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Self-made turquoise 40s inspired dress with abstract floral print, Hermes collier de chien bangle, statement peridot, amethyst,and citrin necklace with matching earring and bracelet, and Valentino studs (all own)

The Potato Festival is an annual fundraiser in Fairbanks in fall. This post provides insight what the funds will be used for, what to expect and what people wear to the event. Thus, you will be able to decide whether you want to go, and if so, you will have a broad idea what to wear. 


  1. Festival Fairbanks Hosted the 20th Annual Potato Festival
  2. Meeting Old Friends
  3. The Seven Course Gourmet Dinner
  4. My Look of the Day
  5. What My Husband Wore
  6. What the Other Guests Wore at the Fundraiser

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.

Festival Fairbanks hosted the 20th Annual Potato Festival

One of the fall events in Fairbanks is to celebrate the harvest with local growers and chefs. Festival Fairbanks hosts this so-called Potato Festival as a fundraiser for beautification of downtown Fairbanks. Besides the UAF Culinary Arts scholarship fundraiser, the Potato Festival presents the most delicious food you can get in town. And its a nice event to dress up a bit.

All dishes on the seven course gourmet menu prepared by the Midnight Sun Chefs Association feature locally grown potato varieties. These potatoes and other Alaska grown harvest products were donated by local producers.


sign stating beware of chips
Typical Alaska humor. When you drive the unpaved highways you see a lot of long trucks with a bumper sign stating “Beware of chips” because the huge wheels throw them up and crack your windshield


Over the last 20 years, many things have changed like the location, the addition of a 50/50 raffle, the music, the moderator and the cost of the tickets. While in the beginning the event took place at the Pump House, the venue is now the Westmark Gold Room. Even the name changed from Potato Extravaganza to Potato Festival.

Things that remained the same are that there is live music, the time (6 pm to 10 pm), a silent auction with donations from local stores, door prizes and delicious food as well as the dress code – Fairbanks Formal.


table decoration and a clutch
Photo of our table and my clutch c/o Bellorita

Meeting old friends

The event starts with a wine mingle an hour before the actual dinner service. People go from table to catch up with former neighbors, old friends whom they don’t see on a regular basis as well as people from out of town, i.e. the so-called Alaska bush. On the contrary to many other places, “bush” is not a bad word in Alaska. Anyone who lives in the bush or provides service to the bush has highest honors. You are proud being a bush teacher, a bush pilot or the off spring of one.


Meet-and-greet at the 20th Fairbanks Potato Festival
Meet-and-greet at the 20th Fairbanks Potato Festival in the Gold Room of the Westmark

The Seven Course Gourmet Dinner

Of course, the menu is different each year. However, each course has potato. The menu below gives you an idea what kind of food to expect.

Appetizer: Purple Potato Canapé with Green Chili Creme Fraiche
Soup: Potato Pear Soup with Crisp Bacon
Entrée: Roast Salmon w/ Pommes Anna in a Creamy Dill Sauce
Intermezzo: Pineapple Tidbit Sorbet
Entrée: Garlic Roasted Pork with Romesco Potatoes
Salad: Creamy Pineapple Slaw served in a Cheesy Potato Cup
Dessert: Dolce Mariposa with Chocolate Ice Cream


Appetizer (top) and potato soup in a mug (bottom)
Appetizer (top) and soup in a mug (bottom). You get often served your soup in a mug and often soups are served without a spoon
Appetizer (top) and soup in a mug (bottom)
Appetizer (top) and soup in a mug (bottom)


My hubby and I switched the entrées. He ate my pork, while I ate his salmon. He likes pork and doesn’t eat fish, while the opposite applies to me. We also swapped the intermezzo and dessert. He loves sorbets, but is allergic to chocolate. Sorbets are not my thing, but for my money

You wonder where a potato gets into the sorbet? Vodka, my dear. There are many places in the Interior that make Vodka.


My Look of the Day

You are in a minority when you wear formal. But I decide to go for it.

fashion blogger at the Fairbanks potato festival

fashion blogger in self-made turquoise abstract floral print 40s inspired dress and Valentino studs

woman holding a clutch

style blogger in festive attire with music band and tables in the background
Outfit details: Cape, self-made turquoise 40s inspired dress with abstract floral print, Hermes collier de chien bangle, headband, statement peridot, amethyst,and citrin necklace with matching earring and bracelet, and Valentino studs (all own)and clutch c/o Bellorita designer bags


What My Husband Wore

My husband picked a posh casual look with an original style Alpine janker, window panel shirt, wool pants, oxfords and bolo tie.


man in casual janker, wool pants sitting at a table
Wool trousers, janker and plaid shirt all Orvis, Taylor’s Gold’n Stone bolo tie designed by me, Orvis bag and dress shoes (all own)


What the other guests wore at the fundraiser

The dress code was Fairbanks Formal. Here is a collection of my favorite Fairbanks Formal street style looks at the event. Please feel free to pin your fav outfits to your own pinboard.

golden dress with birkenstock and tatoo


Don’t let the right outfit be a random thing. Wear the right look in every situation by looking up what to wear when in How to Dress for Success in Midlife. Buy my book now.


Alaskan woman in brown maxidress and clogs

Fairbanksan woman in romantic baby blue floral print on white lace dress with ruffle cardigan

Alaskan man and woman in Fairbanks Formal gear

silver and navy brocade midi dress with shearling booties and fitness gadget


P.S. Like these outfit ideas? If so, please feel free to pin them to your own Pinterest board.

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Photos of me: G. Kramm

© 2013-2023 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Nicole Mölders

    Instead of flour they used potato flour.

  2. Jodie

    How fun Nicole. I was totally wondering about potatoes in the dessert!! LOL

  3. donnadoesdresses

    What a fabby evening!! We have the same respect for the “bush” here in Australia … I think it’s a bit like that in more remote communities. Your outfit was a knockout!! It’s great the community is so close knit. Have a great week, Nicole!
    Donna 🧚🏻‍♀️❤️🙏