Fairbanks is the largest city in the Interior region of Alaska. 2016 estimates put the population of the city proper at 32,751, and the population of the Fairbanks North Star Borough at 97,121, making it the second most populous metropolitan area in Alaska (after Anchorage). The Metropolitan Statistical Area encompasses all of the Fairbanks North Star Borough and is the northernmost Metropolitan Statistical Area in the United States, located 196 driving miles (or 140 air miles) south of the Arctic Circle. Fairbanks is home to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the founding campus of the University of Alaska system.
|City of Fairbanks|
Downtown Fairbanks in 2009
The Golden Heart of Alaska
|Borough||Fairbanks North Star|
|Incorporated||November 10, 1903|
|• Type||Home rule city|
|• Mayor||Jim Matherly|
|• State senators||Click Bishop (R)|
Scott Kawasaki (D)
|• State reps.||Bart LeBon (R)|
Steve Thompson (R)
Adam Wool (D)
|• City||32.62 sq mi (84.49 km2)|
|• Land||31.76 sq mi (82.25 km2)|
|• Water||0.86 sq mi (2.24 km2)|
|Elevation||446 ft (136 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||992.38/sq mi (383.16/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−9 (AKST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−8 (AKDT)|
99701, 99702, 99703, 99705, 99706, 99707, 99708, 99709, 99710, 99711, 99712, 99714, 99716, 99725 (Ester), 99767, 99775-(UAF), 99790
Though, as of yet, there is not a known permanent Alaska Native settlement at the site of Fairbanks, Athabascan peoples have used the area for thousands of years. An archaeological site excavated on the grounds of the University of Alaska Fairbanks uncovered a Native camp about 3,500 years old, with older remains found at deeper levels. From evidence gathered at the site,archaeologists surmise that Native activities in the area were limited to seasonal hunting and fishing as frigid temperatures precluded berry gathering . In addition, archeological sites on the grounds of nearby Fort Wainwright date back well over 10,000 years. Arrowheads excavated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks site matched similar items found in Asia, providing some of the first evidence that humans arrived in North America via the Bering Strait land bridge in deep antiquity.
Captain E. T. Barnette founded Fairbanks in August 1901 while headed to Tanacross (or Tanana Crossing, where the Valdez–Eagle trail crossed the Tanana River), where he intended to set up a trading post. The steamboat on which Barnette was a passenger, the Lavelle Young, ran aground while attempting to negotiate shallow water. Barnette, along with his party and supplies, were deposited along the banks of the Chena River 7 miles (11 km) upstream from its confluence with the Tanana River. The sight of smoke from the steamer's engines caught the attention of gold prospectors working in the hills to the north, most notably an Italian immigrant named Felice Pedroni (better known as Felix Pedro) and his partner Tom Gilmore. The two met Barnette where he disembarked and convinced him of the potential of the area. Barnette set up his trading post at the site, still intending to eventually make it to Tanacross. Teams of gold prospectors soon congregated in and around the newly founded Fairbanks; they built drift mines, dredges, and lode mines in addition to panning and sluicing.
After some urging by James Wickersham, who later moved the seat of the Third Division court from Eagle to Fairbanks, the settlement was named after Charles W. Fairbanks, a Republican senator from Indiana and later the twenty-sixth Vice President of the United States, serving under Theodore Roosevelt during his second term.
In these early years of settlement, the Tanana Valley was an important agricultural center for Alaska until the establishment of the Matanuska Valley Colonization Project and the town of Palmer in 1935. Agricultural activity still occurs today in the Tanana Valley, but mostly to the southeast of Fairbanks in the communities of Salcha and Delta Junction. During the early days of Fairbanks, its vicinity was a major producer of agricultural goods. What is now the northern reaches of South Fairbanks was originally the farm of Paul J. Rickert, who came from nearby Chena in 1904 and operated a large farm until his death in 1938. Farmers Loop Road and Badger Road, loop roads north and east (respectively) of Fairbanks, were also home to major farming activity. Badger Road is named for Harry Markley Badger, an early resident of Fairbanks who later established a farm along the road and became known as "the Strawberry King". Ballaine and McGrath Roads, side roads of Farmers Loop Road, were also named for prominent local farmers, whose farms were in the immediate vicinity of their respective namesake roads. Despite early efforts by the Alaska Loyal League, the Tanana Valley Agriculture Association and William Fentress Thompson, the editor-publisher of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, to encourage food production, agriculture in the area was never able to fully support the population, although it came close in the 1920s.
