Golden Days

Prospector Felix Pedro

 Fairbanks Founder E.T. Barnette

Beginning around July 20th Golden Days is a week long city-wide celebration surrounding Felix Pedro's discovery of Gold in 1902, culminating with E.T. Barnette's founding of the City of Fairbanks, Alaska.

Definitely not politically correct, Golden days is a blend of Mardi Gras, Halloween and Founders Day all rolled into one.  During which they have a variety of parties, events, and contests in which many of the local participants are dressed up in turn of the century costumes as miners, bawdy girls and most anything else you can think of.  And being that Alaska is the land of the midnight sun, these people party all night long in the twilight of the midnight sun.

During this week long festivities the entire community is involved in the celebration in a level that I haven't seen or heard of anywhere else in the country. This is the only festival to my knowledge that if you can't attend it it can and literally be brought to you.

One of Golden Day's many mobile events is this replica 1920's flatbed truck with a turn of a century poky mounted on back.  This jail on wheels comes complete with a matching black handlebar mustached Sheriff and Deputy, and five mischievous cat-calling bordello maidens locked in the clink in back.  


The way this fund raising tool works is all over town people call into a local radio station submitting the names of people they want arrested, where they can be found, and of course some bizarre reasons why.  In contact with the radio station by cell phone the Golden Day's Sheriff zips around town to said business or residence, where he reads aloud his Golden Day's warrant and then promptly makes the arrest.  Taking them outside he locks the accused in the back of the truck with the bawdy girls.  This is when things really get going.  As they drive to their next pick up the costumed women in back yell and wave drawing as much attention to themselves and their fellow prisoners as possible.  While on the radio locals are apprised of the Golden Day's Jail on wheels progress and prisoners. The incarcerated then remain prisoners in the back of this this portable poky until some one mercifully bails them out.

Another fund raising event is the Golden Days Goat.  Definitely a much smellier, and potentially messier stunt, the Golden Day's Goat is also afforded wall to wall radio coverage as it dropped off and chained up in a place of business until a fee is paid to the Goat's handler and the payee has named the Golden Day's Goat's next destination.

Everyday of the week during Golden Days brings new events for example this year they have the RED-GREEN Duct Tape Boat Race.  This particular event was spawned by a popular PBS comedy show called the Red Green Show.  For the uninitiated the show's a cross between Home Improvement and funny man Ernest.  One feature of the show is the "Handyman's secret weapon" duct tape which is used in bizarre ways to repair or create Red Green's peculiar projects.

As I expand this page I'll add more photo's as well as specific details on what you can expect to see in Fairbanks during Golden Days.

The Parade's staging area is in Fort Wainwright
Note the vast difference of cloud cover in these photos

The week long event then wraps up on the following Sunday morning with the Golden Days Parade.  Opening with two actor's dressed up as Felix Pedro and E.T. Barnette standing side by side on a float waving to the public Fairbanks most extravagant parade of the year begins.  

Once again in the great Fairbanksan tradition this event is open to anyone in the public who want's to participate so that beyond the normal fare of marching bands, floats, and civics groups the rest of what you see in this parade is highly unpredictable.  From Mini cars racing around like doodle bugs to costumed people walking their goats, people riding their horses, to every rusty old car and truck that still can move being driven in the parade.  I must confess that this parade is a whole lot of fun.


Golden Days

Golden Days

Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May June July Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.
Tourist Season                        

***Note: If you want to visit Fairbanks During Golden Days you should call the Fairbanks Visitor's Center for the exact dates and a list of events.



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