It’s Summer Solstice Weekend in Fairbanks.
After hauling six dump loads of rock and distributing it for several hours today, I planned on a relaxing evening on my deck with a cold cerveza. Sadly, I’ve received visitors who convinced me to join them in viewing the 30th Midnight Sun Run. Since most Solstice events start at 10pm, I still have some time to chill out.
The Sun Run is a 10K race that starts at 10pm on the University of Alaska-Fairbanks campus, and runs through city streets along the Chena River, eventually ending at Alaska Land… errr Pioneer Park. This is not your average road race: Costumes are encouraged, and the Army representatives have, on more than one occasion, pulled a howitzer along for good measure. The race starts, not with a starter pistol, but with cannon fire that you can hear throughout the valley. The MSR usually draws around 3000 runners. I’ve done the race twice, but sadly, registration is closed, and I will have to be a spectator in 2012.
Tomorrow morning at Pike’s Landing is the start of the Yukon 800 boat race. The race has been called “The longest, roughest, toughest, speed boat race in the world, traveling 800 miles along the Chena, Tanana and Yukon rivers”. Harold Attla, who has won the race 10 times, finished the 800 run last year with a time of 12 hours, 22 minutes, 26 seconds. Make it 11 Harold.
Where: Downtown Fairbanks.
When: All Day on Sunday.
What: The Midnight Sun Festival takes over the heart of downtown. It’s a mass of Alaskan humanity with some tourists thrown in for confusion. Lots of live music… often competing, food, drink, food, entertainment, food, crafts and I believe the 3 on 3 b-ball tourney is back this year.
The tourists don’t seem to really understand why The Solstice is such a big deal here, but they do seem to enjoy the eclectic activities all the same. The Summer Solstice is one big party in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Time to grab a bottle of bug dope and head off towards campus.
June 26th, 2012 at 12:26 AM
You captured what that’s like… love the last line about bug dope… this is one that gets deeper once you’ve lived an Alaskan Solstice… esp after an Alaskan winter… after my first winter on Bering Sea coast, I celebrated solstice with travelers in Denali – wading in the creek, watching grizz after a day of hiking and being baptized with bug dope…a most splendid way to usher in the longest day and soak up enough vitamin D to prepare one for winter! Well done ice fogger! – Renee
June 28th, 2012 at 5:21 AM
Thanks Renee, I greatly appreciate the comment. Thanks for stopping by!