Golden Days in Fairbanks, Alaska

Another weekend event we just happened upon is Golden Days, the town's celebration of its golden heritage. Fairbanks commemorates Felix Pedro’s discovery of gold in the hills north of the city in 1902. The pinnacle of the Golden Days activities is the largest parade in Alaska! Hosting more than 100 entries, it included marching bands, clowns, jugglers, antique cars, unicycle riders, floats and so much more. Guess who got up early to be there for all of it?

Steve and I explored the parade's staging area. What better place to get great photos? This miner shared that this was his donkeys' inaugural public event. They did great by the way.

And here I am with the "King". Ironically, although Elvis crisscrossed the U.S. numerous times on his concert tours through the years, there were nine states in which he never appeared, Alaska being one of them.

The photos I'm including are the ones that seemed most unique to being here (and the ones that made me smile). I couldn't include all that I would have liked. So let's start with Betty's car. The informational sign on the side of this 1929 Model A Ford reads, "Betty drove this car from Minnesota up to Pikes Peak then to LA in 1948. All original. No restoration." Love it! 
HooDoo Brewery took top prize in the Commercial category. I'm sorry I didn't capture all the barmaids in their dirndls.
No parade is complete without a walking boob. I'm just saying.
The LGBT group added some great color.

And who doesn't love a Funk Band singing We are Family?

Steve loved the Shriners racing around in these little cars. They looked like they were just a bunch of big kids having a blast... in fezzes!
 1985 anyone?

The University of Alaska, Fairbanks turned 100 this year and many alum are in town. The motto "Friends in Gold Places" was corrupted on many floats to read, "... COLD places".
One 4-H girl had everyone ahhhing with this little guy.

And this was the coolest end to a parade ever. All guessing of "are they done?" was eliminated when a team of trash bag carrying volunteers came by followed by these awesome and efficient street sweepers. That was truly a first. What a fantastic parade.
Downtown for the Annual Street Fair was next on our agenda. Fort Wainwright Army Base is located in Fairbanks so there was a great deal of military involvement in this great day.
Traditional fair food was everywhere. This little girl was eating an elephant ear.
Small town. Big fun. Big time.
There was a petting zoo and pony rides (and an errant animal or two).

Santa even visited from North Pole. This was a special treat for me since I missed him when I was there last week. The Golden Days had something for everyone. We really felt fortunate that our timing was so ideal!
Our last stop of the day worth blogging (the other day's events included grocery shopping and laundry washing) was at the Trans-Alaska Pipeline viewing spot. I've provided you with a link that even has a historical video explaining it all.
Briefly, 40 years ago, the first oil left Prudhoe Bay through the 789 mile pipeline in route to Valdez. It took $8 billion, 20,000 workers, 12-hour days, and 7-day weeks, to finish it in three years, inside the deadline. To actually see it was pretty powerful. Yes, our history lessons happen in the least expected places.
So if you're following this blog, you know We Be Jammin in Alaska!

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Karen Booth said...

I don't think I want to ask what was on the hood of Betty's car. I think I agree with Steve that the Shriner's look like they were having a blast. AND I think I need a piglet and my car needs eyelashes.

Nick and Deb's Excellent Adventure said...

Only the best group of parade floats EVER! Love the walking boobie too! How fun is it all!?

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