One of the many nicknames for my wonderful state. Some might think that after living here for so long that that phrase could become a cliche, or it ends up becoming overused, or whatever.
But here I am sitting in my childhood home at 1 o’clock in the morning on June 22nd (just moments after the Solstice is complete) still watching the sun set over the valley and I think to myself, “how on earth could anyone think that this sight could be any less magnificent as the phrase that accompanies it?”
I just left the 114th annual Solstice Baseball game! It is the Goldpanner’s 60th year of operation and every game held on the Solstice is riddled with years of tradition. Tradition that was established five years or a hundred years ago, that tradition lives on every June 21st in my great city of Fairbanks.
I love sharing these traditions with friends and family. This year my best friend from Idaho with her three girls and my little brother (who still lives in Fairbanks) all got to experience THE game for the first time. And though many might think that this game is just like any other baseball game around the world, with the exception that they have never used artificial lights during the game, to experience it is another story.
What was really amazing that even at the age of 2, my daughter was up and watching the game the whole way through! I know she was exhausted but in our family Baseball is closer to a religion than a sport. My husband and his family have been playing baseball their whole lives basically and being able to share this tradition that mixes my Alaskan history with my husband’s history (he is not from Alaska) in a single night is also pretty amazing.
If you are ever planning a trip to Alaska in the summer and make it as far north as Fairbanks – YOU NEED TO SEE THIS! Check out the Goldpanner’s Website to see the times, tickets and schedules so you can attend this worldwide phenomenon for yourself!
More Solstice stories to come! The big festival and race is tomorrow!
Traveling Photographer out!