Downtown Association of Fairbanks – Fairbanks Alaska


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.



It’s that time of year again- the mosquitos are out, wildfires are a-blazing, and the 2011 BP Midnight Sun Festival is just around the corner (Sunday, June 19th from noon to midnight, to be exact).

Here are the latest festival developments:


The BP Midnight Sun Festival celebrates its thirtieth year in 2011!
Be part of Alaska’s largest single-day event by picking up your official t-shirt- on sale soon in select downtown locations.

Lime green and charcoal Anvil pre-shrunk t-shirts printed using eco-friendly techniques sport the 2011 BP Midnight Sun Festival logo. Buy one before the festival and wear it with pride. Vendors and members get a $5 discount on pre-festival sales.

Call 452-8671 or visit the Fairbanks Community Museum to pick up a shirt today if you simply can’t wait.


Consider joining the 2011 Midnight Sun Street Team if you’re interested in developing business and marketing skills while contributing to downtown revitalization:

The Downtown Association is seeking bright, capable, driven downtown enthusiasts
to help market the 30th annual Midnight Sun Festival.

This is your chance to temporarily join our friendly and ambitious staff
while contributing to downtown revitalization.

Specific duties include leading sales at events (baseball games, 5Ks, organizational meetings,
festivals, concerts), drumming up excitement in diverse crowds , developing an individual sales scheme,
making phone calls, visiting neighbors, coordinating spotlights at area businesses, and staffing the
Midnight Sun Festival on June 19th, 2011 (required).

Applicants must be available 10-20 hours per week leading up to the festival,
and able to work toward an individual sales goal.
No experience necessary.
Should be able/excited to pitch to the local bar scene as easily as visitors, families, or students.
Energy, charisma, and persuasion skills a plus.
Valid driver’s license required.

Earn $10 per hour.
Guidance provided by DTA staff in weekly meetings with fellow street team members.
Prize incentives for most individual sales per week.

Call 452-8671 for more details and to schedule an interview.


The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner has reserved a special section in the annual Midnight Sun Celebration insert for the 2011 BP Midnight Sun Festival, consisting of a four-page spread with a festival map, list of featured performances, and sponsor spotlights.

If you run a downtown business or are a festival vendor and would like to advertise in this section, contact Nava Christian of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner at 459-7595 or This is a great way to group your promotions with the 2011 BP Midnight Sun Festival, and direct festival-goers straight to your booth or business. Copies are distributed the weekend of the festival and several thousand overruns will be handed out on June 19th at the heart of the party.


Stay tuned for more festival updates coming soon!




The Downtown Market kicks off in less than a week!

Join nearly twenty vendors downtown on Monday, June 6th from 4-8pm in Golden Heart Plaza.

Here’s a little taste of what you’ll find at the inaugural market, and at most markets throughout the summer. The majority of these vendors (lucky for you) have committed to a full season of selling smoothies, tea, produce, meats, crafts, artwork, baby clothing, photography, dog treats, spices, jewelry, or souvenirs alongside the Chena River in Fairbanks’ gorgeous city center. Meet up with a friend to visit the newest hotspot of talented artists, downtown merchants, one-of-a-kind crafters, and farmers growing fresh produce close to home.

Downtown Market- Monday, June 6th
(in complete nonsensical order)

Co-Op Arts
Julia’s Solstice Cafe
McCafferty’s, A Coffee House, Etc.
Calypso Farm
Homegrown Market
Tundra Walker Studio
The Brasil Nuts
Fairbanks First
Fairbanks Community Cooperative Market
UAF Cooperative Extension Service
Aurora Babies
Alaska Wilds
Sipping Streams Tea Company
TNT Seasonings
Ruby Snacks
Aronson Designs
Project Fairbanks
Downtown Association of Fairbanks

Important market notes to keep in mind:

