Alaska is a wild place to catch firework shows! As the largest state in America, the extreme northwest location offers varied terrain including tundra, mountainous, coastal and even urban areas – all ideal backdrops for fireworks shows. However, despite all the gorgeous landscape, the state of Alaska does have one major obstacle in planning firework shows. Because this state sits much close to the North Pole than the remainder of the US, Alaska can experience more that 21 hours of daylight during the summer. As you can imagine, such a bright shining sun that doesn’t seem to want to set for more than a few hours makes it difficult to set off fireworks for much of the year. Even though the eternal sunshine affects firework shows for the 4th of July, Alaska does still host many firework shows during the darker months on the calendar – unless you are willing to wait into the wee hours of the night.
Anchorage is the biggest city in Alaska boasting about one-half of the state’s population. Needless to say, firework fans will have a good chance of finding pyrotechnic shows here during special events. For example, at the Alaska State Fair, typically kicked off on September 1st, firework shows are hosted to celebrate the start of the fair and Labor Day holiday. Actually, for the 4th of July in Anchorage, you can find fireworks if you’re willing to stay up until midnight to take advantage of the dark. Head over to Mulcahey Stadium to watch the Anchorage Bucs slug it out against another team in the Anchorage Baseball League, afterward fireworks are shot off over the field. In February, the weeklong Fur Rendezvous is a must anticipated festival that includes a snow sculpture contest, sled dog races, a parade, carnival attractions and colorful fireworks at the conclusion.
Fairbanks doesn’t offer much in the way of Independence Day fireworks due to insufficient darkness, visitors and residents will find festive fireworks on New Year’s Eve. The Fairbanks Curling Lions 20th annual Sparktacular happens on December 31 each year along with a typically smaller display at the Ken Kunkel Community Center. Additionally, the Tanana Valley State Fair, held in late August, closes out the event with a bang by treating guests to a colorful pyrotechnic arrangement – get in line to watch from the Ferris wheel. According to the Fair, they are the first fireworks of the season!
Juneau, the capital of Alaska, is also a good watching spot for fireworks. On the 4th of July, after an evening of marching bands and parades and firework show is held when it finally gets dark. Spectators will delight in watching an array of pyrotechnic elements shoot off at 11:59 on December 31st, launched from the middle of Gastineau Channel off a barge. It’s always good to have clouds (with out rain) on a summer night to make the small glimpse of night even darker.
If you are a visitor to the state of Alaska, it’s always a good idea to check in with your hotel concierge or Visit Alaska to find out dates and locations for firework shows so that you can plan your trip accordingly. For specific cities, there are many blogs listing local happenings that will tell you everything you need to know about catching firework shows in the bigger cities or wild tundra towns. Alaska, with its beautiful landscape, is an especially majestic place to watch fireworks light up the night sky – during the months that there is a darkened night sky! The fireworks here are so special; it’s well worth the major expedition just to get out and see them.