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LIONS, TIGERS & LIVE MUSIC

If you love music and live performances- it’s your lucky week.

A fortunate combo of initiatives by Festival Fairbanks, Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, the Downtown Market, and the traveling circus troupe known as New Old Time Chautauqua bring a spectacular assortment of music and theatrical events downtown over the next ten days.

There’s no better time to enjoy long lunch breaks and leisurely strolls punctuated by this lovely selection of tunes.

As always, visit our events calendar for a full schedule.

Wednesday, July 20th

12:15-1:15pm- A selection of children’s music can be heard in the lobby of Mt. McKinley Bank on 4th Avenue as part of the Lunch Bites program of the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival.

7-8pm- 395th Army Band of Oklahoma performs in Golden Heart Plaza as part of Festival Fairbanks’ summer Concerts in the Plaza series. According to the Festival Fairbanks website, “The band has a diverse repertoire of Big Band, Latin, contemporary jazz, standards, popular tunes, Dixieland, and patriotic selections.”

Thursday, July 21st

11am- New Old Time Chautauqua stops in Golden Heart Plaza amid a statewide Midnight Sun Vaudeville tour for a teaser show of what’s to come in their evening performance at Pioneer Park. This 60+ member circus troupe will perform acrobatics, juggling, comedy, and magic. Catch much of the action in downtown Fairbanks for a free preview of their talents and techniques.

Friday, July 22nd

12-1pm- Tundra Flutes performs in Golden Heart Plaza as part of the Lunch Bites program of the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival and in conjunction with Concerts in the Plaza  by Festival Fairbanks. According to the Festival Fairbanks website, “Under the direction of Festival Guest Artist, John Barcellona, this group performs in many venues around town during their two week residency at FSAF. Music lovers of all ages will enjoy this mellow and versatile group as well as Barcellona’s entertaining commentaries.”

Monday, July 25th

4:45-6:45pm- Clarence Pate performs a compilation of blues and jazz at the Downtown Market in Golden Heart Plaza.

Tuesday, July 26th

12-1pm- Pat Fitzgerald & Robin Dale Ford perform in Golden Heart Plaza as part of Festival Fairbanks’ summer Concerts in the Plaza series. According to the Festival Fairbanks website, the performance will feature, “Two of Alaska’s finest singer/songwriters presenting music ranging from Appalachian ballads and honky-tonk country to their original contemporary songs rooted in a life-long ‘engagement’ in the Northland.”

12:15-1:15pm- A jazz band performs at the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center as part of the Lunch Bites program of the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival.

Wednesday, July 27th

7-8pm- “O Tallulah” performs in Golden Heart Plaza as part of Festival Fairbanks’ summer Concerts in the Plaza series. This band is, “A family band of avid singer-songwriters who have been inspired by Blue Ridge Mountain music, Celtic, classical and everything beyond,” according to Festival Fairbanks’ website. “They enjoy singing old and new tunes as well as their own brand of old time, gospel, country and folk music.”

Friday, July 29th

12-1pm- Brass Ensemble performs in Golden Heart Plaza as part of the Lunch Bites program of the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival and in conjunction with Concerts in the Plaza by Festival Fairbanks. “Directed by Guest Artist, Peter Brockman, this group is made up of Festival faculty members and registrants from all over the United States,” reads their description on Festival Fairbanks’ website. “This jovial group of musicians has been delighting Fairbanks audiences for many years with their first rate musicianship and blithe sense of humor.”

 

WANTED: GUERRILLA GARDENERS

It has come to our attention that a colorful bout of “underground” gardening took place last week in several flower beds surrounding the old courthouse building between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. To the amazement of the property owner, new flowers and plantings in shades of pink, purple, yellow, white, and green appeared in large beds lining three sides of the building.

Rumor has it that the assortment of flowers was donated by Risse’s Greenhouse to a few downtown enthusiasts with particularly green thumbs and a mind for beautification. Let’s hope a few other Good Samaritans take to keeping them watered.

Thanks to those who planted these lovely arrangements!

 

NAVIGATE THE LAYERS

The old sometimes becomes the new. That’s the philosophy of at least two artists ready to exhibit at First Friday in downtown Fairbanks- using repurposed glass, antiques, and vintage jewelry to create new works of wearable art. Others will display their talents in mediums from woodcuts, watercolors, and photography to soaps and saxophones. Folk, jazz, and classic rock will accompany a Brazilian martial arts demonstration to round out the live entertainment for the night. An early Fourth of July celebration adds ice cream and Independence to the mix. Oh, and did we mention- there will be pony rides?

