Downtown Association of Fairbanks – Fairbanks Alaska
First Friday


Celebrating Handmade Books 2

If Only will host “Celebrating Handmade Books”, a November First Friday event, which features works by members of the Northwoods Book Arts Guild.

Members will begin demonstrating binding stitches beginning at 5 PM and will include demos by Susan Campbell, Mary Maisch, Margo Klass, and Laurel Herbeck.  If Only invites guests to come by and learn the difference between Coptic, Long Stitch, and other bindings. Other guild members whose books will be featured include Corlis Taylor, Linda Adamson, Connie Stricks, Sue Cole, and Oralee Nudson.

Handmade books will be on display and available for purchase.

“Celebrating Handmade Books” is on November 7 from 5-8 PM.

For more information, click here.


It’s the end of July and the sun has finally made its appearance, turning a wet summer into an Alaskan summer! With August upon us, the best way to celebrate our new found warmth is by enjoying downtown’s thriving art scene.

From the Chena River to Airport Way, downtown provides the highest concentration of First Friday events in the city. With numerous venues within easy walking distance, let our handy guide show you the way. Afterward, we invite you to enjoy the restaurants and drinking establishments open throughout the evening.

We’ll see you downtown!

First Friday

 The Elder by Claire Fejes. Oil on canvas, 20” x 16”- dated 1984. Athabascan Indian Elder from Nenana, Alaska.

Alaska House Art Gallery
Opened in 1960 (and reopened in 2000), the Alaska House Art Gallery features one of the best collections of Alaskan art in the state. This month, the gallery features “Faces of the North,” an exhibit of portraits by renowned artist Claire Fejes. The exhibit will showcase handmade Native jewelry by Don Standing Bear. Jazz guitarist Ron Veliz will perform live music throughout the evening. The portrait exhibit will run through September 15. The Alaska House Art Gallery is located at 1003 Cushman St.

Co-Op Arts
After opening for the summer season, Co-Op Arts will host its last First Friday on August 1.  Reception and meet the artists is from 4-8 PM.  The theme is “Starving Artists”, which likely describes the whole group represented:  Becky Anderson, Karen Baker, Betsy Bear, Judie Harrison, Nikki Kinne.  Additionally, all work in the Gallery by Nikkinne will be offered at 25% off during the entire day of August 1, 2014.  Co-Op Arts will cease operation at the close of business, August 30. Co-Op Arts is located at 535 2nd Avenue inside the Co-Op Plaza.

River City Cafe and Espresso
Nestled on historic 2nd Avenue, River City provides its guests with art and ambiance. One of the cities most popular cafes, the eatery features sandwiches and desserts, with tea crafted by the Sipping Streams Tea Company. For August, the cafe features “Shelter Pets of Fairbanks,” a portrait collection of pets cared for at Animal Control. Studio 64° North Photography is working with the Fairbanks North Star Borough Animal Shelter to bring awareness to the numerous pets at animal control that need loving homes. Portraits of some of the pets that have been cared for at the shelter will be displayed at the event. River City is located at 543 2nd Ave.

2 Street Gallery Each August thousands of Sandhill Cranes begin their migration south. The artists at 2 Street relish the bird’s trilling calls as they glide through the sky, flapping their lengthy wings and trailing their slender legs behind. August at 2 Street Gallery is devoted to Sandhill Cranes beginning with their First Friday celebration. Discover what local artists have created in honor of these noble birds! 2 Street is located at 535 2nd Avenue inside the Co-Op Plaza.

Lady Lee’s Antiques Emporium
Downtown’s favorite antique shop will host a “Made in Alaska” product.  The family recipe is made and sold by one of the shops own, Drew Beguhl.  His Fairbanks Fish Fry Seasoning is gluten free with no added preservatives.  Manager Kathy Lee invites First Friday-goers to Lady Lee’s for a sample of this yummy seasoning. The emporium is located at 519 1st Avenue.

