The summer season is upon us. From the Fiddlehead Fern Fest and annual Renaissance Fair to classical music and cannabis-focused festivities, there’s a lot to choose from. Here’s your guide to all the good summer vibes, great food and live music Alaska’s summer festivals have to offer.

Fairbanks Folk Fest

Noon-10:40 p.m., June 1, Fairbanks, Ester Community Park

Enjoy live music from Alaska artists and food from local vendors at this free folk fest in the Interior. (

Fiddlehead Fern Festival

11 a.m.-8 p.m., June 1-2, Hotel Alyeska Pond Courtyard, Girdwood

This free, family friendly festival in Girdwood will feature a weekend of live music from Ava Earl, Dan Booth and Amanda Kerr, Buck Fever, Juno Smile and the Super Saturated Sugar Strings as well as arts, crafts and activities for the kiddos. While you’re jamming out, join some of the state’s finest chefs, who will be incorporating fiddleheads into their menus. (

3 Barons Renaissance Fair at Tozier Track in Anchorage on Sunday, June 7, 2015.

3 Barons Renaissance Fair

Noon-8 p.m., June 1-2 and 8-9, Tozier Sled Dog Track, Anchorage

Spend your weekend in “Hillshire” (aka the Tozier Sled Dog Track in Anchorage) with your favorite barons for Anchorage’s annual Renaissance Fair. Sip on some mead or munch on a turkey leg while you peruse items from local vendors. Costumes encouraged but not required. Tickets range from $5-$8. (

Sitka Summer Music Festival

Various times and locations, June 7-28, Sitka

Every year, this Southeast music festival has featured some of the best chamber music you’ll find in the state. Enjoy performances from classical musicians drawn from across the country and make sure to stick around for the crab feed, a staple in Sitka. Ticket prices range. (

Colony Days

June 7-9

Celebrate the rich history of Palmer at this family friendly community festival. Past years have featured everything from rodeos to classic cars and rhubarb-cooking contests over the course of three days. (


June 14-15, Chicken Gold Camp, Chicken

Shake your tail feathers in Chicken, otherwise known as the “top of the world.” Featuring artists including the Dry Cabin String Band, Sourdough Rizers, Fireweed Fiddle and TapWater. Adult tickets are $93. Youth age 6-18 are $35; children under 5 are free. (

Kenai River Festival

June 7-9, Soldotna Creek Park

This free, three-day festival celebrates the Kenai River with live music, local food vendors, an artisans market, beer and wine gardens, Run for the River and activities for all ages. (

Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference

June 14-18, Homer

Now in its 17th year, this writing camp unites writers and editors of all levels for a weekend on the water, with an optional Kachemak Bay cruise ($60). Activities include daily workshops, readings, manuscript reviews and a keynote speech from Diane Ackerman, an award-winning poet and naturalist. The conference fee, including access to dinners and luncheons, is $425 through June 13; after that, it’s $450. (

Last Frontier Theatre Conference

June 8-15, Valdez

Participants can enjoy workshops, performances and a developmental table read providing instant feedback from the audience and a panel of judges. Tickets range from $20-$50. (

Seldovia Summer Solstice Music Festival

June 20-23, Seldovia

Artists of all ages are invited to make the most of the scenic views Seldovia has to offer with live performances, a barbecue on the beach and more. (

Alaska Hempfest

June 21-23, Pioneer Lodge and Campground, Willow

The fourth annual Alaska Hempfest covers all things cannabis and is free and open to the public. (

Back to Bluegrass Festival

July 27-28, McGrath

Support McGrath’s local radio station — KSKO — with two days of live music at the Interior’s favorite festival. Music, food, dancing and free fun await at the Kuskokwim River.

