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Summer solstice in Alaska: You've got more than 19 hours of daylight to celebrate

Katie Medred
Courtesy Kerry Tasker

Wednesday's summer solstice is a worthy cause for celebration. Anchorage's 19 hours and 22 minutes of day light is a welcome event, even if it signals the imminent slip into a darker, colder season.

Of course, the farther north you travel in Alaska during June, the more daylight you enjoy. Fairbanks sees 21 hours, 43 minutes -- and celebrates with the annual Midnight Sun Baseball Classic, where play continues past midnight. Communities on the North Slope see 24 hours of daylight, payback for their winters of darkness.

Below is a list of organized and semi-organized events across the state. To find more about anything listed below just click on the highlighted title to be directed to a website of detailed information.

Anchorage

Flattop Mountain is a local favorite for summer celebrations of all kinds, but on the longest day of the year it can be the liveliest spot in town. The Flattop hike is informal. Hikers come at all times through the day and night, and many camp and play music on the summit. Begin your ascent up the 3,510-foot peak anytime, but be prepared for rain clouds that can roll in quickly.  Flattop is the most-climbed mountain in Alaska, but it's steep at the top.  This is no place for flip-flops. 

Anchorage Adventurers Meetup Group is planning a leisurely hike up O'Malley Peak starting at 10:30 a.m. on June 20. Kids are welcome and a picnic lunch will be served at the summit.

Moose's Tooth Summer Solstice Show: Michael Franti & Spearhead are scheduled for this year's summer solstice party. Tickets are available online or at either "Tooth" location. The show is Wednesday June 20; doors open at 5 p.m.

Anchorage Music in the Park: Melissa Bledsoe Fisher headlines Music in the Park on Wednesday June 20. The event is part of an ongoing summer series and all performances begin at noon at Peratrovich Park (Fourth Avenue and E Street).

Annual Solstice Cemetery Tour: Anchorage Department of Health and Human Services will host a free historical walk through of the Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery on Thursday June 21 at 7 p.m.

Annual Anchorage Summer Solstice Festival: In support of the Abused Women Aid in Crisis program, the Anchorage Downtown Partnership will hold its annual solstice festival on Saturday June 23 noon to 6 p.m. on Fourth Avenue between C and L streets.

Solstice hike and cookout at the Eagle River Nature Center: Though it's a free event, registration is required for this 3-mile hike and cookout. The event will take place on Saturday June 23 at 2 p.m. at the Eagle River Nature Center.

Fairbanks

UAF Music under the Solstice Sun: The Frosty Bottom Boys will play at the Georgeson Botanical Garden on Thursday, June 21 starting at 7 p.m. 

BP's Midnight Sun Festival: On Sunday June 24, between First and Third avenues, Fairbanks will host BP's Midnight Sun Festival, running from noon to midnight. More than 30 live performances are planned, and there's a beer garden.

For more in the area visit the Fairbanks Visitor Information Events calendar here.

Consider packing sunscreen if you're merriment takes you outside. According to the US National Weather Service, Alaska can look forward to above-average temperatures across the state.

Contact Katie Medred at katie(at)alaskadispatch.com