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Racing pigs and belly dancers, Stark Naked and the Car Thieves, and a midwestern jug band will provide entertainment at the Southeast Alaska State Fair this weekend in Haines.
About two dozen acts, including musicians from California and Canada, Anchorage and Juneau will perform. The fair opened Wednesday and runs through 6:30 p.m. Sunday.
In past years the Alaska Bald Eagle Music Festival has been a complementary component of the fair, featuring nationally-known acts during fair time at the performing arts center in Haines. That's changed.
``We're doing something a little different this year - no Chilkat Center concerts. We're keeping (the music) here on the fairgrounds and going a little later at night,'' said Joanne Waterman, executive director of the Southeast Alaska State Fair.
Entertainment begins at noon Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and runs almost continuously throughout each day and evening. Most acts will perform one-hour sets on the stage at the fairgrounds pavilion.
The fair is bringing two acts from California. The Mighty Echoes, a doo-wop group from Los Angeles, will perform two shows a day on Friday and Saturday. Singer-songwriter Deborah Pardes from the San Francisco Bay area also will perform a set each day of the fair.
``Entertainment on the stage is pretty much non-stop throughout the fair,'' said Marie McDonald, regional music coordinator for the fair.
The jug band duo The Jackson Street Pole Cats from Oshkosh, Wis., will perform country, ragtime, 1920s-era music and some originals, featuring unusual instruments - a saw, ukulele, washboard, kazoo, harmonica, and pots and pans.
Three different groups will play dance music Saturday night beginning at 8 p.m. for the Pavilion Boogie. The self-described Dixieswingrasspolkabop band Pastor Lunchmeat and the Pimentos from Haines will play the opening set, followed by the Juneau rock band Peabody's Monster. The classic rock band Ethos from Fairbanks will play from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. All three bands also will perform daytime sets on the stage.
Performers from Juneau include singer-songwriter Tony Tengs; pianist Rory Merritt Stitt playing his original songs with Betsy Sims, Ann Ward and Kelly Grubb; the Daughters of the New Moon Middle Eastern dance group; Twang Man Do, a three-piece rockabilly and country group featuring the original songs of guitarist and singer Patrick Murphy; the jazz group FleetStreet; and singer-songwriter Rainee Godwin and Friends.
The Filipino Youth Dance Group, featuring 22 Filipino children ages 6 to 12 from Juneau, will perform dances Saturday afternoon.
Ashlyne MacRae Bigg, who plays Irish fiddle tunes and step dances at the same time, will be coming from Whitehorse, British Columbia, to perform. Normally half of a duo, she'll be solo at the fair.
``She's a champion fiddle step dancer. She's been traveling around Canada winning awards,'' said McDonald.
Other Yukon Territory-based acts include singer-songwriter Steve Slade, singing with his two daughters, and singer-songwriters Nicole Edwards and Annelouise Genest.
Hometown talent from Haines includes Stark Naked and the Car Thieves, a four-piece group that features Eric Holle, (a.k.a. Pastor Lunchmeat of the Pimentos); Ripinski's Ghost, a Yiddish-music group that includes Len Feldman and Rob Golberg; singer-songwriter Burl Sheldon; and the traditional Tlingit dance group the Gei-Sun Dancers.
The fair also will include a song writing contest, a fiddle contest followed by a square dance or contra dance, daily pig races, logging shows and crafts and games for kids.
Admission to the fair each day is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, $3 for children between age 5 and 12, and is free for kids under 5. Gates open at noon.
Other community events include a parade through downtown Haines at 11 a.m. Saturday, a clown contest and a most lovable dog contest.