Capoeira Demonstrations @ l’assiette de Pomegranate, 414 2nd Avenue

24th Anniversary Sale @ Beads and Things, 537 2nd Avenue

“A Series of Layers,” Tom Walker @ S Salon & Studio, 901 Cushman Street (see video below)

Sew Trashy Art @ Julia’s Solstice Café, 206 Driveway Street

Celebrating Independence @ If Only… a fine store, 215 Cushman Street

Watercolors by Matt Moberly @ Fairbanks Community Museum, 410 Cushman Street

Sara Tabbert @ Alaska House Art Gallery, 1003 Cushman Street

“The World of Analogue,” Christina Chambers & C. Ballew @ Chartreuse, 729 1st Avenue

Golden Heart Art @ Co-Op Arts, 535 2nd Avenue, Suite 103

Jim DeWitt Photography @ River City Café & Espresso, 523 2nd Avenue

Re-purposing & Suds and Buds @ Lady Lee’s Bath House Emporium, 825 1st Avenue

30% off Ed Hardy & Snacks by Jade @ The Cats Meow, 212 Lacey Street

Nicholas Johnson Collection: Vintage Beads @ Morris Thompson Center, 101 Dunkel Street

Pony Rides, Sue Cole, Karen Baker & Alguine Largent @ The Dawg Wash, 541 9th Avenue

Tekenya Rosetta Photography @ Alana’s Espresso Escape, 535 2nd Avenue, Suite 101

First Friday @ Space for Movement Studio, 410 2nd Avenue

Live Jazz @ Bobby’s Downtown, 609 2nd Avenue

Sand Castle @ McCafferty’s, A Coffee House, Etc, 408 Cushman Street

Weekend Entertainment @ The Big I Pub & Lounge, 122 N Turner Street

Arly—Jylz @ Big Daddy’s Bar-B-Q, 107 Wickersham Street

 

FLAVOR WITH FEIST AT L’ASSIETTE DE POMEGRANATE

A narrow cafe stretching from 1st to 2nd Avenue is becoming a new hotspot for young and rising artists to exhibit work

, and for the owner to continue her long tradition of freshly prepared meals in a space that doubles as creative outlet and culinary oasis.

Joan Busam is not one to stick with the old. She grows bored easily, and scoffs at efforts she judges as stale or behind the times.

“I think one of the reasons I like this industry is that it’s volatile and always changing,” Joan points out.

Though she considered studying culinary arts, a mentor said her most valuable experience would come from a commercial kitchen.

“I had done corporate work for many years,” Joan reflects, having left a lucrative upper-level management position to follow her dreams of becoming a chef. “I was certainly no spring chicken when I apprenticed.”

These days- she tends to agree about hands-on training, whether mastering classical, northern Italian, South American, Mexican, or European dishes.

“Once you learn a technique- you can cook almost anything. But the trick is to make it taste authentic.” Joan explains. “I stood in huts with ladies down in Mexico to learn how to make different dishes. I make a killer seviche.” Seviche is an appetizer of raw fish marinated in lime juice, topped with onions, tomatoes, and cilantro.

Her culinary apprenticeship and subsequent gigs at various restaurants and lodges took her from Seattle to Boston, San Diego and, finally, to Alaska.

She moved to Alaska and grew hooked on the atmosphere and vistas while working at a lodge in Central. Her first business in downtown Fairbanks was a diner in the Co-Op Plaza, open for two years in the mid-90s. The enthusiasm for downtown events she now brings to l’assiette de Pomegranate was preceded by music, activities, and theme meals in that diner.

l’assiette de Pomegranate opened its doors in 2001, in what used to be a Frontier sporting goods store. She serves up a popular family-style Easter Dinner, a fall Harvest Home Dinner, themed dishes on El Dia De Los Muertos, traditional Christmas baked goods, and solstice celebrations.

“I try to bring that quality of home, comfort, and tradition together in a unique way,” Joan says.

Though last summer proved full of financial and medical challenges, Joan pulled through with her characteristic fighting spirit.

“I said, ‘To hell with this- if nothing else, I’m going to have fun,” Joan recalls.

Ever since, she’s been showcasing artists she considers fresh, innovative, and original in First Friday exhibits with as much vibrance and variety as any in town.

Her vision of inspiring more creativity and collaboration among new and seasoned downtown players is aided by the flexibility of her cafe space.