Forget-Me-Not Books
Forget-Me-Not Books is featuring their monthly “First Friday Family” event. This family-friendly First Friday will feature kid’s activities throughout the day, including arts & crafts and face painting. The bookstore will also give away one free children’s book to each child who participates. Forget Me Not Books is located at 517 Gaffney Rd. The event runs from 10 AM-6 PM. You can RSVP to the event here.

If Only…a fine store
One of the mainstays of Fairbanks’ First Friday community is If Only…a fine store. Opened in 1998, few shops purvey the “simple luxuries with Alaskan charm” as well as If Only. This August, the shop features the glass artistry of Jones Glassworks from Seattle. Friday’s theme is “The Salmon Are In.” If Only is located at 215 Cushman St.

[All shows are 5-8 PM unless otherwise noted.]


Are you thinking about celebrating July 4th with a little local art and culture? Then stop downtown for some of the best First Friday events in Fairbanks. For July, downtown offers you the best in art, music and more. From the Alaska House Art Gallery to If Only…a fine store, downtown has definitely got something for everyone!

Top Pick:

ART + MUSIC – Alaska House Art Gallery
(1003 Cushman St.) [5-8 PM]
Join Alaska House Art Gallery for a First Friday reception featuring artist Bill Brody. Brody’s exhibit – “In wilderness the truth comes out to play” – will be on display and features paintings and sketches of the Alaska wilderness. There will also be live music performed by jazz guitarist Ron Veliz!

First Friday:

ART + MUSIC – If Only…a Fine Store
(215 Cushman) [4-8 PM]
Steam Punk designs by featured artist Rich Kolb.  Rich designs his metal sculptures with found objects and scrap metal.  Live accordion music performed by Rebecca Morse.

ART SHOW – 2 Street Gallery
(535 2nd Ave – Inside the Co-Op Plaza) [5-8 PM]
Northern Pike? Arctic Graying? Silvers? Kings? Summer is our time for fishing, and July is when we celebrate fish! Come to Two Street Gallery to see what our artists reel in. We’ve been catching new prints and paintings, fused glass fish, ivory scrimshaw, and maybe even some sterling silvers! Come net your own art catch on July 4th during our First Friday celebration!

First Friday Evening:

MUSIC by Sand Castle – McCafferty’s
(408 Cushman) [830-1030 PM]
The McCafferty house band “Sand Castle” will play live during First Friday Evening.


A Steam Punk metal art piece made from found objects and scrap material by Rich Kolb.


If you’re looking for the best First Friday in Fairbanks then look no further than downtown. For June, downtown brings you the best in art, music and more. From Dance Theatre Fairbanks to the 2 Street Gallery, we’ve got something for everyone!

Top Pick:

DANCE – Dance Theatre Fairbanks
(656 7th Ave) [7PM]
Join Dance Theatre Fairbanks for their original production of Yellow Brick Road.  Written by the theatre’s own Jay Howe, this original production tells the story of Dorothy and Toto as they grow up, move to Alaska, and meet some interesting characters!

First Friday:

FOOD – Ken Murray Insurance
(300 Barnette) [5-8PM]
Join the Ken Murray team as they celebrate their 75th anniversary in Fairbanks! There will be drinks and food by Bad 2 the Bone BBQ with live music by the Fairbanks Red Hackle Pipe Band.

BAKE SALE – Coffee Time
(535 2nd Ave – Inside the Co-Op Plaza) [3-8 PM]
Beads & Things will host a bake sale and chili sale to benefit Brian Tumbleson. His wife, Nan, runs Custom Leather & Gifts inside the Co-Op Plaza. Brian recently had two cancer surgeries and the funds raised from the sale will go toward his medical bills.

ART SHOW – If Only…a Fine Store
(215 Cushman) [4-8 PM]
Celebrating Blueberry, featuring the hand crafted jewelry of Tlingit/Athabaskan artist, Crystal Worl.  Also showcased are other blueberry related items including handmade jewelry.  Alaskans dream in Blueberry!

ARTS + CRAFTS – Forget-Me-Not Books
(517 Gaffney) [10 AM – 6 PM]
Forget-Me-Not Books is featuring a “Kids Planting Day” at their downtown location. There will be a planting activity for the kids, sponsored by Risse’s Greenhouse. The bookstore will also be giving away one free children’s book to each child who stops by.

