1. The Golden Day Parade Is a Must-see When You Visit Fairbanks in July
  2. The Rocket Is a Head Turner
  3. Old Cars and Motor Cycles
  4. Further Reading Related to Visiting Fairbanks

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The Golden Day Parade Is a Must-see When You Visit Fairbanks in July

In July, Fairbanks celebrates the Golden Days in remembrance of the discovery of gold by Felix Pedro in 1902 and the following Fairbanks gold rush.

As part of the week-long festivities with Gold Rush dances, office picnic parties, costume contests, and specials in bars and resturants, a parade marshes through downtown Fairbanks. This year, the highlight of the parade was a rocket. In the photo below, I am standing in a historic outfit in front of the rocket. I was one of the walkers in the parade and had to wear a historic costume.

A floozy costume is not my cup of tea. Furthermore, it was just 60F (15.6oC). Thus, I decided on wearing a black brocade type pattern woven dirndl skirt with a white cotton lace slip and tights underneath, a white eyelet blouse (with a nude color long sleeve T-shirt underneath), a wool tight vest, and a Russian wool scarf to stay warm. Since the parade has to walk a distance of more than 2 miles I wore my double H lace-up boots that are comfortable to walk in and look like late 1890 fashion. Since I remembered that my grandma once told me that, when she was a kid, her mom wore fake pony tale when she went out, I put my fake pony tail on.

Insider tip: Buy a Gold Rush button or Gold Rush grater at your hotel or at the parade from the first person selling them.

You don’t want to be the person who experiences how to get into prison in Fairbanks.

woman in 1890s fashion posing in front of a real rocket
Me in a historic costume made with pieces from my closet in front of a real rocket that was on display in the parade

The Rocket Is a Head Turner

Now to the rocket. The University of Alaska Fairbanks has a rocket launch place called Poker Flat, which is located outside of town in the White Mountains. It is one of the two space ports in Alaska. From this university-owned rocket launch place, researchers from the Geophysical Institute and other US institutions launch rockets for scientific research on the northern lights also called aurora borealis. The aurora is a phenomenon that occurs when molecules get ionized in the ionosphere. This ionization occurs a couple of days after a strong Sun eruption when the particle reach the Earth’s atmosphere.

Old Cars and Motor Cycles

The following photo is my favorite, me riding a 1942 Harley Davidson.

Fairbanks insider travel tip: Visit the Fountain Head Old Car Museum in the Westwood Resort. It also has at stunning selection of 19th Century fashion.

WWII Harley Davidson and woman in historic costume
Historic costume and WWII Harley Davidson


Last but not least, I have to show you this photo: A fire fighter (Feuerwehr) vehicle from Kaisersberg, Germany. It is now used for beer delivery by a local brewery called Hoodoo. I just had to have my outfit picture taken in front of it as I lived in Germany for a while.

Feuerwehrauto of a local brewery and woman in Gold rush costume
Me wearing Gold Rush costume in front of a German fire engine when waiting for the Golden Day Parade to start in Fairbanks, AK


Are there local parade in your town? What do you wear when you attend them? Let me know, I am curios.

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Further Reading Related to Visiting Fairbanks

You may be also interested in reading about  the opportunities what to do when you spend a week in Fairbanks in another month than July.

Photos: G. Kramm

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