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top 20 USA events

Top 20 Alaska USA Events and Festivals

Explore this selection of the Top 20 events and festivals, fairs and celebrations (listed in calendar priority) celebrated in the state of Alaska.

Favorites of the main Alaska US events include the month long Iditarod Sled Dog Race which is also one of the top 20 events in the whole of the USA and the Alaska State Fair that has been rated as one of the Top 5 American State Fairs

See below for more about the Top 20 Alaska events and festivals.

Anchorage Folk Festival
Anchorage, Alaska

Top Folk Music Festivals in the USAFor two full weeks in mid-January, the Anchorage Folk Festival, one of the main Alaska US events now recognized as the best free music event in the “Land of the Midnight Sun and one of the top 20 Alaska USA events and festivals, showcases more than 120 singers, dancers, storytellers, and groups from throughout the Land of the Midnight Sun and around the world as they perform traditional and original material in styles ranging from folk to Celtic, bluegrass, jazz, klezmer and more. The concerts and workshops are open to the public and are free.

Learn more about the Anchorage Folk Festival at the website:

Yukon Quest 1,000 Mile International Sled Dog Race
early February
Fairbanks, Alaska (to Whitehorse, Yukon)

Called the "toughest race on earth" because of the rugged terrain and long distances between checkpoints, this 1,000-mile race lasting between ten to 14 days alternates directions each year between Fairbanks, Alaska and Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. This race has been a popular event for 31 years where 50 dog teams consisting of one human musher and 14 canine athletes are eligible to sign up each year. The prize is uniquely shared between the first 15 finishing teams.

For news regarding the Yukon Quest 1,000 Mile International Sled Dog Race go to:


Iron Dog

mid February
Wasilla to Nome to Fairbanks, Alaska

An exiting event for over 30 years ,and one of the main Alaska US events,the Iron Dog race, formerly known as the Iron Dog Gold Rush Classic, is still the world's longest and toughest snowmobile race covering 2,000 miles from Wasilla to Nome to Fairbanks. The course covers remote and rugged Land of the Midnight Sun terrain in a harsh winter climate in which teams of two people and two snowmobiles work together and share their survival skills.

Enlightenment in reference to the Iron Dog swing by:

World Ice Art Championships
late February to end March
Fairbanks, Alaska

The World Ice Art Championships, one of the largest ice sculpting competitions and exhibitions on earth, showcases the huge, intricate ice sculptures of over 100 ice artists representing nearly 50 countries. All ice sculptures are finished and lighted the day following the end of the competition. The public is invited to watch the sculptures while they are being created during the first two weeks in March, and to view the finished pieces during the final two weeks in March. The event is staged by Ice Alaska at the 27-acre George Horner Ice Art Park, centrally located in Fairbanks. A Kid’s Park has slides and sculptures. There are also ice mazes, a skating rink, an “ice stage” for various performances and a concession area. 

For facts about the World Ice Art Championships drop in at:

Iditarod Sled Dog Race
early – mid March
Nome, Alaska

Featuring one of the main Alaska US events, March is a month-long celebration in Nome - the Iditarod Sled Dog Race is one of the Top 20 Alaska USA Events and Festivals. Teams competing in the 1,150-mile Iditarod Sled Dog race begin to arrive under the burled arch in Nome the second week in March.

Details of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race, one of the top 20 Alaska USA Events and Festivals, can be found at:

Top Twenty Events USA
The Iditarod Sled Dog Race is one of the TOP 20 EVENTS in the whole of the USA

Alaska Folk Festival
early to mid April
Juneau, Alaska

Top Folk Music Festivals in the USAThe Alaska Folk Festival brings the entire town of Juneau together for performances ranging from school groups to professionals to at-home hobbyists. Many people come from miles away to see and participate in this festive event. The event is held in mid-April, and admittance is free.

Touching the Alaska Folk Festival observe:

Stikine River Migratory Bird and Garnet Festival
3rd week in April
Wrangell, Alaska

Held towards the end of April, the Stikine River Migratory Bird and Garnet Festival marks the beginning of spring in the “Land of the Midnight Sun” and celebrates the arrival of the largest springtime concentration of bald eagles in the USA (some 3,000) as well as 200,000 shorebirds, 15,000 Snow Geese and more than 10,000 Sand Hill Cranes. This great event also offers golf tournaments, live concerts, birding and kayaking workshops, a public market, an arts and crafts fair, island and river birding opportunities, and tours.

