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Peterson dress, Rebecca Collins gemstone belt, Manolo Blahnik boots, Festina watch, Hermes collier de chien cuff, Halftee layering top

This post describes Interior Alaska lifestyle, life at the Last Frontier around holidays.

  1. Clothes and Groceries Service Area
  2. Shopping Rush Hours
  3. Store Vacuum
  4. Shopping in Fairbanks
  5. Welcome to the 286th Top of the World Style Linkup Party

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.

Clothes and Groceries Service Area

Fairbanks (population 32324) is the largest settlement in Interior Alaska. Fairbanks is the second largest and northern most city in Alaska1. Thus, its service area encompasses the Fairbanks metropolitan area (Fairbanks, College, North Pole, Fox, Goldstream, Ester), the Fairbanks North Star Borough (population 97581), and areas far north of the Yukon River and even in the Brooks Range.

Shopping Rush Hours

While people living in the Fairbanks metropolitan area shop every week for groceries in Fairbanks, those living far out in the Fairbanks North Star Borough and beyond only come for special occasions. In between, they either shop by mail order or have friends, who go to town, bring fresh groceries.

An inaugural ball, the Eskimo Olympics, Tanana Valley Fair, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are some of these special occasions. On the weekends of the Eskimo Olympics or the Fair, all the shelves are empty at all grocery stores in town. The stores have difficulties keeping up with restocking. The same is true on the weekend before Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thus, I avoid doing my groceries at these times.

post banner illustrating the shopping situation in Interior Alaska


Interior Alaska Has a Store Vacuum

North of Fairbanks, the various settlements have less than 100 inhabitants. For instance, Coldfoot has 10, Wiseman 14, and Deadhorse 25-50 inhabitants. There are many settlements of this size north of Fairbanks. You can easily imagine that running a grocery or clothes store in such a small village would be a recipe for bankruptcy.

Since there are no stores, people depend on mass shopping while visiting friends and family in Fairbanks or when coming to Fairbanks for special occasions. In addition, they have mail order and pursue a subsidence lifestyle.

lifestyle blogger in casual red knitdress with belt and tall boots for Thanksgiving

zoom on gemstone belt and leopard boots

over 50 years old Alaskan woman in a little red dress with tall boots

stylist in red knitdress for Thanksgiving with leopard boots, gemstone belt
Outfit details: Peterson knitdress, Halftee layering top, Hipstik tights, Manelo Blahnik leopard print ponyhair boots, Rebecca Collins bet, jade with pearl earstuds, Festina watch and Hermes collier de chien bangle

Shopping in Fairbanks

They do not shop for one package of corn flakes, but two months worth of corn flakes. They don’t stop at one 48 rolls package of toilet paper, one package of tooth paste or five bananas. They buy several gallons of milk, several cans of coffee, fresh tropical fruits, apples, fresh vegetables, canned beans, canned vegetables, flour, etc., but they don’t buy meat, fish, sausages or marmalade. They have moose and cariboo meat, blueberries, cranberries and wild strwberries for marmelade as well as smoked salomon. You get the idea. If they don’t live in a dry village2, they also buy liquors, wine and beer in amounts, you buy for a 30 people party. They guerilla shop. Learn more about shopping in rural Alaska.

Can you imagine to only shop once every two months or so? Would you miss going to the mall?

When you found this post interesting tweet your friends to Read what it means to shop for Thanksgiving in Alaska. #lifestyle #Alaska Click To Tweet

When you want to read another story about this holiday? What about the tradition of Thanksgiving from the perspective of an immigrant?

Other post on life in Alaska address the dirt road to Prudhoe Bay, or the weird thing of the Permanent Dividend Fund which is a reason why Alaskans book their vacation in October and an Alaska unwritten law of general support.

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1The Fairbanks city and Fairbanks North Star Borough’s area extend 32.7 sq mi (84.6 km2) and 7444 sq mi (19280 km2), respectively. Thus, Fairbanks’ city area is a bit larger than the size of Nice (27.77 sq mi), but has way less population.
2Some village and towns in Alaska forbid to bring in alcohol. They are called dry villages.

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Welcome to the 286th Top of the World Style linkup party

I am glad you are here. Maybe it’s the holiday season or just accident, but

two of the awards went to posts about men!

The favorites of the last party were:

senior couple in California casual outfits
Rena from Fine Whatever Blog became the Top of the World OOTD Readers’ Fav. Photo from her post.


color analysis for 4 men featuring the spring, summer, fall and winter type
Pamela Graham from Style Yourself Confident became Top of the World Style Winner. Photo from her post.


Alison of Midlife and Beyond in denim dress with booties
Alison from Midlife and Beyond became the Top of the World OOTD My Fav. Photo from her post.


Congrats Ladies! Grab your award buttons.

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