  • Park on 1st Avenue, 2nd Avenue, in the parking garage, in the courthouse parking lot (after five) or in front of Immaculate Conception Church (bonus: you’ll get to walk across the William Ransom Wood Centennial Footbridge to the Plaza!)
  • Project Fairbanks, a nonprofit committed to fundraising and throwing great parties in the name of downtown revitalization, will accept recycling at the Downtown Market. Bring items from home or from your business, and let them do the dirty work. Clean and sorted paper, plastic, aluminum, cardboard, and glass are welcome. Project Fairbanks’ long-term goal is to create a sensible recycling infrastructure for downtown, and this latest initiative comes on the cusp of a recycling survey that prompted hundreds of in-depth responses.
  • Food stamps, credit cards, and debit cards will be accepted at the Downtown Association of Fairbanks booth on behalf of all market vendors. Make this booth your first stop if you plan to pay by any of these methods and you will receive tokens of equal value that will be honored by vendors. (Note: food stamp acceptance may begin at the June 13th market due to logistics)
  • The Downtown Market is still accepting vendor applications.
    If you have other creative ideas for partnering with the Downtown Market as an organization or an individual- don’t be shy. Get in touch.


The proper tool is essential to an artist’s craft- a lesson each of us can each appreciate from our use of tools in the work, habits, and hobbies of daily life. Tools of the trade can increase an artist’s precision, expand their stylistic repertoire, and even inspire entire new genres of art. Pause to consider the handheld devices used to create each work of art at this month’s First Friday, with special exhibits and activities featuring tools from early days and showcasing the results of those most prominent today. The right tool can shape steel or relax a client during a massage. Cameras, musical instruments, paintbrushes, sewing needles, tuning forks, and the most advanced  software on the market have made their mark on over twenty exhibits, activities, and performances debuting this First Friday.

Vintage & Antique Tools @ Lady Lee’s Bath House Emporium 825 1st Avenue

Yvonne Maddux & Laurie Walton @ SpruceWind Healing Arts 114 10th Avenue

Jon Holmes @ Alana’s Espresso Escape 535 2nd Avenue, Suite 101

Athabascan Clothing @ Morris Thompson Center 101 Dunkel Street

Tea Tastings @ If Only… a fine store 215 Cushman Street

Watercolors by Matt Moberly @ Fairbanks Community Museum 410 Cushman Street

Pin-Ups & Purses @ Chartreuse 729 1st Avenue

Alaskan Made @ Co-Op Arts 535 2nd Avenue, Suite 103

“Living Narratives,” Amy Komar @ Alaska House Art Gallery 1003 Cushman Street

“” by Leonard Ward @ Interior Aids Association 710 3rd Avenue

“Sculpture works- Light & Steel,” Hanna A Stevenson @ l’assiette de Pomegranate 414 2nd Avenue

Open House & Free Class @ Taoist Tai Chi Society 407 1st Avenue, Suite 219

Photography by Amber Westerlund @ The Dawg Wash 541 9th Avenue

Tom & Nelda Nixon @ S Salon & Studio 901 Cushman Street

First Friday @ The Cats Meow 212 Lacey Street

Summer Beads  @ Beads and Things 537 2nd Avenue

Free Demo Belly Dance Classes @ 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

Live Music @ Big Daddy’s Bar-B-Q 107 Wickersham Street

From last month:

Project Fairbanks, a nonprofit dedicated to downtown reviatlization, would like to thank those who supported The Bra (Art) Show fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Detection Center during First Friday in May. Though the bras are no longer on display, many of the pieces can still be purchased. Interested individuals should contact Sheri Olesen of Chartreuse (452-5556) and name a price.



Join us for KIN- a monthly night of networking, with a presentation by Amy Nordrum, Communications Coordinator for the Downtown Association about new and upcoming initiatives for summer 2011.

Free food from Julia’s, Bobby’s, Gambardella’s, Bahn Thai, and l’assiette de Pomegranate will make for a delicious smorgasbord. Bring business cards and meet new professionals, young and seasoned, from the Fairbanks community. This is the last KIN event of the season and we plan to make it a hit!

Be sure to come early or stay late so you can visit the Fairbanks Community Museum on the first floor of 410 Cushman Street.

Here’s the program description:

Destination : Downtown

Summer updates from the Downtown Association of Fairbanks. Details on a weekly Downtown Market, highlights of the 30th annual Midnight Sun Festival, and photo tour of new downtown businesses. All in the context of urban planning and a big-picture vision for downtown Fairbanks.