The construction of Ladd Army Airfield starting in 1939, part of a larger effort by the federal government during the New Deal and World War II to install major infrastructure in the territory for the first time, fostered an economic and population boom in Fairbanks which extended beyond the end of the war. In the 1940s the Canol pipeline extended north from Whitehorse for a few years. The Haines - Fairbanks 626 mile long 8" petroleum products pipeline was constructed during the period 1953-55. The presence of the U.S. military has remained strong in Fairbanks. Ladd became Fort Wainwright in 1960; the post was annexed into Fairbanks city limits during the 1980s.
Fairbanks suffered from several floods in its first seven decades, whether from ice jams during spring breakup or heavy rainfall. The first bridge crossing the Chena River, a wooden structure built in 1904 to extend Turner Street northward to connect with the wagon roads leading to the gold mining camps, often washed out before a permanent bridge was constructed at Cushman Street in 1917 by the Alaska Road Commission. On August 14, 1967, after record rainfall upstream, the Chena began to surge over its banks, flooding almost the entire town of Fairbanks overnight. This disaster led to the creation of the Chena River Lakes Flood Control Project, which built and operates the 50-foot-high (15 m) Moose Creek Dam in the Chena River and accompanying 8-mile-long (13 km) spillway. The project was designed to prevent a repetition of the 1967 flood by being able to divert water in the Chena upstream from Fairbanks into the Tanana River, thus bypassing the city.
Fairbanks is in the central Tanana Valley, straddling the Chena River near its confluence with the Tanana River. Immediately north of the city is a chain of hills that rises gradually until it reaches the White Mountains and the Yukon River. The city's southern border is the Tanana River. South of the river is the Tanana Flats, an area of marsh and bog that stretches for more than 100 miles (160 km) until it rises into the Alaska Range, which is visible from Fairbanks on clear days. To the east and west are low valleys separated by ridges of hills up to 3,000 feet (910 m) above sea level.
The Tanana Valley is crossed by many low streams and rivers that flow into the Tanana River. In Fairbanks, the Chena River flows southwest until it empties into the Tanana. Noyes Slough, which heads and foots off the Chena River, creates Garden Island, a district connected to the rest of Fairbanks by bridges and culverted roads.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has an area of 32.7 square miles (85 km2); 31.9 square miles (83 km2) of it is land and 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2) of it (2.48%) is water.
The city is extremely far north, being close to 16 parallels north of the Pacific border between the U.S. and Canada. It is on roughly the same parallel as the northern Swedish city of Skellefteå and Finnish city of Oulu. On account of its warm summers, however, Fairbanks is south of the arctic tree line.
Fairbanks has a continental subarctic climate (Köppen climate classification Dfc), with mild summers and severely cold winters. October through January are the snowiest months, and snow is limited from February to May. On average, the season's first snow falls on September 21, the first inch of snow accumulates by October 8 and the last inch of snow falls on April 27. The last flurries happen in May on average, but it occasionally does flurry in June. The snowpack is established by October 18, on average, and remains until April 23. Snow occasionally arrives early and in large amounts. On September 13, 1992, 8 inches (20 cm) of snow fell in the city, bending trees still laden with fall leaves. That September was also one of the snowiest on record, as 24 inches (61 cm) fell, compared to a median of only 0.3 inches or 0.0076 metres during the month. October and November are the snowiest months, whilst in contrast, March and April are not very snowy, as these are typically very dry months in central Alaska. The snowiest season has been from July 1990 to June 1991 with 147.3 inches (3.74 m), whilst the least snowy was from July 1918 to June 1919 with only 12.0 inches (0.30 m).