“The high walls, the high ceilings- it’s the perfect wall for showing art,” Joan explains.

This month features a demonstration of capoeira- a martial art first practiced by African slaves in Brazil who disguised it as folk dance so as not to be discovered by their white supervisors.

Meanwhile, Joan serves up sandwiches, soups, baked goods, coffee, and decadent desserts each day with emphasis on fresh, local ingredients. She roasts her own beef and turkey and works with Basically Basil- a local farm with vinegars for sale atop her counter.

Another huge but less obvious part of her business is catering.

“I don’t have one from Column A, two from Column B,” Joan says proudly. “I design a catering menu based on tastes, budget, and number of people.”

Joan’s flavors, fortes, and musings cover wide ground. She comments on everything from food history and the curiosity of ancient grains coming into vogue, to the impact of genetically modified food on allergies (like gluten) which have influenced her menu options.

As she continues to breathe new life and creative spirit into her 2nd Avenue cafe, Joan will continue in the line of work that suits her best.

“I’ve always loved cooking- I think I was birthed cooking,” Joan explains, matter-of-fact. “If it’s not delicious, I don’t want to serve it.”

Her customers will find no cause to argue with her on that point.

SHAPING LEATHER AND STEEL

“Someday, we’re gonna be famous,” Patrick Holland jokes from behind the glass counter of Alaska’s Far Northern Knives

, his new knife store in the Co-Op Plaza.

Though he calls himself “ornery,” a close look at Patrick’s work reveals a dedicated and knowledgeable bladesmith who got his start shaping knives from car parts taken from a friend’s junkyard in Arizona.

Patrick’s self-taught beginnings have burgeoned into a full-fledged business partnership with sister Nan Tumbleson, who sells leatherwork out of the same location- tucked into a corner of the Plaza across the hallway from Co-Op Arts.

“He does knives and I do leather,” Nan explains while seated at her workstation- a collapsable table strewn with dyes, embossing tools, and strips of leather. “I said- ‘Why don’t we open up a store?’”

Patrick and Nan sold at trade shows, gun shows, and on military bases before deciding to take the leap and open up shop in April of this year. Patrick sold several guns to finance up-front expenses.

Early traffic from Fort Wainwright and Eielson Air Force Base kept Patrick and Nan busy. They still receive calls and orders from Iraq and requests from soldiers nearing deployment. Nan and her husband, Brian, spent their first anniversary at Eielson nearly thirty years ago when he was stationed there. Now he helps Nan sew and lace her products.

Luckily, more locals and visitors are slowly stumbling upon the shop and placing steady orders for custom work.

Whether working from his mind or the sketches of a client, Patrick begins each knife on paper by mapping the design of both blade and handle. His wife’s eye for color and complementary materials helps him piece together knives with as much beauty as functionality.

A machine cuts out the rough shape of a blade from a piece of folded steel, a material that incorporates two or more metals into a single blade, providing flexibility and hardness.

“The mixture of hard and soft steel” creates the perfect combination, Patrick says, “so you don’t have a brittle knife. You have something that sharpens well.”

Acidic treatment unveils both design and texture in the blade, and folded steel will “hold an edge” three times as long as other materials. Patrick files the shape of the blade and adds special grooves or curves once the machine has cut out the rough design.

Then, Patrick turns his attention to the handle, cutting and sanding each piece of wood or antler. Metallic guards cap each end of the handle. After attaching the handle and guards to the blade, Patrick gives each knife a high polish treatment and final sanding.

He spends 6-8 hours on any given knife and prices range from $90-$500 based on the amount of metal in the blade, the number of times the steel has been folded, and the level of detail in his work. His repertoire includes hunting knives, daggers, filet knives, swords, and cutlery.

These are not “one generation knives,” in Patrick’s words. “You hand them down.

Each knife comes with its own leather sheath, likely made by Nan.

Nan also makes belts twice as thick as most, and proven to last much longer. She can carve designs and dye the leather in any of her products- including holsters, shoulder rigs, hair clips, wallets, belt buckles, purses, key chains, and cell phone cases. Belts sell for under $30 and holsters for less than $40.

“We also sell the stuff for you to do it on your own,” Nan says with a wave to the racks of raw leather, suedes, snaps, ribbons, dyes, and horse tack buckles.

Patrick and Nan can also repair knife blades, handles, or leather goods. Nan’s work has been in particularly high demand.