NEW! Weekly Downtown Market Opens June 6th

Golden Heart Plaza will soon be a flurry of white tents, fresh produce, crafts, and live music as a new Downtown Market partners with area growers and vendors to bring healthy food and activity to the heart of Fairbanks.

The Downtown Market will be open every Monday this summer from 4-8pm in Golden Heart Plaza. The first Market of the season debuts on Monday, June 6th, 2011.

Locals and visitors can find produce and preserves, crepes, artwork, smoothies, coffee, souvenirs, and information from various nonprofits. Calypso Farm, Homegrown Market, Co-Op Arts, Crepes!, Julia’s Solstice Cafe, McCafferty’s, and The Brasil Nuts have committed to vending all season long.

Markets across the country inject neighborhoods with a buzz of activity while bringing healthy foods to residential areas and providing a pleasant, family-friendly outdoor experience. Downtown markets have particularly convenient locations and access to nearby restaurants, shops, and walkways.

Ample parking for the Downtown Market is available on 1st Avenue, in the courthouse parking lot after 5pm or across the river in front of Immaculate Conception Church. The William Ransom Wood Centennial Footbridge provides a quick and easy pedestrian route from this lot. Patrons who park in the parking garage at the intersection of Second Avenue and Lacey Street can show their ticket to the Downtown Association booth for a chance to win $50 in a weekly drawing.

The Downtown Market is certified to accept food stamps on behalf of all vendors who sell qualified items including produce, prepared foods, or edible plants. A token system will be implemented for food stamp, debit card, and credit card purchases.

Vendor applications are still welcome. Season-long commitments are not required, and vendors are encouraged to share booth spaces with other vendors if unable to commit to a full season.

The Downtown Market comes in addition to free weekly concerts held in Golden Heart Plaza, provided by Festival Fairbanks. Visit the events calendar or consult a 2011 Downtown Guide for details. Musicians are welcome to play in the amphitheater during market hours.

For more information about the Downtown Market, contact Amy Nordrum, Communications Coordinator of the Downtown Association, at 907-452-8671.



Bike to Work Week, May 16th-20th, is a national effort to get more cyclists on the road and to encourage safe, healthy biking habits. Next week is the perfect time to begin riding to work if you haven’t yet started for the season or are considering it for the first time. You’ll have a slew of fellow cyclists to support you as well as great events, specials, prize giveaways, and free technical assistance to provide an extra “umph” of enthusiasm.

The emphasis on biking “to work” (as opposed to just around town) is intentional, and aims to make a bicycle into your vehicle of choice for daily travel. Biking to work impacts you and the world around you in a major way that can’t be achieved with an occasional weekend ride.

Several area organizations (listed at the end of this article) are working together to promote a community-wide Bike to Work Week effort in Fairbanks. The schedule of events is as follows:

May 16 Bike to Work Day with free tune-ups (compliments of Goldstream Sports) in front of the courthouse on First Avenue from 7-10am
May 18 Breakfast Day with coffee and food specials for cyclists throughout downtown, including Alana’s Espresso Escape, Julia’s Solstice Café, McCafferty’s, and River City Cafe.
May 20 VIP Patrol Day rewarding responsible cyclists with instant prizes.

All week long be sure to sign up at this website if you bike to work so your name will be entered into drawings.

I’ve just recently swapped out my car for a bicycle to begin my summer commute by two wheels. The traffic is fast, furious, and noisy for the first ten miles even with the luxury of a bicycle path. Coasting across the Chena River into the homes, small streets, and maneuverable intersections of downtown makes for a quiet, familiar finish. I feel as if I arrive just as the center of town is rustling itself out of bed.

Downtown is no stranger to cyclists. Each day I notice a half dozen or so (of all shapes, sizes, and choice of ride) from my office window. Earlier this week, I was caught amidst a troupe of boys biking furiously down a residential stretch of Third Avenue. The smallest hunched over and pedaled like mad to stay ahead of the others. Their travel allotment of five blocks from home was a world best explored by bike.