The average first and last dates with a freezing temperature are September 9 and May 15, respectively, allowing a growing season of 116 days, although freezes have occurred in June, July, and August and the last light frost is often in early June and the first light fall frost is often in late August or early September.
Fairbanks is the coldest large city in the U.S.; normal monthly mean temperatures range from −7.9 °F (−22.2 °C) in January to 62.5 °F (16.9 °C) in July. On average, temperatures reach −40 °F (−40 °C) and 80 °F (27 °C) on 7.3 and 13 days annually, respectively, and the last year that failed to reach the former mark was 2016. Between 1995 and 2008, inclusive, Fairbanks failed to record a temperature of 90 °F or 32 °C. The highest recorded temperature in Fairbanks was 99 °F (37 °C) on July 28, 1919, compared to the Alaska-wide record high temperature of 100 °F (38 °C), recorded in Fort Yukon. The lowest was −66 °F (−54 °C) on January 14, 1934. The warmest calendar year in Fairbanks was 1926, when the average annual temperature was 32.4 °F (0.2 °C), while the coldest was 1956 with an annual mean temperature of 21.3 °F (−5.9 °C). The warmest month has been July 1975 with a monthly mean of 68.4 °F (20.2 °C) and the coldest January 1906 which averaged −36.4 °F (−38.0 °C). Low temperatures below 0 °F or −18 °C have been recorded in every month outside June through September. The record cold daily maximum is −58 °F (−50 °C) on January 18, 1906, and the record warm daily minimum is 76 °F (24 °C) on June 26, 1915; the only other occurrence of a 70 °F (21 °C) daily minimum was June 25, 2013 in the midst of a particularly warm summer.
These widely varying temperature extremes are due to three main factors: temperature inversions, daylight, and wind direction. In winter, Fairbanks' low-lying location at the bottom of the Tanana Valley causes cold air to accumulate in and around the city. Warmer air rises to the tops of the hills north of Fairbanks, while the city itself experiences one of the biggest temperature inversions on Earth. Heating through sunlight is limited because of Fairbanks's high-latitude location. At the winter solstice, the center of the sun's disk is less than two degrees over the horizon (1.7 degrees) at the local noon (not the time zone noon). Fairbanks experiences 3 hours and 41 minutes of sunlight on December 21 and 22. At the summer solstice, about 182 days later, on June 20 and 21, Fairbanks receives 21 hours and 49 minutes of sunlight. After sunset, twilight is bright enough to allow daytime activities without any electric lights, since the center of the sun's disk is just 1.7 degrees below horizon. During winter, the direction of the wind also causes large temperature swings in Fairbanks. When the wind blows from any direction but the south, average weather ensues. Wind from the south can carry warm, moist air from the Gulf of Alaska, greatly warming temperatures. When coupled with a chinook wind, temperatures well above freezing often result: for example, in the record warm January 1981, Fairbanks’ average maximum was 28.7 °F (−1.8 °C) and 15 days had a maximum above freezing, while during a spell of sustained chinook winds from December 4 to 8, 1934 the temperature topped 50 °F or 10 °C for five consecutive days.
