher Jim Kopel, who traveled over a decade to every state fair in America. He used a rating scale with more than 100 different criteria and took detailed notes on each fair's unique characteristics. The project was started in 1999 with the Iowa fair and was finished four years ago with a visit in Washington.

Alaska State Fair made the top five - Iowa #1, Alaska #2, New York #3, Minnesota #4 and Texas #5. Alaska was placed as #2, but the reviewer admitted to a bias: He grew up in the state of Iowa and had exhibited his swine on their fairgrounds in the 1950’s.

Alaska topped the chart for its jaw-dropping produce. The other fairs made the top for their noteworthy contributions as follows:

Iowa - Standout Food
New York - Top-notch Wine
Minnesota - Best educational exhibits
Texas - Biggest rides

Read the original artical at Country Living magazine.


Volunteer Positions Available

The AVA is currently looking for members interested in volunteering for the following position:

Membership and Nomination Committee

Please email, or use our contact form for more information.




Alaska State Fair
Tanana Valley State Fair
International Association of Fairs and Expositions
Made In Alaska
National Independent Concessionaires Association
Western Fairs Association