BOOKS – Alaskana Raven Books & Things
535 2nd Ave – Inside the Co-Op Plaza) [5-8 PM]
Alaskana Raven Books is celebrating their One Year Anniversary. Author Ray Bonnell will be on-hand to sign books.

ART + MUSIC – Jade Boutique
(729 1st Ave.) [5-8 PM]
Jade Boutique will be showcasing Romona Henry’s exquisite handmade beaded jewelry.  A reception will be from 5-8 pm with entertainment by Marc Brown and the Blues Crew.

MUSIC + ARTAlaska House Art Gallery
(1003 Cushman St.) [5-8 PM]
Featuring “Summer Solstice”, an art show of color woodcuts by Glenna Gannon. The event will also feature live music by Sabe Flores.

ART SHOW – Fairbanks Community and Dog Mushing Museum
(410 Cushman) [5-8 PM]
Join Matt Moberly in his annual exhibit at the Fairbanks Community Dog Mushing Museum. There will be an artist reception, as well as a show featuring  new watercolors. Some prints will be available.

ART SHOW – 2 Street Gallery
(535 2nd Ave – Inside the Co-Op Plaza) [5-8 PM]
2 Street Gallery is featuring the newest ceramic tile work of Alaskan artist Nancy Hausle-Johnson in a show titled, “Birds of Alaska.”

ART SHOW – Morris Thompson Cultural & Visitors Center
(101 Dunkel St) [5-8 PM]
The Morris Thompson Center will have two artist on hand for June’s First Friday:

  • Betsy Bear: An art tribute to Alaska’s great public lands, parks, and natural areas. Betsy will have original watercolor paintings, prints, and cards available for purchase, along with a free drawing for a print.
  • Joseph Geiss: Creating art in Ester, Joe has found a balance between his needs for function and appreciation of art through working with local and exotic hardwoods in his artisan cutting boards.

First Friday Evening:

MUSIC by Sand Castle – McCafferty’s
(408 Cushman) [830-1030 PM]
The McCafferty house band “Sand Castle” will play live during First Friday Evening.



Check out Dance Theatre Fairbanks’ original production: “Yellow Brick Road!” For a complete list of show times, please see their website.


If you’re looking for the best First Friday in Fairbanks then look no further than downtown. For May, downtown brings you the best in photography, art, music and more. From Fairbanks City Hall to the World Eskimo Indian Olympics, we’ve got something for everyone! It’s expected to be 72F and partly sunny, which means grab the shorts and flip-flops – summer has arrived!

Top Pick:

ART SHOW – Fairbanks City Hall
(800 Cushman ) [4-8 PM]
City Hall will showcase the “Faces of Alaska,” a collection of oil paintings by Jean Lester. City Hall will also feature “Photovoice,” a pictorial perspective on the prevention of underage drinking and adult heavy/binge drinking.

First Friday:

ART SHOW – If Only…a Fine Store
(215 Cushman) [4-8 PM]
Made in Alaska, You Bet! features the work of several Alaskan artisans including Miriam Linder, Catherine Joan Petersen, Bob Merry, Connie Englelbrecht, Debbie Knight Kennedy and Pauline Lian.  It is an opportunity to see what is available prior to this summer’s visits by family and friends.

MUSIC – First Presbyterian Church
(547 7th Ave) [7:30-8:45 PM]
Featuring a spring concert performed by the Northland Youth Choir and the Aurora Women’s Chorale. Tickets are $15/adults and $10/children, seniors and military and are available at Mt. McKinley Bank on 4th Ave.

ART SHOW  World Eskimo Indian Olympics
(400 Cushman) [4:30-7:30 PM]
WEIO is excited to feature the works of Pamela Lipari, daughter of WEIO volunteer Flora Roddy. Her medium is paints and photography. Please stop by and support Fairbanks’ local artists!