In addition to the chinook wind, Fairbanks experiences a handful of other unusual meteorological conditions. In summer, dense wildfire smoke accumulates in the Tanana Valley, affecting the weather and causing health concerns. When temperature inversions arise in winter, heavy ice fog often results. Ice fog occurs when air is too cold to absorb additional moisture, such as that released by automobile engines or human breath. Instead of dissipating, the water freezes into microscopic crystals that are suspended in the air, forming fog. Another one of Fairbanks' unusual occurrences is the prevalence of the aurora borealis, commonly called the northern lights, which are visible on average more than 200 days per year in the vicinity of Fairbanks. The northern lights are not visible in the summer months due to the 24 daylight of the midnight sun. Fairbanks also has extremely low seasonal lag; the year's warmest month is July, which averages only 2.1 °F (1.2 °C) warmer than June. Average daily temperatures begin to fall by late July and more markedly in August, which on average is 4.3 °F (2.4 °C) cooler than June. The pattern of fall being colder than spring and a relatively early (late June/early July) peak in the year's average highest temperatures is due to the city's strategic location in a valley, far from any large body of water. This specific combination of features is virtually nonexistent elsewhere in the Northern Hemisphere.
Since 1949, Fairbanks's average winter temperature has risen by 7.8 °F (4.3 °C), average spring temperature by 4.2 °F (2.3 °C), and its average summer temperature by 2.1 °F (1.2 °C). During the same period the average autumn temperature has only risen by 1.1 °F (0.61 °C).
|U.S. Decennial Census|
Fairbanks first appeared on the 1910 U.S. Census as an incorporated city. It incorporated in 1903.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the population of the city in 2011 was 32,036 people, 11,075 households, and 7,187 families residing in the city. The population density was 995 people per square mile (366.3/km²). There were 12,357 housing units at an average density of 387.9 per square mile (149.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 66.1% White, 9.0% Black or African American, 10.0% Native American or Alaska Native, 3.6% Asian, 0.8% Pacific Islander. In addition, 9.0% of the population identified as Hispanic or Latino. The population estimate for the Fairbanks North Star Borough was 99,192. The racial makeup of the North Star Borough was 78.2% White, 5.0% Black, 7.2% Alaska Native or Native American, 2.8% Asian, 0.4% Pacific Islander; 6.3% identified as Hispanic or Latino.
Of the 11,075 households, 39.9% had children under the age of 18, 47.2% were married couples living together, 12.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.1% were non-families. 27.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.15.
The median age of the population was 28 years, with 9.6% under the age of 5, 26.0% under the age of 18, 14.7% from 18 to 24, 32.8% from 25 to 44, 16.4% from 45 to 64, and 7.3% who were 65 years of age or older. For every 100 females, there were 105.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 108.2 males.
The median income for a household between 2007 and 2011 was $55,409. Males had a median income of $30,539 versus $26,577 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,814. About 7.4% of families and 10.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.6% of those under age 18 and 7.0% of those age 65 or over. The percentage of high school graduates or higher is 88%. 20.4% of the population 25 years and up had a bachelor's degree or higher.
Fairbanks' largest newspaper is the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, which also includes a weekly entertainment guide, Latitude 65. A few other periodicals also serve Fairbanks and the Fairbanks North Star Borough: The Ester Republic and the University of Alaska Fairbanks student newspaper, the Sun Star.
Fairbanks is also served by television and radio. Leading radio stations include AM Stations KFAR 660 talk radio, KCBF 820 ESPN Radio Network, KFBX 970 talk radio and KJNP 1170 religious radio. FM stations include 88.3 popular Christian, KUAC 89.9 National Public Radio, KSUA 91.5 University of Alaska, Fairbanks, KDJF ("CHET FM") 93.5 everything country KXLR 94.3 Alaska's new country KWDD 95.9 classic rock KYSC 96.9 soft rock, KWLF 98.1-"Wolf 98.1", top 40, KJNP-FM 100.3 religious radio, KAKQ-FM 101.1-"Magic 101.1" pop music, KIAK-FM 102.5 country music, KTDZ 103.9-"K-TED" adult hits, KKED 104.7 rock music, and KDFJ-LP 105.9 religious radio.
Fairbanks' major television affiliates are KATN (ABC) 2.1, Fox 2.2, The CW 2.3, KUAC-TV (PBS), KTVF (NBC), and KXDF-CD (CBS). Cable TV is available from GCI. Satellite TV from Dish Network and DirecTV are also available.
