2023 Frequently Asked Questions

Bear Paw Festival Headquarters is located at the Bus Transit Center on Business Blvd. Answers to all of your questions may also be found there. Headquarters will open beginning Thursday July 14 through Sunday July 16th. Prior to that, you may contact the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce at 907-694-4702. Please be patient as there is a high volume of calls and visitors during the Festival times. 

Where is the Festival Located?

The Bear Paw Festival is a Community Festival and not designed like your typical fenced in Fair. The Vendor Court and Carnival can be found on Business Blvd. We have events throughout the Eagle River area at various businesses and locations!  To find out specific locations of events and activities take a look at our Daily Schedule. 

During the Festival, What roads will be closed and what are the dates and times?

Don’t be surprised!!!! Take note of the following road closures & restricted access points for this year’s festival in the Eagle River Business District.

Special note for businesses: don’t forget that the temporary closures and restricted access can impact your employee shift schedules! Don’t get stuck—Plan ahead.

The Chamber recommends staying off the Old Glenn by 10:00am on Saturday the 15th.

July 13, 14, 15 & 16 for Pedestrian Safety:
Business Blvd will close between Matanuska Valley Credit Union and Regency Drive on Thursday, July 13th at 10am until Sunday, July 16th at 6pm. Local access only to Timber Ridge, VCA Vet Clinic and Secure Storage will be maintained. Vetted access for members of Mat-Valley Credit Union will be available for Thursday & Friday only. Traffic will be rerouted onto Regency Drive.

July 15 for Grand Parade:
Old Glenn Hwy between Eagle River Loop & Eagle River Rd will close entirely from 10:45am to approximately 12:15pm.

Centerfield Drive will close in its entirety from 8:00am until Parade finish

Business Blvd will close in its entirety 10:15 am until Parade finish

Monte Road and Old Eagle River Road – will have restricted access between 8am – 12:15pm.

Farm Avenue closes temporarily in order to start the 5K between 9:30am and 10:40am - Traffic will be rerouted up Eagle River Loop Road or Eagle River Road.

1. People Mover will have a temporary stop on Friday evening - location will be displayed at Bus Depo prior to July 15th.
2. The Festival is inside the downtown district and parking is severely limited. There will be a FREE FESTIVAL SHUTTLE running Friday, Saturday and Sunday - see Festival Map & Shuttle for more information including times and locations.
3. Do not park behind Carrs-Safeway - you will be ticketed if you park there. Please be respectful of other businesses who are open during the Festival times as their customers need access to parking.

Questions? Call the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce at (907) 694-4702!    

Our recommendation - Plan a different route away from those roads on Saturday between 9:00am-1:00pm

Who Puts On The Bear Paw Festival?

The Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce put on the Bear Paw Festival. The Chamber is a Non-Profit Organization with only one fulltime staff. All of our Chamber Board of Directors are Volunteers. 

Without the help of our Bear Paw Festival Committee,  Board of Directors and Community Volunteers, the Festival would not be in its 38th Year in Eagle River! Please be kind and patient with our Festival Volunteers. 

Is there a Festival cover charge?

Attendance is always FREE at the Bear Paw Festival!

Note: Some events & activities have entry fees. 

I am interested in having a vendor booth at the Festival, who do I contact?

The Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce contracts out with Alaska Markets & Events for our Bear Paw Festival Vendor Court. Contact them at  anchoragemarkets.com or (907) 272-5634 for more information.

The Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce has a few PRIME Chamber Member Food Vendor Spaces. Each Year, following the First Right of Refusal Vendors, a lottery will open for any available slots. See separate tab for more information. 

Note: The 2023 Vendor Court is SOLD OUT. You can find a waitlist option at their website. 

Where is the Bear Paw Headquarters located?

The Bear Paw Festival Headquarters is located in the Transit Center Parking Lot in Town Square on Business Blvd. If the booth is not open and you have a question or concern please leave a message at (907) 694-4702 or by email at [email protected]. You may also leave a message on our Facebook Page, but you will not necessarily receive an immediate response. 

Please be patient, we have a high volume of calls and visitors during the Festival dates. 

Where is the First Aid Tent, Lost & Found, and Lost Child Tents located?

The First Aid Tent through Team One is located in the Bus Transit Center near the Bear Paw Headquarters. 

Bear Paw Headquarters is the official Lost Child Location. It is also the official Lost & Found for the Festival. Both the Vendor Court and Golden Wheel Amusements will have their own lost & found during the festival days, however; following the completion of Bear Paw, the Chamber Office located at 12001 Business Blvd. Ste. 108 will have the entire Lost and Found Inventory for all 3 locations. 

I would like to volunteer at the festival, who do I contact?

Thanks for your interest! Our Non-Profit Organization cannot hold the Festival without our dedicated volunteers! Please contact [email protected] to inquire about volunteer opportunities. 

Where is Festival Parking and is there a Shuttle?

Unfortunately, downtown Eagle River has limited parking for the Festival. Look for Official Bear Paw Festival Parking Signs or check back often on our Website and Facebook Pages for a list of official Bear Paw Festival Parking Partners!

Please do not park in private parking areas, coned off or restricted parking spots as you may be towed at your own expense. The Festival is spread out all over the town and our regular Businesses Members in the area still conduct business with their customers and clients during the 5-day Festival. 

The Bear Paw Shuttle, sponsored by Longship Nursing and Consulting is FREE!

Check out the Shuttle Schedule and Locations Here

I am interested in being a sponsor, who do I contact?

Thanks for your interest. Take a look at our Bear Paw Festival Partner Package Here

Contact Britney Olsen, Executive Director of the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce - [email protected] or (907) 694-4702. 

I am a Musician interested in playing at the Festival, who do I contact? 

Thanks for your interest. The Bear Paw Festival has a few different stages for musical talent opportunities each year...

The 2023 Bear Paw line up is full. More information for the 2024 Festival will be available after January 1st, 2024. Check back. 

Can I bring my dog/pet to Bear Paw Festival?

Service Animals Allowed. All others are highly discouraged. The Festival is family-friendly, but pets do best if left at home. Your pet may do fine until placed in a strange environment with other pets, people and unfamiliar noise. Over the years, we have had a number of inadvertent bites because animals are stressed. If you do bring your dog they MUST be on a leash. If the animal appears to be dangerous or disruptive Festival Staff will ask you to leave the Festival grounds. 

Bear Paw Festival Infectious Disease Mitigation

If you are sick, not feeling well, or have an infectious disease, or have been exposed to someone who is,  please do not come to the Festival. 

You will notice throughout the Festival additional hand-washing stations and hand sanitizer. 

Is there a nursing or changing area at the Festival?

During the Carnival's Hours of Operation there will be a Hospitality/Baby Nursing and Changing Booth located in the carnival grounds. They will open at 11:00am on Friday July 14th to help support the Teddy Bear Picnic. Special thanks to the Chugiak-Eagle River Ministry Network for providing this much needed service.