Looking for some fun under the summer sun? Check out these four events celebrating summer solstice – the longest day of the year.

Anchorage Downtown Festival

Put on your running shoes for the Mayor’s Marathon, part of the Anchorage Downtown Festival on June 22. Although the race starts at 7:30 AM, sunrise will be hours earlier at 4:21 AM – and more than 600 people will complete the race well before the sun sets at 11:43 PM. If you’re not into running, hang out in Town Square downtown, where magicians and musicians provide festival entertainment. Try a reindeer hotdog at one of the food trucks, or cheer on participants at the Hero Games – where Alaska’s finest first responders compete in the firetruck pull, fireman’s carry race, and doughnut-eating contest.


Nome Midnight Sun Festival

Head to Nome for the Midnight Sun Festival, June 19-23. Highlights include a parade down Front Street, a reenactment of the bank-robbery-that-never-was, a polar bear plunge into (and quickly out of) the Bering Sea, and drumming, dancing, and singing. While you’re there, take your picture underneath the famed burl arch, which marks the finish line for the 1,049-mile-long Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.


Juneau Gold Rush Days

Celebrate Alaska’s mining and logging history at Juneau Gold Rush Days, June 22-23. Participants compete in spike driving, axe throwing, speed (tree) climbing, and log rolling. Try your hand at gold panning, then cheer for your favorite team during the Miners versus Loggers tug-o-war!


Chickenstock Music Festival

Head to the Top of the World for the annual Chickenstock music festival, June 14-15. The town of Chicken (named because the founders had a hard time spelling Ptarmigan) is an old gold camp located on the banks of the Fortymile Wild and Scenic River. Each summer, bands from around the state descend on the town for a fun-filled, family-friendly musical festival.

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