Fairbanks Festivals & Shows
The cold conditions of Fairbanks make it necessary to think creatively when the object of the game is to keep warm. Fortunately, being a part of a crowd and enjoying a good party keeps the energy level high and that in turn keeps the participants warm. So get ready to enjoy several memorable ways to keep that body temperature high when you experience any of these festivals and annual shows that take place in Fairbanks.
The World Ice Art Championships
take place in Fairbanks every March. The competition is held over the course of eleven very dramatic and excitement-filled days. The event attracts the best ice sculptors in the world as they display their considerable talents in various competitive classes. Among the many categories, two of the most popular are abstract and realistic ice sculptures. The public is invited to watch the sculptures being created during the first two weeks in March and then to view the finished work during the last two weeks of the month. The festival is held at Ice Alaska's Ice Park which not only features the competition but also offers a kids' park with rides and other attractions.
Not only does the city of Fairbanks celebrate the summer, it also enjoys spotlighting the various arts that are very much a part of life in this unique Alaskan city. The Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival
acknowledges and celebrates both the season and the creation of art when it takes place every July. The two-week event has been held in Fairbanks since 1980 and has created an impressive tradition that is still honored to this day. The festival strongly encourages personal growth and arts appreciation from all participants, no matter what their level of accomplishment may be. Over 100 guest artists are featured hosting workshops in such areas as music, literary arts, dance, visual arts, and culinary arts. Additionally, there are also dozens of live performances to enjoy throughout the course of the event.
Address: PO Box 82510, Fairbanks, AK 99708
Phone: (907) 474-8869
Of all the traditions that are still honored in Alaska, the Yukon Quest Dog Sled Race
is one that is as challenging as it is enduring. This is a 1,000 mile international trek that takes place “at the top of the world” in the Yukon and Alaska wilderness of northwestern North America. Held every February, the race runs its course starting from either Whitehorse, Yukon, or Fairbanks, Alaska. To say that undertaking this race is a test of skill and fortitude is an understatement. Despite the bitterly cold conditions, participants and spectators alike respectfully acknowledge Alaska's time-tested tradition of traveling by dog sled.
Every spring, the University of Alaska Fairbanks presents the Festival of Native Arts
. This well-attended event provides cultural education and sharing through native dance, music, and traditional arts. The festival has been a tradition in Fairbanks since it began in 1973 and continues to uphold the noteworthy tradition of bringing together artists, performers, and groups that celebrate native cultures in various creative and entertaining ways. There are also many local and regional sponsors that contribute time and resources to ensure the success of this endeavor.
During the time of year when Fairbanks experiences its longest days that are not marked with much darkness, also known as the midnight sun, there is a celebration that observes that natural phenomenon that also underscores the importance of unity. The festival, the Midnight Sun Intertribal Powwow
, is scheduled every July. It involves Alaska Natives, American Indians, and First Nations People of Canada gathering for a powwow that celebrates their similarities and diversities. The powwow also honors the elders and children in a special way that is designed to draw attention to the heritage and contributions of the various indigenous people of North America.
The Tanana Valley State Fair
is an event that families in Fairbanks and the surrounding areas look forward to every year. Held every August, this festival brings together all the best of the community and celebrates culture, fun, and family. Rides, exhibits, competitions, and more await visitors once they walk into the fairgrounds under the big state fair arch that greets every visitor. Great food, various other concessions and live music are among the many highlights of one of Fairbanks' most highly anticipated events.