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Golden Days events evolve amid pandemic

Published: Jul. 17, 2020 at 7:23 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Every year Fairbanks residents gather to wave at politicians and friends walking down the avenues and watch rubber duckies float the Chena River. But because of COVID-19, this year will be different. Usually for Golden Days, the rubber ducky race, parade, and street fair take place in downtown Fairbanks and are scheduled on the same day. This year, the rubber ducky race is going virtual and is on a different day. “We’re actually going to move that and have that on Sunday morning at ten o’clock in the morning, but we’re also going to stream that this year, so people can watch the rubber duck race from the comfort of their own couch at home. It will be on YouTube, it will be on Facebook,” said Marisa Sharrah, President/CEO of the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce.

Although there will be floats, the parade will have a more unconventional process and location. “My little talking point has been, a reverse parade? It’s not exactly a reverse parade, you won’t be driving backwards. We’re going to take that, again, out of the downtown area. It will be out at the Tanana Valley State fairgrounds. That’s on Saturday. You’re going to stay in your vehicle. You’re going to drive through the parade route and greet the floats as you pass them,” said Sharrah.

And the city wide street fair will have vendors peppered around the city and not concentrated along one or two blocks. Sharrah said, “This year we’re going to have a street fair, and instead of being downtown, we’re going to spread that out across the community. So it will be across Fairbanks, from Beaver Sports to Gene’s Chrysler and all areas in between.”

Sharrah says the decision to keep events going this year, when so many others canceled, was not an easy one to make. “We put a lot of thought into...are we going to be able to host events for this year? If we do, what is it this going to look like? Is this the right thing? Is this the right time? That is obviously...the landscape of decision making has changed and evolved on a weekly basis since March. So what we did is we decided when we were asked the question ‘why do you want to do this’ and the answer was because we want our community to feel resiliency,” said Sharrah.

More information on where and when Golden Days events are happening can be found at www.fairbankschamber.org/golden-days.

Copyright 2020 KTVF. All rights reserved.

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