Members of the National Guard compete in the 3rd Annual Hero Games during the 2011 Summer Solstice Festival on 4th Avenue, from C Street to L Street, on Saturday, June 18, 2011.
Giant Sandbox at Summer Solstice Festival

Downtown Summer Solstice

June 22, Anchorage

Have some fun in the sun at Anchorage’s big downtown festival. There will be live music, food trucks and vendors, a basketball tournament, chalk art gallery, petting zoo, bouncy houses, hip-hop dance performance, DJs, the Hero Games and a couple beer gardens. (

Moose Pass Summer Solstice Festival

June 15-16, Moose Pass

Founded in 1978, this festival features a beer garden, local vendors, a bake sale and fun for the kiddos. (Search “Moose Pass Summer Solstice Festival” to find details on Facebook)


June 22-29, Anchorage

Celebrate Pride Month with a week of events, including the Release Party: Brewed with Pride (5 p.m. Thursday, June 20, Humpy’s Great Alaskan Alehouse), a screening of “Stonewall Uprising” (7 p.m. Friday, June 21, American Experience Theater), a pride brunch (11 a.m. Saturday, June 22), a gender expansive grooming workshop (noon Saturday, June 22, Identity Inc.), Bear Tooth’s Pride Filmfest (5:30 p.m. Monday, June 24, Bear Tooth Theatrepub), the equality parade (11 a.m. Saturday, June 29) and more. (

Photographer Jonathan Gurry makes a photo of brides-to-be KT Latico, left, and Marisa Latico during the Alaska PrideFest parade in downtown Anchorage on Saturday, Jun. 25, 2016. The couple will marry Saturday afternoon at the Alaska Native Heritage Center. (Loren Holmes / Alaska Dispatch News)
Participants walk in the Alaska Pride equality parade Saturday, June 24, 2017. Identity Alaska, a statewide LGBT organization, has organized a pride festival each year since its founding in 1977. (Loren Holmes / Alaska Dispatch News)

Midnight Sun Festival

June 23, downtown Fairbanks

Celebrate solstice at the 38th annual Midnight Sun Festival, featuring more than 40 live performances, gold panning, pony rides, car smash, skate park and even a midway on Fourth Avenue. (

Scottish Highland Games

June 29, Alaska State Fairgrounds, Palmer

Put your kilt to good use at the 38th annual Scottish Highland Games and enjoy scotch tastings, field events, drumming and piping groups and just about anything Scottish-related. Tickets range from $5-$30, with discounts and package deals offered. (

LOREN HOLMES / Alaska Dispatch James Gibson competes in the Men’s Amateur A class in the weight throw at the Alaska Scottish Highland Games on Saturday, June 28, 2014 in Palmer.
Dennis Stephens plays the bag pipe with the Fairbanks Red Hackle Pipe Band during the 2015 Alaska Scottish Highland Games on Saturday June 27, 2015 at the Alaska State Fair grounds.

Fourth of July and Mount Marathon

July 4, Seward

There are many Fourth of July festivals around the state, but Seward’s is tough to beat. Kick off the Independence Day festivities with a fireworks display on the waterfront at midnight (12:01 a.m.) on July 4. Starting the next morning, runners will tackle the incredibly difficult Mount Marathon race course, which involves 3.1-3.5 miles and 3,022 feet of elevation gain. Cheer them on and stroll historic downtown, where street vendors will be selling food, souvenirs, clothing, noise-makers and more. (

Forest Fair

July 5-7, Girdwood

Check out Girdwood’s biggest summer festival, the Forest Fair, which features delectable food, live music, a groovy atmosphere and an array of handcrafted items from Alaska artists. Be advised the motto of Forest Fair is, as always -- no dogs, no politics, no religious orders. (

Kendra Butts delivers an Alaska Size Alaska Berry Shake to a customer at the Alaskan Soda Jerk booth at the 43rd Annual Forest Fair in Girdwood, AK on Friday July 6, 2018. (Bob Hallinen / ADN)
Isis Spurgeon, 3, swings through the air with the help of mom, Shanna at the 40th Annual Girdwood Forest Fair on Friday, July 3, 2015. The festival continues through July 5.

