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Join the Excitement of These Events and Celebrations Held Annually in Alaska
As you can imagine, most annual events in Alaska are held in celebration of the state’s long and storied past. Golden Days, held the third week of July in Fairbanks is no different. This five-day festival commemorates Alaska’s Gold Rush history with a street fair, grand parade, plenty of delicious food, and a floating regatta down the beautiful Chena River.
For baseball fans, The Midnight Sun Game takes place every summer solstice at Growden Memorial Park in Fairbanks and is a well-deployed tradition dating back to 1906.
If you are traveling with young ones, don’t forget to make your next stop at Alaska’s very own Santa Clause House in the Interior town of North Pole. Not far from Fairbanks, the house is complete with Santa, elves and reindeer, guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s face. Open all year long, the Santa Clause House offers special events during the Christmas season like story time with Mrs. Clause and fun performances of Christmas Carols.
Visit Fairbanks during summer and check out Golden Days. With roots traced back to 1902, when Felix Pedro struck gold and kicked off a gold rush in Fairbanks, the Golden Days celebration is held in the middle of July for five days of "old fashioned fun." With events taking places at Pioneer Park and other nearby locations across Fairbanks, Golden Days is a fun and festive way to enjoy your time in Alaska.
During Golden Days, you'll want to check out events like classic car shows, live stage performances from bands, solo artists, and even comedians. There's the annual Governor's Family Picnic at Pioneer Park, and near the end of the five-day celebration, check out the Golden Days Parade & Bathtub Race.
Found in the city of Fairbanks, Ice Alaska is the site of the annual ice carving competition known as the World Ice Art Championships. Ice Alaska is over four acres in total, featuring seasonal tourist attractions and family-themed events open from the end of February to the end of March.
Aside from the month-long ice carving competition, Ice Alaska also offer ice-sculpting classes for visitors of all skill level and Ice Puppy Pond – the skating rink. Moreover, kids can have some at Kids Park – uniquely constructed entirely from ice – featuring slides, rides, mazes, and more.
Last Frontier Theatre Conference
Officially established in 1993, the Last Frontier Theatre Conference is an annual playwright convention located in Valdez. Held in June, this American theater conference is split between the Prince William Sound Community College and Valdez Civic Center in southern Alaska.
The Last Frontier Theatre Conference features seminars, small productions, panels, and workshops with well-known directors, producers, and playwrights. The weeklong event also yields black-tie galas, evening performances, and the late-night Fringe Festival.
Midnight Sun Game
Held during summer solstice, the W.G. & Eddie Stroecker Midnight Sun Baseball Game is set in Fairbanks at Growden Memorial Park. The game takes place in late June from 10:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. thanks to the well-known, late-night Alaskan sun.
Originally established in 1906, the annual Midnight Sun Game has featured the Alaska Goldpanners of the Alaska Baseball League since 1960. The game is sponsored by the Sons & Daughters of the Midnight Sun, and has been inducted into the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame.
Santa Claus House in North Pole
Located in North Pole – a suburb of Fairbanks – the Santa Claus House is a winter tourist attraction specializing in holiday family fun. Visitors enjoy a variety of holiday treats, gifts, merchandise, and beverages, while the kids can get their picture taken with Old Saint Nick.
Further must-see attractions at the Santa Claus House in the North Pole include a meet-and-greet with Santa’s Reindeer Team and the World’s Largest Santa – measuring in at roughly 50 feet tall.
World Ice Art Championships
Started in 1989, the World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks is the largest event of its kind. Held annually at the end of February at George Horner Ice Park, the World Ice Art Championships sees, on average, over 100 ice sculptors from a span of 30 different nations – not to mention the thousands of spectators who flock to witness the impressive ice sculpting.
There are different events at the World Ice Art Championships: the Single Bock Classic is the largest, where teams of two skillfully work on one 5x8x3-foot block over two days. The Multi-Block Classic sees teams of four work on 12 individual blocks over a five day period.