“We’ve been twelve years without a leather shop now,” Nan says of Fairbanks. Customers have brought in a backlog of belts, boots, and sheaths.

While Patrick and Nan stay busy with custom orders and repairs, visitors and locals are beginning to pop in for a visit. Patrick hears more than his share of hunting stories and enjoys explaining the intricacies of each knife he’s built. He’s eager to remind customers that he accepts custom orders if they don’t find something to their tastes on display.

Brian predicts Alaska’s Far Northern Knives will soon have a dependable clientele of repeat customers, thanks to the incredible skill of Nan and Patrick and their impressive product line. Their work speaks for itself, and the long road to business ownership by this sibling duo looks as if it’s starting to pay off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RE-CHARTING DOWNTOWN REVITALIZATION

The implementation phase of Vision Fairbanks is over.  Neither of the plan’s foundational pieces – revising traffic circulation and creating new zoning tools – was acceptable to enough businesses and property owners downtown.  The latest disappointment for revitalization came June 23rd when the Borough Assembly defeated Ordinance 2011-31.  That ordinance would have created two new zone types in Borough code to guide land use downtown.  Read News-Miner story here. 

The Vision Fairbanks plan relies on traffic circulation and new zoning tools to attract significant future investment.  Those changes would improve downtown’s competitiveness as an investment destination.  Without those pieces, downtown revitalization is still possible, of course, but proponents will chart a different course. 

Revitalizing a downtown is complex.  The Downtown Association is committed to an all-of-the-above approach to downtown’s day-to-day and necessary long-term structural changes.  So we’ll explore possibilities remaining in the Vision Fairbanks plan, continue to generate ideas and events that bring people downtown and support the efforts and ideas of others to do the same. 

Questions or comments?  Call David at 452-8676 or email david@downtownfairbanks.com  

HUGE THANKS FOR ANOTHER GREAT FESTIVAL

 

The 2011 BP Midnight Sun Festival was a great success, lining the streets of downtown Fairbanks with vendors, performers, and activities from noon to midnight in celebration of 24 hours of daylight.

As always, the Downtown Association of Fairbanks relied on hundreds of fabulous festival supporters, sponsors, volunteers, bands, dancers, merchants, and vendors to create this community-wide event. A huge thank-you goes out to each of these key partners, and all those who came out to enjoy the festival.

Alaska’s largest single-day event wouldn’t be possible without your generous contributions!

In a special twist this year, the Downtown Association raffled off a 2011 Ford Fiesta to raise money for downtown events. Wendy Petrice of Fairbanks won the car, and the raffle raised more than $10,000 for downtown events. Many thanks to the 2500 of you who purchased tickets in support of the BP Midnight Sun Festival, and also to the area businesses that helped sell tickets and donated to the raffle.

Festival Volunteers

Calypso Farm, Andrew Quainton, Damien Snook, Paul Martz, Sean O’Shea, Adam Nash, Luke Gunderman, Raelynn Radway, Chris Miller, Angie Schmidt, Ed & Lois Niewohner, Amy Kemp, Mike Webb, Bart LeBon, David Hayden, Tonya Wood, Jessica LaDouceur,  Ken Henry, Gary Conatser, Tara Callear, Siobahn Williams, Dick Lord, Amanda Huff, Joanna Wallace, Joleen Boyd, Bethany Tackett, Terin Porter, Midnight Sun Swim Team, Monroe Catholic High School Football Team, Ryan Holland, Bob Eley, Dianne Fleaks, Dianne Christiansen, Chet Reed, Midnight Sun Roller Girls, Joshua Poe, Isaiah Mangum, Sheri Oleson, Sally Rafson, Dance Floor Volunteers, Chrissy Martz

2011 BP Midnight Sun Festival Sponsors

BP, Seekins Ford Lincoln, MAC Federal Credit Union, Subway, Sadler’s Home Furnishings, Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, Alaska Waste, Sani-Can, Spirit of Alaska, Bridgewater Hotel, The Alaska Club, GVEA, Kohler, Schmitt & Hutchison, First National Bank, JL Properties, Big Ray’s, GEICO Insurance, Denali State Bank, If Only.. a Fine Store, Festival Fairbanks, River City Investments, Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, Yukon Quest, Actus Community Fund, Lady Lee’s Bath House Emporium, Stephenson CPA, Equinox Physical Therapy, Yukon Title, Mecca Bar, Dance Theatre Fairbanks, Mt. McKinley Bank, Fairbanks Parking Authority, Spring Hill Suites by Marriott.

