Alaska Life

Photos: Fireworks and New Year’s festivities in downtown Anchorage

Waves of people in downtown Anchorage joined in on the New Year’s Eve festivities -- including fireworks, sledding and live music -- to ring in 2022.

The event, hosted by the Anchorage Downtown Partnership, returned in full force after last year’s event was turned into a drive-in show due to the pandemic.

This year, live music and performances were part of the spirited New Year’s celebration.

At the Anchorage Health Department booth, which was stocked with more than 4,000 at-home COVID-19 tests, Emma Siegel and Tiana Wang -- both with the Alaska Fellows Program -- distributed the free kits to those who stopped by.

Nearby, people waited in line for their chance to meet the newly crowned Miss America, Emma Broyles, who is from Anchorage and is the first Miss Alaska to with the national competition.

Ten-year-old Georgia Rexford-Brown congratulated Broyles on winning the title while Georgia’s sister Jasmine, 4, asked for a hug.

The sisters -- along with their mother, Christina Rexford-Brown -- eagerly turned toward the camera for a photo with Broyles, flashing wide smiles in their matching fur-lined parkas.

As the fireworks picked up, on a parking garage roof a few blocks away, people stood huddled in groups and watched as a single trail of bright, white light illuminated the cloudy sky, followed by eruptions of blues, pinks, greens and oranges.