The Best Summer Festivals in Alaska

Looking to enjoy Alaska culture on your day off? Who wouldn’t! As the days get longer and the weather gets nicer, summer festivals are a great way to get to know Alaska’s local community.

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  • Here are some of the most popular summer festivals and what you can expect to experience during your visit.

    Three Barons Renaissance Fair

    Kick off your summer with the Three Barons Renaissance Fair. Located in Anchorage, this is an all ages event that’s guaranteed to take you back in time.

    The Three Barons Renaissance Fair is a two-weekend event that takes place the first two weeks of June. Attendees can expect to find storytelling, dancing, costume contests, games, and of course, a feast. With 50 different food and craft vendors, you’re guaranteed to find something that suits your liking.

    Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival

    What first started off as a small, one-week Jazz Festival in 1980, has grown to a two-week art appreciation extravaganza. With 10,000 attendees, the Fairbanks Summer Art Festival features a wide variety of art genres.

    Whether you’re interested in visual arts, music, dance, theater or creative writing, there’s something for everyone. This festival offers 200 workshops and over 100 different events, some of which can even earn you college credit. The goal of the Fairbanks Summer Art Festival is to inspire, engage and to play a teaching role in the Fairbanks community.

    Sitka Summer Music Festival

    Built on passion and community efforts, Sitka Summer Music Festival is one of a kind. Since 1972, this event hosted over 150 professional classical musicians from all over the world.

    This music festival is a four-week, non-profit event, that takes place in various locations all around town. While it may not be the most accessible festival to get to, it is an absolute must for classical music lovers.

    Whether you’re able to join the fun for a couple of days or a whole week, there are plenty of opportunities to get your fill of classical music. Hear some of the world’s finest classical musicians, attend a Cello Seminar, a private concert brunch, and even a crab feed.

    Golden Days Festival

    Founded in 1952, the Golden Days Festival celebrates Alaska’s Gold Rush history. This five-day event is the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in Alaska’s culture and become part of the local community.

    Enjoy Alaska’s largest parade or roam around the street fair. Register for the Golden Days River Regatta and show off your skills in designing and decorating your very own flotation device. Attend the all you can eat sourdough pancake feed or run for the gold to support Alaska’s Literacy Council. End your evenings with a dance-off or end the Golden Days Festival week with the famous Rubber Duckie Race.

    With each day comprised of a different event, you’ll want to check out their calendar to better plan your visit.

    Tanana Valley State Fair

    Located on the edge of Fairbanks, the Tanana Valley State Fair brings together over 1,000 volunteers to make this annual event one to remember. Whether you’re looking to enjoy unique food or do a little souvenir shopping, the fair hosts 300 booths that give you plenty of options.

    Perhaps one of the most interesting facts about it is its age. Founded in 1924, this is the oldest fair in the state of Alaska.

    Alaska State Fair

    Close your summer with Alaska’s State Fair, located an hour away from Anchorage. Hosting a variety of community and cultural events, attendees can expect to experience a wide range of food options, live music, acrobatic circus acts, animals, and of course, fair rides.

    Fun fact, at this very fair, our Rail Division won the people choice award for their reindeer chili recipe! Named the best fair in the nation, it’s easy to see why this event has maintained its popularity since 1936.

    When spending the summer working in Alaska, you’ll have many opportunities to join the fun of the local festivals. Want to learn more about your options? Start your job search today and see what Alaska has for you in store.