Golden Days
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Golden DaysPanning for gold.

What is it?

Golden Days began as a way of collectively honoring Fairbanks’ past. It is then that we celebrate the discovery of gold here. Felix Pedro struck gold on July 22, 1902, in a creek 12 miles north of E. T. Barnette's Trading Post. See our Fairbanks History page to learn more about what happened then. The celebration of Golden Days is coordinated by the Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce and always takes place in the July week that is closest to July 22.

The summer of 2001 was the centennial of the founding of Fairbanks. It marked the 100th anniversary of the landing of the paddleboat Lavelle Young on the banks of the Chena River, in the  spot which came to be called Fairbanks. This year was also the 50th anniversary of Golden Days, which was started in 1951 by pioneer Kay Kennedy.

2002 was the centennial of the discovery of gold by Felix Pedro, so the theme was "Days of Gold, 100 Years Old". The year 2003 was the centennial of the incorporation of the city of Fairbanks.

The Chamber calls Golden Days "Fairbanks' most co-operatively produced summer event." It is certainly the largest event for tourists, and the height of our season.

In recent years, the focus has moved away from encouraging everyone to wear costumes, to buying pins, to buying warrants. In March of 2002, a resident wrote a well-thought-out letter about this with which we wholeheartedly agree. Find it here or click on the button at left.

The landing of the Lavelle Young is the first of three centennials to be recognized in Fairbanks over the next three years. To commemorate the landing on the Chena River, the theme for Golden Days 2001 was "Founding the Future–the Lavelle Young Arrives!" 

Since in 2001 we commemorated two anniversaries, the landing of the Lavelle Young and the 50th anniversary of Golden Days,  two logos were designed; one was featured on the 2001 Golden Days pin and the other on the 2001 Golden Days button. 

Beginning in May, Rubber Duckie tickets will be available at the Fairbanks Convention & Visitors Bureau log cabin on First Avenue and at the Chamber of Commerce office in Court House Square. Later in May Rubber Duckie tickets will go on sale, with Golden Days pins, buttons and garters, at locations around the Tanana Valley.

The prizes are great - see the schedule for this (link at bottom of page).

Continuous historical and informative exhibits will be up at various locations throughout Golden Days. Many favorite events will return, including the Children’s Parade, Red/Green River Regatta, Golden Citizen's Luncheon, a street fair, Rubber Duckie Race, & the Grande Parade. Of course, all through Golden Days, you can anticipate arrival of the Golden Days Jail.

You can follow this link for a schedule of Golden Days events.

 

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