2011 Ford Fiesta Raffle Sponsors and Partners
Seekins Ford Lincoln, MAC Federal Credit Union, The Big I Pub & Lounge, S Salon, Chartreuse, Big Daddy’s Bar B-Q, River City Café & Espresso, l’assiette de Pomegranate, Fairbanks Community Museum, Alana’s Espresso Escape, David Edmond

Talent Sponsors
9th Army Band, The Legendary WillyMac, Legends of Rock, Caleb Aronson, Dance Theatre Fairbanks, Tundra Caravan Middle Eastern Dance, Ben Boyd, Dj Double X,

 

FESTIVAL PERFORMERS DONATE TIME, TALENT

Over thirty performers will soon grace makeshift stages positioned throughout the 2011 BP Midnight Sun Festival to entertain crowds for twelve straight hours on Sunday, June 19th.

All will play at least one 45-minute set, offering festival-goers a wide variety of musical genres and performance styles, from Marc Brown & the Blues Crew to the South Sea Island Polynesian Dancers. Most will receive payment from the Downtown Association of Fairbanks for contributing their time, talents, and enthusiasm to the festival.

But eight of them will donate their musical expertise and perform free of charge.

Dan Socha, also known as Dj Double X, has been mixing music for so long that it stumps him to think of the exact number of years. He estimates around ten, and this year will mark his second BP Midnight Sun Festival performance.

He considers the festival a chance to expose his audience to new types of music and increase his profile in the Fairbanks community as a go-to mixer for parties and big events.

“I see it as an opportunity for a little bit more exposure. If by being a Talent Sponsor, I get my name out there a little more, I think it’s worth it,” Socha explains.

He “snuck” a second festival performance by volunteering to mix for the Legendary WillyMac, who performs earlier in the day on the Bear Stage. The festival is a family affair for Socha, who always brings his wife and two boys and plans to watch his cousin, Chris Swain, play with a band under the name Quasipseudo.

Caleb Aronson, a singer-songwriter and lifelong Fairbanksan, says audience members who listen closely may hear “Alaska history threads” in his acoustic blend of folk, blues, and Americana tunes. His first album included lyrical highlights of state history and he plans to play a few songs from that record during his 1:30pm performance on the SUBWAY Caribou Stage.

Aronson will return to the festival for his third year as a performer, though he attended “quite a few” festivals while growing up in Fairbanks. For him, the timing of the festival is as much of a draw as the crowds.

“I love Fairbanks around solstice,” he says. “It’s such a vibrant community when the sun is out all night.”

He uses the festival as a chance to catch up with friends who work in booths or fellow performers who he isn’t able to visit throughout the rest of the year. Aronson is currently working on a third album, to be released in the fall and his music is available at coffeeshops and music stores throughout town.

Tundra Caravan Middle Eastern Dance is performing for the eleventh straight year in the 2011 BP Midnight Sun Festival. Festival-goers who visit the Bear Stage at 4:15pm will see “cabaret style” belly-dancing, complete with sequins, sparkles, beads, and chiffon skirts. Co-director Susan Chapa will be joined by five fellow performers and students from her dance school, Roks Souzana.

“It’s closer to what people think of when they think of belly dancers when they aren’t familiar with all the different styles of belly dancing,” Chapa explains of her troupe’s style, though she is quick to emphasize that dancers of all shapes and sizes are welcome.

“Our mission is to promote the education of Middle Eastern dance here in Fairbanks,” Chapa describes. “It’s not just that perfect Hollywood image that we have of people who can bellydance.”

Why does the group keep returning to the festival?

“It’s always such a great audience and they’re always so supportive,” Chapa says, “We feel appreciated.”

You can also see Tundra Caravan Middle Eastern Dance perform from 7-8pm every Thursday in June for Gazebo Nights in Pioneer Park, sponsored by the Fairbanks Arts Association.

Many thanks to all of the 2011 BP Midnight Sun Festival Talent Sponsors- and be sure to come out and support these amazing performers.