Regarding the Stikine River Migratory Bird and Garnet Festival study:

Juneau Jazz & Classics
early May
Juneau, Alaska

A growing event for more than 26 years, the 16-day Juneau Jazz & Classics music festival offers a wide variety of blues and classical music concerts, workshops and educational programs, and even fun family entertainment. More than 30 artists attracting over 10,000 visitors from the Land of the Midnight Sun and around the world showcase over 50 events throughout Juneau – in hotels and bars, schools and the University of Alaska Southeast, and even aboard boats and in private gardens.

In reference to the Juneau Jazz & Classics event catch:

May Day Fly-In & Air Show
early to mid May
Valdez, Alaska

top airshow events  in the USAOne of the USA aviation events of the year, the May Day Fly-In & Air Show attracts more pilots, vendors and spectators than ever before. The pilot competitions include the spectacular STOL (Short Landing/Short Take Off) contests featuring the best pilots in the USA and around the world. Other events include the Poker Run (more easily understood when witnessed than explained), flour bombing (more obviously anticipated), spectacular high flying aerobatics, the Unusual Attitudes’ daring stunt shows, an US Coast Guard Helicopter simulated rescue and a team of skydivers.  

Handy link for more about the May Day Fly-In & Air Show:

Gold Rush Days
mid June
Juneau, Alaska

A popular event for many decades, Gold Rush days officially began in 1990 as Juneau’s two-day annual mining and logging competition. The first day (Saturday) concentrates on mining events with rock slab drilling competitions, hand mucking and spike driving contests and the second day (Sunday) focusses on logging events with log rolling, speed climbing, cable splicing, chopping and axe throwing contests. Events especially geared for children include carnival games, gold panning and hand mucking.

For more on Gold Rush Days see:

Sitka Summer Music Festival
Sitka, Alaska

Every summer in June since 1972, the Sitka Summer Music Festival (SSMF) attracts classical musicians to Sitka from Asia, Europe, Canada and the United States for three weeks of concerts and musical events. There are typically 8 evening concerts, plus concerts in local restaurants, free lunchtime concerts, and several special events including a boat cruise and a Dungeness crab feed.

Drop by the home page for the Sitka Summer Music Festival:

Mount Marathon
4th July
Seward, Alaska

top marathon events in the USAEach year on the Fourth of July, the population of Seward swells from around 2,500 to around 40,000. The annual Mount Marathon footrace draws runners from around the world and is a favorite hometown event that has drawn Alaskans to Seward for the Fourth of July since 1915. The route climbs 1.5 miles up the face of mountain – complete with steep cliffs, waterfalls and a spectacular view – and back down. The Independence Day festivities include a fireworks display, street vendors, contests, street parade and other special events.

For more information about Mount Marathon visit:

World Eskimo-Indian Olympics
mid July
Fairbanks, Alaska

The first World Eskimo Olympics was held in Fairbanks in 1961 drawing contestants and dance teams from Barrow, Unalakleet, Tanana, Fort Yukon, Noorvik and Nome. The event features games based on those Alaskan ancestors played as a way to test their hunting and survival skills, and to increase strength, endurance, agility, and the balance of mind and body.

(A similar event, the Native Youth Olympics, is held in Anchorage, in April.)

The website highlighting the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics is:

Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival
end July
Fairbanks, Alaska

A unique study-performance arts festival held annually at the end of July on the beautiful University of Alaska Fairbanks campus, the 2-week Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival draws residents and visitors from all over the world. More than 1,000 take part with 100 guest artists and workshops in music, visual arts, literary arts, theatre arts, culinary arts, dance and healing arts with dozens of performances.

