The Alaska State Fair in Palmer opens Today and continues through September 4th, Labor Day. Gates open at noon Monday-Friday and 10 a.m. over the weekend. They close at 10 p.m. each night until the final day when the celebration comes to an end at 8 p.m. The Fairgrounds are located on the Glenn Highway just south of Palmer.Except for a four-year period during World War II, Palmer has hosted an annual Fair since 1936. That first one featured crops raised in the fertile soil of the Matanuska Valley by pioneers new to Alaska. A year earlier, 200 families drew lots for tracts of land offered through the Matanuska Colony project. The colonists had been relocated from Depression-ravaged locations in the Midwest in a New Deal program intended to both improve their lives and develop the Valley. The area’s agricultural potential had long been recognized by government officials.