Soundwaves Music Festival

July 6, Bingle Camp, Fairbanks

Keep the party going after the Fourth of July with the fifth annual festival at Harding Lake, an on-the-water musical and recreational event like none other in the state. This year features Ukelele Russ, Mark Brown & the Blues Crew, Uptown Mambo and Wet Thunder. (

Bear Paw Festival

July 10-14, Eagle River

Relive your nostalgic years at the Bear Paw Festival with carnival rides, fair food and an array of events hosted by community entities. (

Youngsters compete in the Alaska Rodeo’s Junior Rodeo during the Bear Paw Festival in Eagle River, AK on Friday, July 13, 2018. (Bob Hallinen / ADN)
Vaeva Waisanen, 4, screams with excitement while bungee jumping at the Bear Paw Festival in Eagle River on Saturday, July 9, 2016. The festival is a 5-day event and ends on Sunday. (Sarah Bell / Alaska Dispatch News)

Copper River Salmon Jam

July 12-13, Cordova

Celebrate the city of Cordova and what sustains them year-round, salmon and art. The weekend consists of family-friendly events, live music and events for all ages. (

Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival

July 14-28, various locations, Fairbanks

More than 200 workshops and 100 events await at this year’s Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival. Whether you’re a musician, artist, chef, writer, actor or creator, there’s something for everybody. Ticket prices range. (

Southeast Alaska State Fair

July 25-28, Haines

Beach wrestling, baking competitions and live entertainment await at the 51st annual Southeast Alaska State Fair. If you can’t make the whole weekend, don’t worry; day passes are available for purchase. (

Jewel and Steve Poltz perform at Salmonfest Sunday, August 6, 2017, in Ninilchik. Jewel and Poltz met each other in San Diego and she claims he took her under his wing. They co-wrote ’You Were Meant For Me ’ and performed it together on stage. (Rugile Kaladyte / Alaska Dispatch News)


Aug. 2-4, Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds, Ninilchik

Join thousands of Alaskans in Ninilchik for three days of fish, love and music featuring local food, vendors and music from artists like Jason Mraz, Ani DiFranco, WookieFoot and the California Honeydrops. Ticket prices vary -- discounted prices available through June 7. (

Alyeska Blueberry Festival

Aug. 18, Girdwood

You’re in for a berry good time at the Alyeska Blueberry Festival, featuring a pie-eating contest, blueberry creations, hiking, biking and all things blueberry-related. (

Kimberly Kennedy-Suggs holds up her son Huck Suggs's legs during a pie-eating contest Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018 at Alyeska Resort. The Blueberry Festival continues Sunday, featuring music, food, crafts and more pie-eating contests. (Loren Holmes / ADN)

Alaska State Fair

Aug. 22-Sept. 2, Palmer

Celebrate the 49th state with a week and a half of fair food, carnival rides, petting zoos, award-winning produce and a concert lineup including Home Free, Shinedown, Dustin Lynch, Kansas, Town of Power, Slightly Stoopid, Dropkick Murphys, Cole Swindle, Jeff Foxworthy and Elle King. Discounted tickets available before Aug. 21. (

Seward Music and Arts Festival

Sept. 27-29 Dale R. Lindsey Alaska Railroad Intermodal Facility, Seward

Wrap up the summer season with this Seward soiree, presenting live music, dance performances, food vendors and a community art show. This year’s theme is “Jurassic Alaska.” (

The gerbil looks around and then dives into one of the colored holes at the Elks Palmer Lodge 1842 Charity Rat Race at the Alaska State Fair in Palmer, AK on Saturday, August 27, 2016. (Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News)
Fair-goers watch a fireworks display Saturday night, Sept. 3, 2016 at the Alaska State Fair in Palmer. (Loren Holmes / Alaska Dispatch News)

Correction: This story has been updated to correct the days and website associated with the PrideFest events from June 22-29.