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Sparktacular Celebration to feature new fireworks, viewing areas


Fairbanks, Alaska-The community is invited to visit the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus on New Year's Eve for the Fairbanks Curling Lions 20th annual Sparktacular Celebration. Fireworks will be launched from UAF's West Ridge Thursday, Dec. 31 at 8 p.m.

University fire and police departments will provide logistical support for the event and will close roads and ski trails near the staging area at 5:45 p.m.

This year's event will feature new fireworks and several changes to viewing areas and traffic patterns:

• Thompson Drive, from Geist Road to the roundabout, will be open this year to both vehicle and pedestrian traffic. The area offers many new opportunities for unobstructed viewing.

• West Tanana Drive, from the roundabout to the Fairbanks Experiment Farm, will be closed. The closure will allow emergency vehicle access to and from campus and will accommodate the fallout zone for new fireworks.

· Tanana Loop from the roundabout to the ski hut will be closed.

• Sections of the commuter ski trail, the nature trail near the Fairbanks Experiment Farm and the ski trail nearest the staging area will be closed. Skiers will still be able to access the ski hut via the SAR facility trail.

Visit www.uaf.edu/news for a complete map of open and closed areas and parking lots on the West Ridge. Watch for signs and emergency personnel on the day of the event for additional guidance. Motorists will have access the UAF campus from Thompson Drive, North Tanana Drive and Alumni Drive. Access to the West Ridge will be via Yukon Drive.

The University of Alaska Museum of the North will serve free hot cocoa and cookies, while supplies last. The museum galleries will be open to the public at no charge from 7-9 p.m.

Alaska Railroad trains travel through the area between 7:30 and 9 p.m. Alaska Railroad officials request that spectators, both pedestrian and those on snowmachines, remain clear of the railroad tracks for safety reasons.

The Sparktacular event is organized by Mike Thomas, owner of University Chevron, and is sponsored by the following Fairbanks community groups and businesses:

Midnight Sun Lions
NAPA Auto Parts
American Tire and Auto
Fairbanks Youth Sports
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Fairbanks Fuel
Weaver Brothers Trucking
Totem Ocean Trailer Express
Harley Davidson Farthest North Outpost
Dunlap Insurance Agency
Sourdough Fuel and Petro Star
Mt. McKinley Bank
Tanana Valley Television Fox 7/CBS 13
Sani-Can, Inc.
Interior Towing and Salvage
Interior NAPA AutoCare Centers
University of Alaska Fairbanks
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