2011 BP Midnight Sun Festival Talent Sponsors

9th Army Band                                                 Noon, 1pm, and 6pm          MAC Moose Stage (1st Ave & Lacey)

The Legendary WillyMac                             12:15pm          Bear Stage (2nd Ave & Noble)

Legends of Rock                                              12:30pm          SUBWAY Caribou Stage (2nd Ave & Cushman)

Caleb Aronson                                                  1:30pm            SUBWAY Caribou Stage (2nd Ave & Cushman)

Dance Theatre Fairbanks                             3:15pm and 7:15pm          Bear Stage (2nd Ave & Noble)

Tundra Caravan Middle Eastern Dance  4:15pm          Bear Stage (2nd Ave & Noble)

Ben Boyd                                                             9:15pm          Bear Stage (2nd Ave & Noble)

Dj Double X                                                        10:30pm          SUBWAY Caribou Stage (2nd Ave & Cushman)

 

SEEKINS ROLLS IN WITH ORIGINAL SUPPORT

Seekins Ford Lincoln and the BP Midnight Sun Festival each have a long history in the Fairbanks community. One is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary this year, and the other has 33+ years of experience connecting Interior Alaskans with the products, services, and level of quality they most desire.

Can you guess which is which?

Though the BP Midnight Sun Festival hasn’t been around quite as long as Fairbanks’ favorite auto dealership, that didn’t stop Seekins General Manager Margaret Russell from recognizing the festival as a “good fit” for sponsorship. 

Russell has worked at Seekins for nearly as long as the dealership has been in business, and considers sponsorships to be part of the dealership’s core mission.

“It’s just a company philosophy that’s been embedded in our culture,” Russell explains, with emphasis that these efforts help give back “to the community that supports us as a business.”

Russell considers community welfare to be an even greater sponsorship benefit than company exposure.

“It’s not what exposure we get, but how much we add to the quality of life for citizens,” Russell says.

It is perhaps this attitude that led Seekins to win recognition as 2005 TIME Quality Dealer of the Year, a national award given by the National Automotive Dealership Association in cooperation with TIME magazine.

“Much of the criteria for this award is not only the success of our business but also how we support the community,” Russell recalls, like the support contributed to the 2011 BP Midnight Sun Festival.

The festival is a particularly exciting event to support, and has offered a way for Seekins to showcase a new Ford model that wouldn’t otherwise receive as much attention on the lot. 

“We were very excited to have the opportunity to support what we see as a world-class event,” Russell says. “I like that sense of energy that comes with the festival.”

Seekins’ mission statement reads in part, “..we are dedicated to the continuous improvement and growth in every aspect of our business and our community.”

Many thanks to Seekins Ford Lincoln for their generous contribution and recognition of the 2011 BP Midnight Sun Festival as a valuable Fairbanks tradition.

BP RETURNS AS FESTIVAL TITLE SPONSOR

The annual Midnight Sun Festival relies on significant corporate and community support to transform the streets of downtown Fairbanks into a community-wide celebration of summer solstice each year.

BP leads the pack of generous donors once again as title sponsor for the festival, earning recognition in all festival promotions for the 2011 BP Midnight Sun Festival.

Karen Cowart, Director of Government and Public Affairs, explains that BP has a history of festival sponsorship because of the festival’s far-reaching impact in the Fairbanks community.

“We’ve been a longtime supporter of the festival,” Cowart says, “It’s really fun for the community and it shows our commitment to the community.”

Karen also sees it as a way to enhance the number of activities and events available in the hometowns of BP employees.

“We have employees who live in Fairbanks,” Cowart explains, “so we’re not only supporting the community but we’re there for our employees.”

On a webpage related to charitable giving in Alaska, BP acknowledges its role as “one of the largest private sector investors in Alaska” and reports more than $10 million in charitable giving to Alaskan nonprofits and educational efforts in 2008, the most recent data available.

Kara Nash, Events and Marketing Director for the Downtown Association of Fairbanks, relies on generous sponsorship by companies like BP each year to coordinate the festival and understands the importance of making the relationship beneficial for both partners.

“(BP has) been our title sponsor for four years,” Nash comments, “and they really appreciate that this event represents the entire state.”

Nash sees the festival from the inside out, and continues to believe that sponsorship includes unique opportunities to advertise a company’s brand. The promotional mix for this year’s festival included radio, newspaper, and Facebook advertisements as well as posters, banners, online articles, and a complimentary booth space.

“They’re putting their name on something that is unique to Fairbanks,” Nash reasons. “By recognizing how important the festival is to Fairbanks and putting your name on it- that’s how you get exposure.”

The 2011 BP Midnight Sun Festival is poised to be a great success thanks in part to the generous sponsorship of BP, and future festivals will continue to rely on similar partnerships.

 

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Downtown Association of Fairbanks – Fairbanks Alaska