Salmonfest, Alaska’s annual weekend of fish, love and music, with a focus on the importance of preserving healthy salmon habitat in Alaska, has some of the nation’s top bands lined up for the festivities, which are scheduled for Aug. 4-6 at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds.
Headliners include Old Crow Medicine Show, whose biggest claim to fame is their song “Wagon Wheel,” country singer Sierra Ferrell, jam band Leftover Salmon and psychedelic funk group Pigeons Playing Ping Pong.
In all, some five dozen bands are scheduled to play on four stages during the festival.
Events include the Smoked Salmon Super Bowl competition, presented by Salmonfest and Catch 49, a program of the Alaska Marine Conservation Council, that sells wild, responsibly harvested seafood harvested by small boat fishermen.
Salmonfest director and producer Jim Stearns said ticket sales are ahead of last year and that anyone planning to attend should purchase tickets soon, before they sell out.
The festival began in 2011 as Salmonstock and became a powerful force in promoting, preserving and protecting salmon habitat, led by fishermen, conservationists and others. The group voiced concerns that a proposed large-scale copper, gold and molybdenum Pebble mine near the headwaters of the Bristol Bay watershed would potentially have very negative impact on the world’s largest wild sockeye salmon fishery.
The family friendly event has since grown in popularity, with over 60 bands performing on four stages, as well as food, art and education booths.
Salmonfest is recognized both nationally and in Alaska as one of the state’s most compelling events, with over 8,000 people attending annually.
Since 2015, the festival has donated over $100,000 to the state’s premier salmon and environmental organizations. Beneficiaries of festival proceeds include Alaskans Know Climate Change, Stand for Salmon, the Alaska Sudan Medical Project for Clean Water, United Tribes of Bristol Bay, and Musicians United to Protect Bristol Bay.
More information about Salmonfest, including tickets, is online at www.salmonfestalaska.org.