Midnight Sun Game returns to Fairbanks after 2020 hiatus

Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 4:55 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - After being cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19, the Midnight Sun Baseball Game returned to Growden Park in Fairbanks on June 21, 2021.

Game Announcer Raleigh Johnson said, “This is a Fairbanks tradition, a staple of the Fairbanks summer is the Midnight Sun Game.”

Local attendee Brad Hoff called the game “the culmination of the Alaskan summers.”

Travelers come from around the world to enjoy the unique experience of a baseball game at night that doesn’t need to be artificially lit.

First-timer Doug Jalving said, “I had heard of this game before, and it’s been on my bucket list, so this is a bucket list check for me.”

Glen Gross came to Fairbanks to watch his son Carson play for the Goldpanners. He said, “Everybody’s been so welcoming, and so opening. They open up their homes, they’re opening up their lives to us.”

The game carries many traditions, including the singing of the Alaska Flag Song at exactly midnight.

Johnson has announced the game for 5 years, and says the game is well-known among baseball fans. “I’ve been on baseball tours in other places, and I tell people, ‘I work for the Goldpanners’, and they say ‘Oh, the Midnight Sun Game! You get to do that?’ They all know it. Every baseball person knows it.”

Fairbanks has played host to the Midnight Sun Game since 1906. “Think back, 116 years ago, a bunch of guys got together and said ‘Hey, let’s play a baseball game,’ and the city has embraced it every year,” Johnson said.

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