Golden Days Photo

Golden Days

Jun 17 - 24, 2023
Fairbanks, AK

For an authentic Alaskan celebration, head to Fairbanks in the third week of July. That's when residents cut loose in honor of their Gold Rush history, during a five-day festival they call Golden Days. Bank managers dress up as sourdough miners, waitress don “fluzie” outfits, and most of the city turns out for races, parades, and great food. It's a great time to meet locals—who are in a festive, social mood—and to be swept up in a big Alaskan event.

Grande Parade - Kicking off Saturday morning, the biggest day of the festival, is Alaska's largest parade, complete with some 100 floats, marching bands from across the state, and residents dressed in Gold Rush costumes. The floats have been as intricate as miners panning for gold alongside a running stream. Rubber Duckie Race - Held on Saturday, this is one of the biggest events in Fairbanks—not just for Golden Days, but all year! 8,000 rubber ducks are dropped in the Chena River, where they “race” ¼-mile downstream to the Cushman Bridge. There's $15,000 on the line, plus 80 local prizes, like gift certificates and donated items. Buy a duck for $5, and you could win $5,000. Or buy a duck for $10 and you could win $10,000…but only if your duck is first across the finish line. Street Fair - On Saturday there is a street fair located on First Avenue and the Golden Heart Plaza. A variety of vendors sell crafts, art, and delicious food to the fair-goers. There is the Kids Korner which hosts free activities for kids such as face painting and pony rides, and there will be entertainment going on throughout the day on the main stage. River Regatta - The River Regatta is a floatilla of fun! Contestants participate by building crazy and ridiculous rafts and then they attempt to float them down the Chena River. This is always a very entertaining event to witness, and viewers are encouraged to bring water guns to shoot at the participants from the bridge. Old Tyme Games - This event hosted at Pioneer Park hosts a slew of family friendly activities. From watermelon eating contests, to log splitting, there is a competition for everyone. Felix Pedro makes a special appearance and a local bank weighs his gold nugget for everyone to see.

Jun 17 - 24