2012 DOWNTOWN WINTER SOLSTICE
The annual winter solstice celebration hosted by downtown Fairbanks has grown into a 21-day affair, with events and activities that count down from December 1st to the darkest day of the year. For the first time, this traditional celebration will feature The Great Alaskan Nutcracker Chase and SantaCon: Downtown Fairbanks alongside a traditional Winter Solstice Festival on Friday, December 21st from 5:00-8:00PM.
“This year, we want to bring downtown to life through a seasonal character, and we chose The Nutcracker to take on the persona of downtown for the holidays. He’s already started shopping and attending holiday events, and will be posting details on great deals, special gift ideas, and prize giveaways,” explains Kara Nash, Events & Marketing Director with the Downtown Association of Fairbanks.
The Great Alaskan Nutcracker Chase (sponsored by Big Ray’s, MAC Federal Credit Union, Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alyeska Pipeline, and If Only…a Fine Store) kicks off on December 1st. Patrons can win prizes by hunting for hidden nutcrackers in participating downtown shops and restaurants. Stamp cards are available at the businesses or the Downtown Association of Fairbanks and customers who find a nutcracker will receive a stamp at each business. Patrons can also tag photos of the nutcrackers on Instagram and Twitter using #21daysofsolstice or post photos to the Downtown Association of Fairbanks Facebook page for additional prizes. Nutcrackers will be located at If Only… a Fine Store, Big Ray’s, MAC Federal Credit Union, Gallery 49, Frank’s Menswear, Arctic Travelers Gift Shop, Alaska House Art Gallery, River City Café & Espresso, Fairbanks Community Museum, l’assiette de Pomegranate, 2 Street Gallery, S Salon & Studio, Morris Thompson Cultural & Visitors Center, Forget-Me-Not Books, Chartreuse, The Fudge Pot, Del Ray’s, Alana’s Espresso Escape, Lady Lee’s Bath House Emporium, Beads & Things, and Blueberry Baby.
A Google map of locations is available here.
“The entire month will be full of fun events for Fairbanksans to join in on, from the Nutcracker Chase to a series of ‘Solstice Fridays’ that take on the theme of the holidays in different ways,” says Amy Nordrum, Communications Coordinator with the Downtown Association of Fairbanks.
“Solstice Fridays” in December (Dec. 7th, 14th, and 21st) will feature holiday open houses at participating businesses, live music, and special events like First Friday, SantaCon: Downtown Fairbanks, and the 2012 Alyeska Winter Solstice Festival.
SantaCon: Downtown Fairbanks is a Santa-inspired pub crawl that begins at Big Daddy’s BBQ on Friday, December 14th. All participants are encouraged to dress up as Santa. It’s a spinoff of a national movement that has taken place in cities across the country. This will be the first SantaCon in Fairbanks.
The 2012 Alyeska Winter Solstice Festival on Friday, December 21st is Fairbanks’ traditional celebration for the whole family, and will include a visit by Cocoa the Reindeer at Arctic Traveler’s Gift Shop. Mrs. Claus will pose for photos and distribute gifts at Fairbanks Community Museum while traveling musicians and carolers provide entertainment. Luminaries will be lit in Golden Heart Plaza with Relay for Life and the Downtown Association is currently pursuing funding for a fireworks show, the confirmation of which will be announced at a later date.
The Downtown Association would like to thank Alyeska Pipeline, Fairbanks North Star Borough, MAC Federal Credit Union, Big Ray’s, and If Only… a Fine Store for their generous contributions to the 21 Days of Solstice.