ART SHOW – Fairbanks Community and Dog Mushing Museum
(410 Cushman) [5-8 PM]
In cooperation with Enep’ut Children’s Center and the Alaska Songbird Institute, the museum will host a celebration of bird migration with their show “Birds of a Feather.”  The Enep’ut children have been creating bird-themed art that will be on display. Visitors are encouraged to “see birds through the eyes of children.”

ART SHOW – 2 Street Gallery
(535 2nd Ave – Inside the Co-Op Plaza) [5-8 PM]
May is coming! We think of spring, flowers, Mother’s Day and graduation. Fairbanksans live to plant vegetable gardens, flowerbeds, and flower baskets. At Two Street we are celebrating May with cheerful, stunning Flowers in our Art. May First Friday 5-8pm snacks and beverages served. Join us in the flowers.

ART SHOW – Morris Thompson Cultural & Visitors Center
(101 Dunkel St) [5-8 PM]
Artist Sarah Holm enjoys using original graphic designs and imagery in her glass work and screen painting. She will showcase new work and designs. Joining Holm will be beautiful recycled sculptural artwork created by students at Effie Kokrine Charter School which will be on display all month long.

First Friday Evening:

MUSIC by Sand Castle – McCafferty’s
(408 Cushman) [830-1030 PM]

A collection of oil paintings by Jean Lester - "Faces of Alaska" - will be on display in Fairbanks City Hall during May 2014. Photo by Amber Courtney,

A collection of oil paintings by Jean Lester – “Faces of Alaska” – will be on display in Fairbanks City Hall during May 2014. Photo by Amber Courtney.


Grandma Raven by Amy Reisland-Speer_oil on canvas_v2

“Grandma Raven” by Amy Reisland-Speer. Oil on canvas. On display at the Morris Thompson Cultural & Visitors Center.

If you’re searching for the best First Friday in Fairbanks then look no further than downtown! Our guide and map will give you the skinny! For April, downtown brings you the best in photography, art, music and more. From the Morris Thompson Cultural & Visitors Center to If Only…a fine store, we’ve got something for everyone! It’s expected to be 43F and partly sunny, which means a light jacket is probably in order!

Top Pick:

ART SHOW – Morris Thompson Cultural & Visitors Center
(101 Dunkel St) [5-8PM]
Featured artists Amy Reisland-Speer and Cynthia West Hanson are Alaska born and raised. They draw their inspiration from being outdoors surrounded by nature. Amy Reisland-Speer’s oil paintings reflect the beauty of landscapes, flowers, and wildlife that surround her daily. Cynthia West Hanson will feature her original oil paintings inspired by her father’s beautiful peonies.

First Friday:

ART SHOW – Fairbanks Community and Dog Mushing Museum
(400 Cushman) [5-8PM]
Photographer J. Jason Lazarus exhibits “Stories Fading Fast: Capturing the Remnants of the Alaskan Gold Rush,” a vintage look at Alaska’s gold mining past.

ART SHOW2 Street Gallery
(535 2nd Ave – Inside the Co-Op Plaza) [5-8PM]
2 Street Gallery celebrates its second year in business! Thank you, Fairbanks for your support. Join us for a two-year birthday party as we celebrate pairs of things. Come in a twosome to see our duos!

ART SHOW – If Only…a fine store
(215 Cushman) [5-8PM]
Join us for a Spring Trunk Show of handcrafted ivory jewelry designed and crafted by Kurt and Courtney Tripp of Bothell, Washington. Special findings include fossil mammoth, fossil walrus, vintage ebony wood and mammoth tooth. This selection is not to be missed!

ART + MUSIC – Jade Resale Boutique
(729 1st Ave) [5-9PM]
Suzy Smyth will be showing her clay sculptures and Najavo Nation artists Kelvin Long (flute, hand drum, vocals) and Enei Begaye-Peter (vocals) will perform.

First Friday Evening:

LIVE MUSIC by Sand Castle – McCafferty’s
(408 Cushman) [830-1030PM]


Trista Crass_Wild Hunt“Quiet as Death” by Trista Crass
On display at Rock Valley Boutique

Every shop has its debut First Friday. On March 7th, Rock Valley Boutique in downtown Fairbanks will have its artistic cotillion. It will be a first for both the shop and the artist being showcased.

