Q. Bob and Mandy each wanted to know: How about arts, culture and entertainment in Alaska? It isn’t all wilderness experiences is it? What do you have there for artsy types?
A. Of course we have cultural things here. Have to balance out all the mountain men, sled dogs, riverboats, pot bellied stoves and traplines, you know!
Actually, there are so many events going on that you have to keep a calendar up to date to not miss anything..and even so, sometimes things overlap and you have to choose.
We have a Center for the Performing Arts in Anchorage, with continual programs – from ballet, to opera, symphonies, Chinese acrobats, River Dance from Ireland, and big time concerts. You name it. Anchorage has probably hosted such an event! I’m more familiar with Anchorage area, but I’m sure you’ll find similar things in Fairbanks.
Every community of any size has a museum, teachers of dance and music, coffee houses with live music and each community has their own particular festivals – usually a couple a year. We have music in the parks in the summer, and there are book stores hosting book signings by well known authors, as well as other things.
Anchorage area has the Fur Rondevous in February, celebrating the bringing of furs to town to sell, back in the early days of the state. This is when the Iditarod dog sled race is also run. In the summer in Anchorage, you can attend the Three Baron’s Renaissance Fair, a time of reenactment of the 15, 16 and 17 centuries, complete with all the costumes, food and hoopla of that time. Eagle River has a Bear Paws Festival with carnival rides, craft booths, games and food booths. Fairbanks has a big festival, parade and lots of things to do during its Golden Days. Wasilla has a 4th of July Water Festival. Then there are things like a Shorebird’s Festival, Mt. Marathon Run in Seward, and wonderful fairs all over the state, climaxing with the big Alaska State Fair at Palmer, Alaska in late August.
There are also good art galleries in Anchorage and Fairbanks, as well as in other places. So, come on up. We’ll keep you busy and send you home, all refined, cultured, and happy. (and very, very tired.) -Bonnie J.