That same day, I caught up to a cyclist on a hill eight miles from the center of town. We started chatting, and I learned her husband works downtown and goes for a bicycle ride every day during his lunch break. She loves to ride to and from work, as well as with a local cycling club.

There’s no better time to test the waters than Bike to Work Week. Check out the Fairbanks Bikeways map to plot your route on cycling-friendly paths and roads.

If you run into problems or see room for improvement, provide comments to the Fairbanks Metropolitan Area Transportation System (FMATS) for the first Non-Motorized Transportation Plan in Fairbanks. It’s really pretty fun (in a geeky urban planning kind of way) to read the submitted comments and see what others have in mind for better pedestrian and cycling infrastructure.

Bike to Work Week Fairbanks is brought to you by the Downtown Association of Fairbanks, FMATS, Interior Alaska Green Star, 907group, UAF Outdoor Adventures, Goldstream Sports, Northern Alaska Environmental Center, Volunteers in Policing, and the State of Alaska.

See you on the streets!



Find a great summer camp for your children- downtown! They’ll appreciate the new friends, skills, and experiences. You’ll love the schedule, lessons learned, and daily progress reports on paper mache or hip hop dance.

Check out a few summertime favorites on this list:

Youth FiberArts Program
Fairbanks Weavers & Spinners Guild
Lathrop Building, Rm. 219
516 2nd Avenue

Now in its twentieth year of youth education, the Fairbanks Weavers & Spinners Guild offers workshops ranging from watercolor, photography, and basketry to sewing, spinning, and weaving in the Youth FiberArts Program.

The list of workshops reads more like a collegiate course catalog than a summer camp program. But “Wood Carving” and “Art IV: Print and Paper” are open to artists from ages 6-15 with any level of experience.

“It’s all the skills that parents don’t have time to teach their kids,” Penny Wakefield, Workshop Coordinator, summarizes. Penny has been involved with the Guild since 1976 and teaches classes in weaving, machine sewing, and printing.

Penny says speedy student progress is a trademark of FiberArts. Students in her sewing class learn how to operate a sewing machine and make a pair of shorts, or a bag.

Many parents love the skills and personal development they see in miniature hands and minds. Those who work downtown enjoy taking lunch with their kids in between workshops, which are held on the second floor of the Lathrop Building.

“Art is conceptual. It creates imagination and starts you thinking,” Penny explains. “I’ve had parents comment that their kids have prospered and been successful because of the classes. A lot of parents say, ‘I wish I’d had this’ when they were young.”

Find a complete workshop list on the website of Fairbanks Weavers & Spinners Guild.


Ballet, Jazz, HipHop, Modern, Tap, (and more!) Dance Classes
Dance Theatre Fairbanks
656 7th Avenue

As a parenting exercise, it might be fun to match your child’s personality to the colorful descriptions of dance on Dance Theatre Fairbanks’ website.

Might your child be a rising hiphop dynamo, itching to “pop, lock, uprock,” or “krump?”

Perhaps jazz is more his or her style, requiring ample energy for “quick turns, big leaps, and graceful elongated moves.”

Then take it one step further and sign said child up for a class.

Dance Theatre Fairbanks offers instruction in these and other forms to ages 2-13+ in a historic firehouse studio on Seventh Avenue.

Jessica Cooper, a ballet instructor with Dance Theatre Fairbanks, says summer classes are the perfect time for new students to join. Attendance is flexible, and the evening schedule is more accessible to some working families.

“You can drop in as much or as little as you like,” Jessica says. Class size generally hovers around ten students. Friendships are forged and many students become hooked on dance, while parents love the dedication and development they observe in young performers.

“Many students are best friends with someone in the studio,” Jessica says.

And parents? “They like that their kids are engaged all summer.”

Full descriptions are available on Dance Theatre Fairbanks’ website and parents are welcome to call 907-590-7308 or email for more information.


Law & Order Fairbanks: Inside the Criminal Justice System
University of Alaska Fairbanks – Summer Sessions & Lifelong Learning
604 Barnette Street 

If your child exhibits tendencies of a future crime fighter, or criminal, this camp could be a perfect fit.

