A Fair Wedding

The first annual fair of the Tanana Valley Fair Association was held September 11 – 13, 1924. One featured event was the “Fair Wedding” which was to encourage marriage to the young men of Fairbanks, and the promotion led to the following newspaper articles:

Fairbanks Daily News Miner September 4, 1924

…Now is the time for every man to do his duty. For years and years the young men of this camp have “stagged it” to dances, occupied the time and worn out the sofas, and increased the light bills of the lovely and lovable young women of Our Town, until the aforesaid Young Women are searching for gray hairs and wondering if the damn-fool ever WILL propose, and the Producing Class felt that something should be done about it, in the way of First Aid to Infant Industries, so the Public Marriage at the County Fair, with a Honeymoon Trip by Airship, is going to be a feature of the occasion which all the people of the Camp are backing to the limit the married ones maybe as a “get-even play” and the single ones as a final or near-final touch to the Romance which was, or Is, or Should Have Been.

Fairbanks Daily News Miner- September 8, 1924


Today came to us P. J. Rickert, Matrimonial Agent of the Tanana Valley Fair Association, (Inc.”) and registered a desire to “throw the whole thing up,” and let the country go to the demnition bow-wows, so far as marriage and giving in marriage are concerned. Said he, to us:

“Just look at yesterday! Beautiful a day as ever you saw; a day for rides in shady lanes or trips to the Beach at Birch Lake, with all Nature smiling. And, what happened? I ask you? ALL the unmarried men of Our Town stepped on the gas and hiked out after grouse or caribou or fish or “mule” and left Ten Thousand beautiful, unmarried but marriageable, young women to walk the streets of Our Town!”

It is strange, when you come to think about it, how many people there are in Our Town who OUGHT TO BE married, and who are numbered among those who are not doing it.

Fairbanks Daily News Miner- September 10, 1924 Advertisement


We need 500 Farmers, their wives and families in the Tanana Valley. We have more farmers than farmers’ wives and families, and the production of the Valley is held back by that. There is Nothing Half So Sweet in Life as Love’s Young Dream, so here’s your opportunity. Get married, at the Tanana Valley Fair. Let us furnish the scene, the Wedding March, a lot of that which you will need to start housekeeping, and make of your wedding the event of the year in Fairbanks. We will furnish the License, the Preacher, the Ring, the Wedding, the Music and the Flowers–and the House Furnishings we will provide will be helpful. Address all applications to J. J. Rickert, Tanana Valley Fair Association Inc. The couple who are married at the Fair will also be presented by the Healy River Coal Corporation with a carload of screened lump coal.

Note: Sadly there was not a single wedding performed at the 1st Tanana Valley Fair despite the best efforts of Paul Rickert and News Miner editor W. F. Thompson, who tried to help out the single young ladies of Fairbanks and threatened to boycott the single men of Fairbanks at dances. Both Rickert and Thompson were Charter Members of Men’s Igloo No 4. This blissful History Nugget has been proudly brought to you by Men’s Igloo No. 4 and Women’s Igloo No. 8 of the Pioneers of Alaska.

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