Salmonfest returns for its seventh year

For three days at the beginning of August, thousands of people will fill the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik for Salmonfest, a celebration of ‘fish, love and music.’


The yearly music festival, held August 4-6, is in it’s seventh year and event organizers are, once again, expecting to draw more than 7,000 people to the festival which is touting an Alaska heavy lineup including headliner Jewel Kilcher, who was raised in Homer.

“We have a great line-up, maybe our best ever,” said Jim Stearns, festival director and producer. “Jewel is a big draw because she is an Alaskan gal and she hasn’t played up here in 10 years, at least.”

Jewel will play on the Ocean Stage at 7 p.m. on Sunday night, closing out the weekend’s festivities.

“Dreams last so long,” Jewel belts in her hit song “You Were Meant For Me,” but the Grammy winning singer’s set will last less than two hours, leaving plenty of time for festival goers to explore the rest of the stages in this year’s venue.

“We have four stages running all the time this year,” Stearns said. “We have more national acts than we’ve ever had and I got saddled with a big lineup because, as the festival has grown in scope and notoriety, bands are pounding our door down to play.”

The Ocean Stage will feature larger acts, including Jewel, Railroad Earth, Rusted Root and Rising Appalachia.

Other stages include the River, Inlet and Headwaters Stage. Each of the four stages have a constant stream of acts from all over Alaska and the Lower 48 starting at about noon each day of the festival, with entertainment going until at least 9 p.m. each night.

“If you don’t like one band on one stage, I can promise you will like another one on a different stage,” Stearns said. “…If you’re bored at Salmonfest, there is not a single place on the planet you are not going to bored.”

Throughout the weekend, the entertainment expands past music and includes a wide variety of food, art and education.

“We have a kids program that runs all the time, with activities and music,” Stearns said. “We have educational information on salmon and salmon preservation. We have films and workshops and all that great stuff.”

Tickets for Salmonfest 2017 are available now. A three-day, adult pass costs $139, a two-day pass costs $117 and a one-day pass costs $62 for Friday, $72 for Saturday and $82 for Sunday.

For a full list of the weekend’s bands, events and further ticket information, visit

Reach Kat Sorensen at


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