The Fairbanks Midnight Sun Run

Karen Remick
4 min readJun 19, 2022
Picture by author

One thing I enjoy the most about living in Fairbanks is the summers. The temperatures tend to stay between 65 and 75, and sunny. All day. That’s not just the normal hours of the daytime, but 24/7. One of the year’s most important holidays is the Summer Solstice. We celibate that with the Midnight Sun festival. This festival takes place on the weekend closest to the Summer Solstice (June 21st). This year, that is today, June 18th.

The midnight sun festival has 3 major parts: the Street Fair, the Goldpanner’s game and the Midnight Sun Run.

The street fair takes over downtown. It started as a couple dozen tents in the small park down town and has expanded to take over the whole downtown area with stages in the intersections holding musical groups, skate board demonstrations, and food trucks gathered in parking lots. (OK, the “whole downtown” in Fairbanks isn’t all that big, but it’s still quite the shindig and it runs from noon on Saturday till midnight.) It’s got tents lining 1st and 2nd avenues for 2–3 city blocks plus the park. The tents have everything from information on organizations, to sales of spices to help your bar-B-Q to dog treats (because we’re Fairbanks, so there has to be dog stuff).

The Goldpanner’s game is a baseball game that starts at 10 PM and goes to about midnight. I’ll admit that I’ve never gone to the game, so here’s an article on it.

I don’t go to the Goldpanners game because we live along the route of the Midnight Sun Run. This is a 10K fun run/walk, with the accent on Fun. The run starts at 10 PM in the University parking lot on the west edge of town and winds it’s way through several neighborhoods on the way to Pioneer Park.

This year there are about 3000 runners/walkers and about 5000 people watching the parade and/or having parties along the route. During the evening dog walk, which occurred at 9:30 PM, shortly before the start of the run, we saw people setting up for their parties, which included a high school reunion from 1977 and a bouncy house (not at the same party, wouldn’t want to break a hip). We close the streets that the run occurs on as the streets have too many people on them to also have cars.

There are 2 populations in the walk: serious runners and people just having a good time. The good time people…

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Karen Remick

Scientist (PhD Space Physics), Inventor, INTJ, and all around strange person.