A Travellerspoint blog

Midnight Sun Summer Festival and Baseball Game, Fairbanks

Thursday, June 21, 2007

sunny 0 °F

Last night I couldn't sleep and was still awake at 2:15am this morning. It was still light outside!!! The sun sets around 1am and rises around 3am, but it never actually gets dark.

So we slept late again today. We spent much of the day getting ready for the next few weeks. We'll be in Denali National Park the next week, which means no electric, no water, no internet. However, four of the days we're in Denali, we're staying at the Teklanika Campground. The 'Tek' campground is 30 miles inside the park. Once we're there we're not allowed to use our car til we leave the park 4 days later. So today we go the grocery store and stock up, and get caught up on our laundry, make sure we have our propane tanks full and our gasoline for the generator, etc. Plus we have some follow-up phonecalls on getting reservations for the week of July 4. We find places to stay for every day that week except July 6, but we figure we can 'wing it' for one night somewhere.

By the middle of the afternoon we have most of our chores done and take off for downtown Fairbank's Midnight Sun Festival. It's a street fair for the summer solstice, with probably 100 booths and some live entertainment. Longest day of the year here: 22 hours of sunlight.


Then after dinner we head over to the Fairbanks' Goldpanners Midnight Sun Baseball Game, the reason that we're in Fairbanks on June 21. It's a baseball game that starts at 10:30pm and is played without lights. As soon as we decided that we were going to travel to Alaska this summer, Jere said we need to be in Fairbanks on June 21st to see the Midnight Sun game.

We get there two hours before the game starts and the grandstands are already half-full.DSCF3893.jpg
We get good seats and we're glad we get there early. By 9:30, the place is packed. They have no aisles in their grandstands, so as soon as we find our seats I go get some food to munch on later in the game when we're trapped in our seats.

The concession stand is smaller than the concession stand that our hometown has for their Little League teams. I should have brought more snacks. Jere goes to baseball games to watch baseball -- I go to watch people and eat tasty snacks. No tasty snacks tonight :-(

It's very late (3:20am) while I'm writing this, so I'm not going to write a lot of details about the game BUT it wasn't quite what I expected....yes, there was a large crowd there and yes, it was light til 1:30 when the game was over, and yes they did sing the Alaska state song at midnight. But we couldn't hear the announcers where we were sitting just past the third base and there were no pre-game ceremonies that I expected to see at this game that ESPN lists as one of the top 10 sporting events that everyone should see once in their life. This game has had many baseball players that later became famous (Barry Bonds is the only one I can remember -- I'm getting very tired) and lots of baseball fans dream about coming to see this game at some point in their lives. But again this is Alaska. Even the person singing the national anthem forgot the words and stopped singing for a short time. And we're still not sure what song they were trying to sing at the 7th inning stretch - it sounded like "Roll Out the Barrels" beer-drinking song. Oh well, the Goldpanners lost 6-1. They played terrible. But the weather was good and we enjoyed the game.

Here's picture of the game at 1am:

We got back to the trailer around 2am. Here's a picture. This is as dark as it will get today:

And here's a picture of the sunrise at 3:30am -- yes, I'm still awake:

Posted by jengelman 13:41 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel

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okay, I am extremely exhausted just from reading your schedule. I really don't think I could get use to that at all. The kayaking trip looked really fun, Brian would have loved that, he loves to canoe, the Troop had a canoe weekend planned but it ended up getting cancelled for the forecast of severe thunderstorms, Brian was very disappointed. Well it is 11pm here and very dark and bedtime- I just cannot imagine it being light out at this time- good luck with that!!!
As always- be safe!

by imrobin

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