“The whole thing’s going to be quirky and adorable,” said Adrienne McGee, Rock Valley’s owner. McGee opened her shop late last year which specializes in high-end women’s fashion.

It will be the debut event for McGee’s boutique, as well as for artist Trista Crass. While they’ve been friends since they were teenagers, McGee jokes that her and Crass are actually long-lost siblings. “This is our first First Friday event, what a better way to kick it off than with my buddy?” McGee said.

Crass said she is inspired by “sappy folk music, insomnia and the stark landscapes of the Tanana Valley.” While she paints landscapes, she – occasionally – doesn’t quite know what she’s created until afterward. “I only paint at night, and as a result, my paintings have kind of a dreamy, ethereal quality,” she said. Crass moves her paintings downstairs to dry only to wonder at what exactly she’s created.

While both McGee and Crass are excited for the event, McGee jokes that she’s just doing it to give her foodie sensibilities an outlet. “I’m pretty excited because there are going to be cookies,” she said. “I’m doing this purely for the cookies.”

In addition to homemade cookies, there will also be a coffee and tea service provided by River City Cafe and Espresso. Rock Valley will be giving away a $50 gift card to a lucky attendee.

Rock Valley is located at 511 2nd Ave in downtown Fairbanks. Crass’ original paintings will be for sale and start at $175. They will be on display all month.


Trista Crass_Wild Hunt“Quiet as Death” by Trista Crass
On display at Rock Valley Boutique

If you’re looking for the best First Friday events in Fairbanks then look no further than our guide and map, giving you the low-down on First Friday downtown. This March, downtown brings you the best in art, photography, food, music and more. From Rock Valley Boutique’s first-ever art show, to the Fairbanks Rollergirls’ “Happily Ever Afterlife Zombie Prom” fundraiser downtown offers something for everyone! While the weather is expected to be 16F and sunny, make sure to bring a coat if you plan on walking between shows!

Top Pick:

ART SHOWRock Valley Boutique
(511 2nd Ave) [5PM]
Debut First Friday event featuring the abstract landscapes of Trista Crass. Refreshments available with coffee service provided by River City Cafe and Espresso.

First Friday:

PHOTOGRAPHY SHOWMorris Thompson Cultural & Visitors Center
(101 Dunkel St) [5-8PM]
Photographs taken during summer 2013 along the John River in the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve.

ART SHOW If Only…a fine store
(215 Cushman) [5-8PM]
All Things Shiny: Featuring handcrafted sterling silver jewelry by Paul Wagner, designer and Jeff McKenzie, silversmith.  Curated selections from the artists’ NorthCoast Collection include pendants, earrings, and rings. Many rings are sized for men and are suitable for wedding and friendship rings.

ART SHOW + FOODRiver City Cafe and Espresso
(523 2nd Ave.) [5-8PM]
Hosting Fairbanks artist and newspaper columnist, Ray Bonnell, on First Friday as he showcases his historical pen-&-ink drawings created during the past year.

ARTS + CRAFTSForget-Me-Not Books (517 Gaffney Rd.) [10AM-6PM]

LIVE MUSIC by Cold Steel Band – Co-Op Plaza
(535 2nd Ave.) [530-8PM]

BOOK SIGNING – Alaskana Raven
(Co-Op Plaza) [5-8PM]
Mary Shields, first woman to finish the Iditarod Sled Dog Race, will be signing books throughout the evening. Frosty-Frosty, one of her sled dogs, will be on hand. Or, rather, paw!

MOVIE EVENT Jade Resale Boutique
(729 1st Ave) [5-9PM]
Hosting a reception in celebration of the film “Spirit of the Wind”, the story of “Huslia Hustler” George Attla.

DANCE EXHIBITDance Theatre Fairbanks
(656 7th Ave) [5-8PM]
Enjoy the talents of our young artists as they prepare for the premiere of our original show “Yellow Brick Rd.” Tour our facility, the Edna Wise Firehouse Theatre and meet our staff and students.  Light refreshments will be served.  Family Friendly.  

