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The MRAK Almanac is your place for political, cultural, and civic events, events where you’ll meet political leaders or, if you are interested in getting to know your state, these are great places to meet conservative- and moderate-leaning Alaskans.
Summer solstice has arrived. The longest day of the year, and the sun will rise higher in the sky than it will any other day of 2019. It’s all downhill from here. (BLM photo of midnight sun from Eagle Summit, Steese National Conservation Area. It’s the highest point on the highway and you can see the midnight sun there, even though you are not at the Arctic Circle).
Ketchikan will clock in with 17 hours and 27 minutes of sunshine.
Juneau will receive 18 hours and 16 minutes of official daylight.
Kenai will bask in 19 hours and 5 minutes.
Anchorage will see 19 hours and 21 minutes.
Fairbanks will enjoy sun for 21 hours and 50 minutes.
Since the beginning of May, the sun in the northernmost Alaska town of Utqiagvik will be up all day, not setting again until the beginning of August.
6/20-6/23: The International Food Blogger Conference is ongoing in Alaska’s capital city of Juneau. Over 250 food bloggers, techies, and culinary enthusiasts of all stripes will assemble at this unique gustatory gathering. Read about the conference here.
6/20-6/23: Seldovia will celebrate the occasion at the 20th Annual Seldovia Summer Solstice Music Festival. The festival will include live music all weekend and many vendors and performances on Main Street downtown. Visit the Facebook page here for the full schedule.
6/21: Alaska Goldpanners play the 114th Midnight Sun Baseball Game at Growden Park in Fairbanks. Tickets are $25 and first pitch is at 10 pm.
6/21: Deadline to submit items for consideration by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board at their July 9 meeting in Fairbanks. Further information here.
6/21: Deadline to submit applications and other items to be considered by the Alaska Marijuana Control Board at their July 10-12 meeting in Fairbanks. More info here.
6/21: The State Medical Review Committee will hold a public meeting in Anchorage beginning at 10 am. The role of this committee is to review the cost and necessity of medical services provided under the Worker’s Compensation Act. Find the agenda here.
6/21: Solstice Cemetery Tour of the Anchorage Cemetery. Learn history through the lives of 10 notable Alaskans buried in the Memorial Park with graveside presentations about colorful pioneers, local business people, elected officials, activists, artists and admirable community leaders. Meet at 6 pm at the John Bagoy gate, 7th Avenue and Cordova Street. The tour is free and is conducted rain or shine.
6/21: Midnight Sun Open Market at the Mat-Su Resort in Wasilla. There will be live music, BBQ, and a beer garden—admission is free. Begins at noon with live music starting at 7 pm. Read more here.
6/21: Music in the Park at Wonderland Park in Wasilla beginning at 6 pm. In addition to live music, there will be food vendors, prizes, and fun for all ages. Visit this link for details.
6/21: Interior Alaska GOP will host their weekly luncheon at Denny’s in Fairbanks. Lunch begins at 11:30 am. The guest of honor this week is North Pole Representative Tammie Wilson. Should be interesting.
6/21: Summer Solstice Outdoor Dance celebration at the Noyes Pavilion in Juneau. No prior dancing experience expected. Begins at 7 pm. Read more here.
6/21: Interested in being a State Trooper? There will be a written test in Fairbanks for the spring 2020 Alaska State Trooper Academy. All testers must register in advance here.
6/22: 12th annual Iron Pour Art Fest at the Alaska Transportation Museum in Wasilla starting at 10 am. This event features blacksmithing, glass blowing, food, and fun for the kids.
6/22: Lace up for the 37th annual Midnight Sun Run in Fairbanks. The 10K begins at 10 pm at UAF and winds through several Fairbanks neighborhoods, eventually ending in Pioneer Park. Costumes are never required, but always entertaining. Register here.
6/22: Sealaska Shareholders Annual Meeting in Anchorage. Details here.
6/22: Join the Kenai community at the Diamond M Ranch Solstice Music Festival at Matti’s Farm. Come out and enjoy many live musicians including Meghan Linsey (“The Voice”) and The Pepper Shakers. Starts at 11:30 am. Tickets required. For more info, visit the Facebook link here.
6/22: Zoolstice celebration at the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage. There will also be a blood drive, and of course live music. Details here.
6/22: Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon (and half-marathon) sponsored by ConocoPhillips Alaska. Register for the race here.
6/22: Annual Solstice Brewfest at 49th State Brewing in Healy. Hundreds of campers and RV’s will descend upon the small community of Healy to celebrate this annual tradition, complete with live music and a sprawling block party. Read more here.
6/22: Downtown Anchorage Summer Solstice Festival and Hero Games from noon to 6 pm. Grab your shades or sunhat and take a stroll through beautiful downtown while enjoying axe throwing competitions, an APD cruiser demo, a Harley-Davidson showcase, and so much more. View the full lineup here.
6/22: Dragonfly Day at Tanana Lakes in Fairbanks. This family friendly event open to all ages will offer nature walks aimed at catching and identifying native dragonflies. Nets provided. Begins at 11 am, read more here.
6/23: Midnight Sun Festival in downtown Fairbanks, starting at noon. This annual event will feature 45 live performances and over 200 food and craft vendors lining the streets. It’s Alaska’s largest single-day event, with up to 30,000 residents expected to attend this year. Details here.
6/21-6/23: First ever Seward Seabird Festival in celebration of the arrival of Alaska’s many species of seabirds, some coming all the way from the South Pole. There will be birding competitions, food and vendors, and plenty of fun for the whole family. See the detailed schedule at this link.
Plan to grill out? It’s always smart to brush up on your BBQ food safety knowledge, courtesy of the CDC. Visit this link.
Alaska History Archive:
June 20, 1940: 79 years ago—a Pan American Airlines flight left Fairbanks en route to Seattle with a special mission: to initiate the first ever next-day mail delivery from interior Alaska to the lower 48.
June 21, 1890: 129 years ago—President Benjamin Harrison dedicated the Sitka National Historical Park. The land was the site of the famed 1804 Russian-Tlingit Battle as well home to historically important totem poles. It was the first federally designated park in all of Alaska, and remains a favorite attraction in Sitka to this day.
June 21, 1906: 114 years ago—The first ever Midnight Sun Baseball Game was held in Fairbanks under the Midnight Sun, a tradition that lasts to this day. No artificial light was used, and the first game began at midnight sharp (today’s game starts a bit earlier, at 10 pm).
June 22, 1912: 107 years ago—The first full-time mayor of Anchorage George Byer was born. Byer served as Mayor of Anchorage from 1959 to 1961, and was instrumental in achieving the All-American City Award (not once, but twice) for Alaska’s largest city.