“It’s about kids learning about the criminal justice system,” explains Michelle Bartlett, Director of UAF Summer Sessions & Lifelong Learning. She heard of a similar program at another university and enlisted two local legal experts to create and teach a jam-packed curriculum.

Participants will meet Stryker of the Canine Corps, examine crime scene slides, and be briefed on a murder case. Field trips to the courthouse, UAF police department, and a youth detention facility are included along with lessons on drugs, gangs, tasers, forensics, and fingerprinting.

The program offers scholarships to students who qualify for free or reduced lunch. Only four spots remain, so sign up your mini-crime fighter (or mastermind) before it’s too late.


“The Fledglings” & “The Groundlings” Theatre Camps
Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre
535 2nd Avenue

Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre just completed a whirlwind month of performing Twelfth Night at schools across the state, so they ought to know a thing or two about introducing Shakespeare to young people.

Theatre staff will hold two camps this summer to walk participants through exercises, theatre games, and rehearsals that build their Shakespearean knowledge and translate it into performance.

Rebecca Eddy of FST says instructors strive to, “put Shakespeare in the context (kids) can understand,” and teach essential listening skills at an early age.

Each camp runs from late June through early July and culminates in a public performance. Camps are open to all levels of experience.

The Fledglings is for ages 7-12 and puts students through the early paces of becoming acquainted with Shakespeare. Aspiring actors and actresses of ages 13-18 are welcome at The Groundlings, where they will rehearse and perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

“Everyone gets a juicy part,” Rebecca explains the reasons for this choice in production. “There are twenty good roles.”

Visiting NYC Guest Artist Terry LeCompte, who has worked as a professional actress for over 15 years and taught camps in several states, will instruct The Groundlings.

Interested? Contact Rebecca at 907-457-7638 or by email.


If you haven’t yet consulted the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner’s 2011 Summer Fun for Kids guide, check it out for more information. The detailed listings prove handy when tracking down camp details and searching for a complete picture of downtown summer opportunities.



ATTENTION: Downtown business owners and employees!

The Downtown Association of Fairbanks is hosting a pair of Downtown Familiarity Tours next week, to acquaint employees and business owners with neighboring businesses.

Participants on each tour will visit nine downtown shops, restaurants, or services to hear what they have to offer locals and visitors.

Free refreshments, networking, sunshine, and exercise provided.

Tours are open to downtown employees and business owners. If you are interested in participating, please email Amy with your name, place of employment, and preferred date. You’re welcome to sign up for both tours. Employees are encouraged to request that these tours count as working hours. Each runs from 2-4:15pm and will include stops at the following locations:

Downtown Familiarity Tours

Wednesday, May 18th 2-4:15pm

  • Alaska Rag Company
  • Arctic Travelers Gift Shop
  • World Eskimo Indian Olympics
  • Lady Lee’s Bath House Emporium
  • Chartreuse
  • Co-Op Arts
  • Inner Knit
  • Space for Movement Studio
  • l’assiette de Pomegranate

Saturday, May 21st, 2-4:15pm

  • Soapy Smith’s Pioneer Restaurant
  • Alaska Heritage House
  • EcoSeg Alaska
  • Arctic Rose Sandwich Shop
  • Blue Ribbon Grooming & Dawg Wash
  • Fairbanks Community Museum
  • Alaska House Art Gallery
  • Elegant Memories Antiques
  • Frank’s Menswear






Park downtown then walk to the Immaculate Conception Church on the Chena River by 6 PM to catch the start of the Visitor Industry’s Walk for Charity this Friday the 13th.   The walk ends at the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center.  The Parking Garage is central to the start and finish and the 3-hour rate is only $3.  Enter the garage from 3rd Avenue.

The registration fee for the walk is $30 for an adult and can be paid at the event. To register ahead of time or to get more information, call Charity at 459-3791 or Karen at 459-3758. If you have not already settled on a recipient organization, please consider walking for the Downtown Association of Fairbanks Community Services to support downtown promotions, events and the operations of the Community Service Patrol.

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Downtown Association of Fairbanks – Fairbanks Alaska