ART SHOW – Beads & Things
(537 2nd Ave.) [5-8 PM]
Hosting ivory carver Brian Kulik and beaders Scotty Dewilde and Celia Yoder.

ART SHOW –  World Eskimo Indian Olympics
(corner of 4th & Cushman) [5-7:35]
Jewelry maker Wallace Joe will showcase his beaded and shelled creations, including chokers, necklaces, earrings and bracelets. His handmade jewelry is considered “traditional” in the Alaskan style.

First Friday Evening:

DANCING – Westmark Hotel
(813 Noble St.) [8PM-Midnight]
Come on out for an evening of fun and dancing in your zombie attire. Advance tickets available at Interior Graphics, Party Palace, and Team Cutters. This is a fundraiser for Fairbanks Rollergirls.

LIVE MUSIC by Sand Castle McCafferty’s
(408 Cushman) [830-1030PM]


fcm logo


On Feb. 7, the Fairbanks Community & Dog Mushing Museum will host a fine art auction as part of First Friday. The museum will also officially unveil the Century Club, a new endeavor to help the organization raise funds.

“Fairbanks has a very rich history and to be able to keep it in a building with historic significance is important,” said Bob Eley, a volunteer at the museum which is housed in Historic City Hall. Membership fees from the Century Club will provide funds to upgrade the facility and computer system, as well as aid in the construction of new exhibits. If the auction and Century Club membership drive are successful, Eley hopes to begin discussion with the City of Fairbanks to purchase the building.

For a $100 contribution, a Century Club member will receive a window decal and patch, as well as a museum pin. Each member will be recognized as a Century Club member inside the museum and will be invited to an annual gathering to thank members and show how funds were used to improve the museum. The museum hopes to gain at least 100 Century Club members by the end of February.

“If you want to see the museum continue to blossom and grow then this is the way to get involved,” Eley said. “Help us continue into the future.”

The evening will feature a silent auction, showcasing art from numerous Fairbanks artists. Bidding for some art will end on First Friday while other pieces will remain on the auction block throughout the month. All artwork will feature a Buy It Now price, should a bidder feel passionate about a particular piece. 

The auction will include artwork by Tom and Nelda Nixon, Matt Moberly, Tom Payer, Susan Smalley-Stevenson, Dee Carpenter, Sol Powell, Amy Reisland-Speer, Colleen Sackinger, Iris Sutton, Donna Gates, Pat McManus, Littorio Del Signore, T. O’Neill, Cindy Davis, Byron Birdsall, Rhonda Konicki, Andrew Warden and Dan Kennedy.

The museum invites community members to make history by joining the Century Club and by participating in the art auction. The event will be held on Feb. 7 from 5-9PM.





Are you looking for the best First Friday events in Fairbanks? Look no further than our quick guide, giving you the skinny on First Friday downtown.

Top Pick:

ART AUCTIONFairbanks Community &  Dog Musher’s Museum
(410 Cushman) [5-9PM]

First Friday:

ART SHOWMorris Thompson Cultural & Visitors Center
(101 Dunkel St.) [5-8PM]

ART SHOW + SHOPPING2 Street Gallery
(535 2nd Ave.) [5-8PM]

ART SHOW + SHOPPINGIf Only…a fine store
(215 Cushman) [5-8PM]

ART SHOW + FOODCo-op Market
(526 Gaffney Rd.) [5-8PM]

ARTS + CRAFTSForget-Me-Not Books
(517 Gaffney Rd.) [10AM-6PM]

(507 Gaffney Rd.) [5-8PM]

BOOK SIGNINGAlaskana Raven
(Co-Op Plaza) [5-8PM]

ART SHOW + SHOPPINGJade Resale Boutique
(729 1st Ave.) [5-8PM]

FOODDel Ray’s
(455 3rd Ave.) [All Day]

First Friday Evening:

(408 Cushman) [830-1030PM]

MUSICBobby’s Downtown
(609 2nd Ave.) [830PM-?]

Looking for our interactive mobile and desktop map? Simply click here!

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Downtown Association of Fairbanks – Fairbanks Alaska