Details concerning the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival can be found here:


Golden Days
late July
Fairbanks, Alaska

Recognized as a Top 100 event by the American Bus Association, Golden Days, a fun event for all the family, has been celebrating the founding of Fairbanks for more than 60 years attracting thousands of Alaskans and people from all over the USA and the world. Five days of events include everything from the Land of the Midnight Sun’s largest parade, sourdough pancake breakfasts, a popular street fair, kids day, the rubber ducky races, historic reenactments and a comedy night.

Everything on Golden Days shows up on:

Tanana Valley State Fair
early August
Fairbanks, Alaska

The 9-day Tanana Valley State Fair started almost 100 years ago and is the oldest fair in the state of Alaska. Features of this event include everything from baby shows and talent shows to watermelon eating contests, bubble gum blowing contests, water balloon tossing, gunny sack races, hula hoop competitions, speech and drama festivals, antique tractor pulls, hayrides, mud bogs and barn dances.

For knowledge about the Tanana Valley State Fair view:


Blueberry Festival

early August
Ketchikan, Alaska

top fruit festivals in the USAFor one day each August, the Southeast Alaska town of Ketchikan celebrates the Panhandle’s favorite fruit – the blueberry. Tourists and locals alike turn out for blueberry pie, the best blueberry art exhibit, best blueberry dish, a beard and mustache contest, Haiku poetry slam, pie eating contest, slug races, trivia contest, spelling bee, fun runs, pet and doll parade and with more activities on Main Street.

For more information about the Blueberry Festival see:

Alaska State Fair
late August - early September
Palmer, Alaska

top state fairs in the USANamed one of the best state fairs in the nation, the Alaska State Fair has been a premier Alaska event since 1936. Each year, the Fair entertains and educates hundreds of thousands of Alaskans and visitors with world-class performers and exhibits, and world-record-breaking giant vegetables. The Fair also offers a rich cultural experience, featuring hundreds of Alaska Native performers and artists, as well as uniquely Alaskan goods, and menus overflowing with Alaska Grown goodies.

More on the subject of the Alaska State Fair is located at:


Alaska Day Festival

mid October
Sitka, Alaska

The Alaska Day Festival commemorates the transfer of Alaska from Russia to the United States on October 18, 1867 on Sitka’s Castle Hill. The celebration is a week long and includes concerts, a period costume ball, dances, dinners, contests and a parade. The festival is held in mid-October each year as the rest of the state celebrates Alaska Day as a state holiday and it concludes with a reenactment of the Lowering the Russia Flag and Raising the American Flag in its place.

Information relating to the Alaska Day Festival can be seen at:

Athabascan Old-Time Fiddlers Festival
early November
Fairbanks, Alaska

This four-day celebration held in November each year in Fairbanks pays homage to the music that evolved from the time when the fiddle was introduced to the Athabascan Indians of Interior Alaska by the French and Arcadian fur trappers over 100 hundred years ago. Attracting musicians f of both Alaska and Canada,the the Athabascan Old-Time Fiddlers Festival has been a popular event for almost 30 years and has become one of the most important Alaska Native cultural events of the year.

Learn more about the Athabascan Old-Time Fiddlers Festival by checking out:

Sitka Whalefest
early November
Sitka, Alaska

A popular event for more than 15 years, the Sitka Whalefest focusses on both entertaining and educating visitors about the diverse and abundant marine mammals population of the area, complete with whale and marine mammal viewing trips, workshops, whale-watching tours, slide shows, workshops and discussions, and a concert and other community events.

Read further information relating to the Sitka Whalefest here:

Alaska Bald Eagle Festival
mid November
Haines, Alaska

Over 3,000 eagles gather along the Chilkat River to feast on spawning salmon. The festival is crammed with events catering to birdwatchers, photographers and nature lovers, and include photo workshops, speakers and presentations, guided eagle viewing, featured entertainers and the release of wild rehabilitated Bald Eagles. Most Festival activities are held at the American Bald Eagle Foundation museum. Daily buses and/or vans commute to the Alaska Bald Eagle Preserve.

Still more concerning the Alaska Bald Eagle Festival is here:

The newly updated Top 20 Events USA pages do not include every single event on offer in each state or city in America – only those recognized as one of the top 20 in each location, elected by residents, tourists and visitors, the team of travel writers working for Top Events USA, and some officials of the relevant states and cities of the USA too.


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