Celebrate the Solstice with the Downtown Fireworks | Latitude 65

Next week marks the end of the long, dark days, as the amount of sun Alaska receives will increase each day after the December 21 solstice. The Downtown Association of Fairbanks wants to celebrate the return of light with the community and hope you join this weekend for fireworks and other fun activities.

The Downtown Association of Fairbanks will host the annual Solstice Fireworks Downtown show at 8 p.m. on Saturday, December 18 near Griffin Park.

“This year the fireworks will last around 20 minutes,” said executive director David van den Burg. It will be the longest fireworks show ever in downtown Fairbanks.

The Solstice Fireworks Downtown show has been going on for about a decade now, and it “won’t stop for the cold or the snow,” the Downtown Association wrote.

“It’s a chance to welcome lighter days to come,” said van den Burg. “With such extreme seasons, it’s worth celebrating the return of the light.”

The Downtown Association has provided a map that shows where the best parking and viewing spots are for the new launch location. A good place to watch the fireworks show is the Winter Lights Walk in Griffin Park, where you can enjoy the lights on the trees as well as the fireworks in the sky. However, everyone is urged to stay off the ice of the river, for safety reasons.

There are around 10 different areas you can park in during the show, including the downtown parking lot which is open for the show. If you are sensitive to the cold, there are plenty of parking lots where you can watch the fireworks from the comfort of your car.

Before the fireworks display, kids can meet Santa Claus at the Fairbanks Community Museum. Santa will be available to say hello and take pictures from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The community will also be able to enjoy the reindeer from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Golden Heart Plaza. Reindeer are friendly and love to receive treats and scratches from everyone who visits them.

“Along with the reindeer there will be a photographer invited by the Golden Valley Electric Association,” van den Burg said. “The photographer is going to take pictures of people, if they want a nice photo or a nice portrait done with the reindeer.”

Each event is free and is organized to help bring downtown Fairbanks to life despite the cold weather.

It is always nice to organize fun community events and give downtown businesses the opportunity to participate during the holiday season, said van den Burg.

Alyeska Pipeline Service Company stepped up and helped sponsor this community event, along with the City of Fairbanks, GVEA, North Haven Communities, Usibelli Coal Mine, Doyon Utilities, Big Ray’s, Denali State Bank, Hage & Associates, and Hale & Associates.

For more information, visit bit.ly/3yurXFV.

David H. Henry