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Summer Solstice in Alaska: How to Celebrate in the Land of the Midnight Sun

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In the Land of the Midnight Sun, where winter’s grip can be relentless, the summer solstice is a celebration of light and life itself. Summer solstice in Alaska is not just about the extended daylight, it’s a cultural event that encapsulates the joy of the season.

From music festivals and marathon races to native games and midnight sun parties, the entire state comes alive with festivities that honor the sun and the natural beauty of Alaska. This year, the anticipation is even greater, as the land of wilderness and glaciers prepares to celebrate the summer solstice with renewed vigor and enthusiasm.

Summer Solstice in Alaska - Hero

If you’re planning to visit Alaska in June, you might find yourself wondering how and where to celebrate the summer solstice in Alaska – and good for you in figuring out that it’s happening so you can make the most of it.

So, as the longest day of the year approaches, consider joining the Alaskans in their sun-soaked revelry. Here is a list of the best summer solstice festivals in Alaska this year; if you see any errors, please let me know so I can correct them to help visitors and locals alike to enjoy this special celebration.

In this post, I promote travel to destinations that is the traditional lands of many Alaska Native groups, including the Alutiiq (Sugpiaq), Dena’ina Ełnena, and Tanana peoples, among others. With respect, I make a formal land acknowledgment, extending my appreciation and respect to the past and present people of these lands. To learn more about the peoples who call these lands home, I invite you to explore Native Land.

Seldovia Summer Solstice Music Festival

Now in its 22nd year, the Seldovia Summer Solstice Music Festival hosts artists from every genre, from hip-hop to swing and honky tonk and even a Celtic harp. It’s a celebration of Alaska summer, the endless days of solstice, and the beauty of Kachemak Bay.

Moose Pass Summer Solstice Festival

Don’t slip past Moose Pass if you’re driving the Seward Highway near the solstice. This three-day event has fun for everyone: there will be live music all three days, plus vendors, local food and drink, kid’s activities, and a fundraiser. Oh, don’t forget to purchase a commemorative mug or glass if you attend – it’s a truly unique Alaskan souvenir.

Alaska - Fireweed

Anchorage Sundown Solstice Festival

  • Dates: June 16-18
  • Tickets: $149-$249 for three-day admission
  • Website:

A relatively new festival to the Anchorage (and even Alaska) music scene, this event has a huge lineup, plus bars (curated by Moose’s Tooth, one of Anchorage’s best restaurants), food trucks, and carnival rides. And don’t think the music lineup for this year’s Anchorage Sundown Solstice Festival is just Alaskan artists: some that I recognize include Big Boi, Chromeo, and Blackwater Railroad (who are also playing at the Moose Pass Solstice Festival!).

Nikiski Days Family Fun in the Midnight Sun

  • Dates: June 17
  • Tickets: unknown
  • Website: unknown

Nikiski is easy to miss if you don’t know about this small community on the Kenai peninsula; heck it’s technically a census-designated place, not even a town! But don’t let that deter you: this small community comes together for a big celebration to mark the longest day of the year, and it’s one of the best events for families.

Now, I can’t actually verify that the event is happening this year, but I found the flyer from last year’s event and I assume it is – just that there aren’t great resources online. If it happens as I’m assuming in 2023, the event will offer everything from a 5K fun run in the morning to food, live music, games, and giveaways.

Fairbanks Midnight Sun Baseball Game (June 21)

Play ball ’til the rooster calls! Okay, that’s not what they say at the Midnight Sun Baseball Game, but this truly unique Alaskan event is an essential experience if you’ll be in Fairbanks on the solstice itself (June 21st).

The first pitch in the Fairbanks Midnight Sun Baseball Game is at 10pm and they play a full 9 innings through the night without ever turning on the lights. Grab some concessions and settle in for the most unique baseball game you’ll ever see.

Summer Solstice in Alaska - Fireweed

Anchorage Downtown Days (June 24)

Anchorage Downtown Days is Alaska’s largest city’s big event to celebrate the solstice; this large event celebrates the solstice with a number of activities: music and art performances, the Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon & Half Marathon, and the Anchorage Pride parade. There’s also the Slam’n Salm’n Derby happening at Ship Creek (right downtown), if you want to try to win big by fishing during your Alaska trip.

Fairbanks Midnight Sun Festival (June 24)

  • Dates: June 24
  • Tickets: varies
  • Website:

While Fairbanks holds specific events on June 21st, they also have a Midnight Sun Festival usually on the Saturday nearest the solstice (this year it’s on the 24th). This event has everything from family-friendly activities to performances to food booths, prolonging the fun of the summer solstice and taking advantage of the long day.

These are the biggest summer solstice celebrations in Alaska, but I’m sure there are others in smaller communities too. Have any questions about celebrating the summer solstice in Alaska during your trip? Let me know in the comments!

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I was born on the East Coast and currently live in the Midwest – but my heart will always be out West. I lived for 15 years in Alaska, as well as four years each in California and Washington. I share travel resources and stories based on my personal experience and knowledge.

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