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Record-Challenging Heat and Blue Skies In Alaska Usher In Summer Solstice

Record-challenging heat and blue skies in Alaska usher in summer solstice

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, June 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Heading to Alaska? You can leave your coat at home. The nation's 49(th) state has been ablaze in high temperatures for two weeks now, and both visitors and locals are basking in over 19 straight hours of sunshine a day. Summer solstice is only a few days away; and, with temperatures soaring into the 90s in parts of the state, Alaska can expect at least another week of long, warm days.

"This stretch of beautiful weather couldn't come at a better time as Alaskans and visitors alike are heading outside to celebrate the summer solstice this weekend," said Commissioner of Alaska's Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development Susan Bell.

"With so many additional direct routes added by airlines this summer, there's potential for last-minute travelers to get to Alaska quickly and take advantage of this beautiful stretch of weather. We certainly expect to see the travelers in the state taking advantage of every outdoor adventure available to them."

Festivals, events and recreational opportunities abound around the summer solstice, but the following list highlights the top ten ways to take advantage of this unique time in the Far North.

    1. Midnight sun on the Arctic Ocean, Barrow- Travel to the state's

       northernmost community, and spend the longest day of the year watching

       the sun circle the sky above the Arctic Ocean.

    2. W.G. & Eddie Stroecker Midnight Sun Game, Fairbanks- Played by the

       northernmost baseball club in the world, this annual game starts at 10:30

       p.m. and usually runs until 2 a.m. Friday, June 21

       (http://www.goldpanners.com/MidnightSunGame/)

    3. Midnight Sun Festival, Nome- Celebrate the summer solstice on the Bering

       Sea with a themed parade, polar bear swim and folk festival organized by

       the local arts council. Saturday, June 22

       (www.visitnomealaska.com/eventscalendar.html)

    4. Midnight golf near Denali National Park- The Black Diamond Golf Course,

       located 10 miles from the Denali National Park & Preserve entrance,

       offers midnight tee times during late June and 10 p.m. tee times

       throughout the remaining summer months.

       (http://www.alaska.org/detail/black-diamond-golf)

    5. Downtown Summer Solstice Festival, Anchorage - This annual festival

       includes a variety of activities such as the Hero Games; relay races and

       obstacle courses; and activities for children including a puppet show, a

       kayak pool, a giant sandbox and even a chainsaw art competition.

       Saturday, June 22 (www.anchoragedowntown.org)

    6. Watch the sunset from Flattop Mountain, Anchorage- Climb up to

       Anchorage's most popular overlook, and watch the midnight sun set behind

       Cook Inlet while being surrounded by snow-capped peaks.

    7. Mayor's Midnight Sun Marathon, Anchorage- Runners from all over the world

       gather in the state's largest city for this marathon and half-marathon.

       Saturday, June 22 http://www.mayorsmarathon.com/

    8. Seldovia's Summer Solstice Music Festival, Seldovia- Two full days of

       workshops, jam sessions and evening performances take place in this tiny

       community across the bay from Homer. Thursday, June 20- Sunday, June 23

       http://seldoviamusicfestival.wordpress.com/

    9. Gold Rush Days, Juneau- The state's capital celebrates its heritage with

       two fun-filled days of events at Savikko Park featuring logging and

       mining skills competitions, food and fun activities for the whole family.

       Saturday, June 22- Sunday, June 23 http://www.traveljuneau.com/events/

    10. Sitka Summer Music Festival, Sitka- Listen to world-class musicians

        perform classical music in this beautiful southeast Alaska community.

        Saturday, June 1 - Saturday, July 6

        http://www.sitkamusicfestival.org/june-program.html

SOURCE  State of Alaska Tourism Office

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