Palmer is a small farm town that hosts a variety of events throughout the year. From holiday parades to farmers markets, this picturesque destination has something for everyone! Spend an afternoon with a loved one at the Palmer Wine Walk, or bring your family to the Alaska State Fair. Whatever you choose, we promise these Palmer, Alaska events will leave you with lasting memories. Here are a few of our favorites.
Learn more about the best Palmer, Alaska events when you download our free Vacation Guide! It’s full of recommendations for fun things to do during your stay with us. Not only will you find information on nearby events, but you will also discover the best restaurants, attractions, and activities. You may even find yourself extending your stay just to experience it all!
- Top 6 Palmer, Alaska Events
- Additional Annual Events in the Mat-Su Valley
- Plan Your Getaway with Alaska Garden Gate B&B and Cottages
Top 6 Palmer, Alaska Events
1. Colony Days
Among the list of Palmer, Alaska, upcoming events is Colony Days. Each June, the town celebrates its historical roots with a weekend-long festival for guests of all ages.
Palmer was founded in 1935 when more than 200 families relocated to Alaska as part of the New Deal. They were given land, barns, and the money needed to establish a farming community. Today, residents commemorate this founding with a parade, farmer’s markets, open houses, as well as a 5K run, and visitors are welcome to join in the excitement. Be sure to also check out Pat Garley’s metal sculpture, “Colony Rig”, unveiled in 2018 to celebrate those who made our community what it is today.
2. Midsummer Garden & Art Faire
Alaska is especially famous for its fresh air and spectacular landscapes. If you want to spend time outdoors, check out the Garden and Art Faire in July. It’s hosted by the Palmer Museum and features live music, workshops, garden tours, and more. Marvel at the natural beauty of the Alaskan landscape while appreciating the creativity of local residents and their culture. View the museum’s website for visitor information on the events and exhibits.
3. Palmer Wine Walk
Wine lovers, mark your calendars! The Palmer Wine Walk kicks off the Garden and Art Faire with wine tastings, light appetizers, and live music. In addition to these great activities, you’ll even receive a souvenir hand-painted wine glass from the Valley Fine Arts Association. Ticket purchases help support museum operations, but they’re limited, so be sure to buy yours early.
The Palmer Wine Walk’s Rhubarb Rumble helps kick off the festivities. Admission is free, and you will get to taste some of the most delicious rhubarb recipes from local establishments. Help us choose the best one!
4. Alaska State Fair
Did you know that the Alaska State Fair is the largest event in the state? Each August, visitors flock to Palmer for the fair’s record-setting giant vegetables, amusement rides, food concessions, concerts, and contests. Plus, the fairgrounds provide spectacular views of the Chugach Mountains. What’s better than that? Be sure to purchase your tickets online ahead of time to avoid lines!
If you’re visiting in October, stop by the Musk Ox Farm for Oxtoberfest. This annual festival welcomes fall with locally-made beer, live music, and classic German fare like brats, sauerkraut, and potato salad. Don’t forget to say hello to the herd of musk oxen!
6. Colony Christmas
Colony Christmas is an old-fashioned Christmas celebration that’s fun for the whole family! There’s craft fairs, sleigh rides, pictures with Santa, and more. Feel free to join us for the community tree lighting and caroling as well. You can even pet a reindeer! A dazzling holiday parade and Palmer fireworks show tops off this fun December weekend.
Palmer is home to numerous activities and attractions besides these annual events! Check out our blog on things to do in Palmer, AK for more information.
Additional Annual Events in the Mat-Su Valley
Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race
Each year, you have the opportunity to witness “The Last Great Race” in Alaska. Prior to the Iditarod Race, be sure to attend the Musher’s Banquet where you can enjoy great food and meet the race participants. This is a perfect time to collect autographs and take pictures to remember your trip! Afterward, on the first Saturday in March, mushers line up and depart from the ceremonial starting line. The next day, however, is the official race restart in Willow. Here, mushers and their team of dogs begin their nearly 1,000 mile journey across the state. Follow the action on a flightseeing tour, on the race website, or with the Iditarod’s official mobile app!
Independence Day Celebration
When warmer weather rolls around, check out the 4th of July celebration in Wasilla. This is one event you won’t want to miss! Make sure to start the day by grabbing a good spot to view the annual parade. Then, enjoy live music and take part in a community picnic with various games and a hot dog eating contest! Of course, we wrap up the evening with a spectacular fireworks display.
While you’re staying with us in Palmer, we encourage you to attend the Colony Christmas Celebration. If you’d like even more holiday excitement, though, Talkeetna Winterfest has you covered. Throughout the month of December, check out the Bachelor Society Ball and Auction, Parade of Lights, and Wilderness Woman Contest. There are also a variety of smaller celebrations, parties, and games in town for the month. Be sure to bring your holiday cheer!
If you’re visiting us in the winter months, be sure to take advantage of our Northern Lights Special! You can get a huge discount on your stay and have an opportunity to see the Aurora Borealis!
Willow Winter Carnival
Come party like a local at the Willow Winter Carnival! For two weekends at the end of January and start of February, the community hosts fun activities and competitions. Whether you choose to participate or spectate, you can enjoy talent shows, fat-tire bicycle races, sled dog races, and more. Bring your appetite for food and excitement for the annual feast and fireworks show!
More Community Celebrations
There is something exciting going on in the community no matter when you visit. After a long winter in Alaska, get out and have some fun with raffles, races, games, and food at the Trapper Creek Cabin Fever Reliever. Later in the year, celebrate aviation history and culture with the Talkeetna Fly-In in May. You can even listen to talented musicians at the Talkeetna Bluegrass Festival in August. Whenever you decide to visit, rest assured that there are unique events, fun things to do, and must-see attractions waiting for you!
Plan Your Getaway with Alaska Garden Gate B&B and Cottages
When it’s time to find the best accommodations in Palmer, look no further than Alaska Garden Gate. Our beautiful cottages, apartments, and bed and breakfast rooms have everything you need for an unforgettable vacation! Among our fantastic list of options are our King Luxury Cottages. Perfect for honeymoons or relaxing Alaskan retreats, these units offer comfortable accommodations with breathtaking views of mountains and glaciers. Plus, we provide a delicious complimentary breakfast each morning to help you start your day. Check our availability online and contact us to make your reservations. We look forward to having you!
Find out how you can save on your trip (and make it even more memorable!) with our current vacation specials and packages.