The Fairbanks Ice Dogs, a junior hockey team in the North American Hockey League, play at the Big Dipper Ice Arena. Prior to the formation of the Ice Dogs, the Fairbanks Gold Kings was formed as a league team by the Teamsters Local 959 in 1974. The team took on a life of its own beyond local league play, and played out of the Big Dipper for many years until moving to Colorado Springs, Colorado (becoming the Colorado Gold Kings) in 1998.
The Alaska Goldpanners and the Fairbanks AIA Fire are summer collegiate baseball teams, playing home games at Growden Memorial Park. The park is home to the annual Midnight Sun Game, an annual tradition since 1906, played without artificial lights starting after ten at night on the summer solstice.
Also, Fairbanks is a hub for cross-country skiing in Alaska. It has hosted many different big ski events including the 2003 Junior Olympic Cross Country Ski Championship and the 2008 and 2009 U.S. Cross Country Distance Nationals It also has an annual 50k race called the Sonot Kkaazoot and the Fairbanks Town Series races which consists of four different races and the Chest Medicine Distance Series races which consists of only 3 races.
Fairbanks is also home to the Yukon Quest, an international 1,000 mile sled dog race that is considered one of the toughest in the world. The race alternates its starting and finishing points each year between Fairbanks, Alaska and Whitehorse, Yukon.
Fairbanks, Alaska was the birthplace of a significant number of successful musicians, artists, writers and personalities. Some distinguished individuals are Kelly Moneymaker, Kevin Johansen, Kevin Lenear of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Vivica Genaux, Lincoln Brewster, Katherine T. Hoppe, Rick Holmstrom, John Luther Adams, Ariah Christine, and Jon Button.
Susan Butcher, four time Iditarod winner, and husband David Monson, winner of the Yukon Quest, lived in Fairbanks. After Susan's death David kept on running their dog farm, Trail Breaker Kennels.
Fairbanks was also the starting place for Daryn Colledge, an offensive guard for the Arizona Cardinals. Colledge played for the Green Bay Packers and helped the team gain their victory in Super Bowl XLV.
Mike Dunlap, NBA and college basketball head coach, was born in Fairbanks.
The majority of Fairbanks is politically conservative, with three distinct geographical areas representing differing ideological views. The western part of the city, centered on the University of Alaska Fairbanks is Democratic-leaning. The downtown area and the eastern parts near Fort Wainwright are Republican-leaning, and the North Pole area farther east is even more conservative. Thus, many residents have noted that a neighborhood's position on the map of Fairbanks (west to east) mirrors its political orientation (left to right).
At present, the Fairbanks area comprises two entire districts, and most of a third district, in the Alaska Senate. The state senators for the Fairbanks area are John Coghill, Jr., Click Bishop, and Pete Kelly, all Republicans. The area comprises five entire districts, and a portion of one other district, in the Alaska House. Representatives for the Fairbanks area are Adam Wool, David Guttenberg, Scott Kawasaki (all Democrats), Steve Thompson and Tammie Wilson (both Republicans). Dave Talerico, a Republican member of the House who lives in the Denali Borough community of Healy, represents Richardson Highway communities beyond the North Pole area but within the Fairbanks North Star Borough boundaries.
Fairbanksans elected the first two Libertarian Party members to serve in a state legislature in the United States. Dick Randolph, who had previously served two terms in the Alaska House as a Republican, was first elected as a Libertarian in 1978 and re-elected in 1980. Ken Fanning was also elected to the House as a Libertarian in 1980. In the 1982 elections, Randolph ran unsuccessfully as the LP's nominee for Governor of Alaska, while Fanning lost re-election to the House following redistricting.
Fairbanks is a regional center for most departments of the State of Alaska, though the vast majority of state jobs are based in either Anchorage or Juneau.
Fairbanks, unlike other larger cities in Alaska, still has separate borough and city governments. The City of Fairbanks was incorporated on November 10, 1903. The city council held a special meeting at the Carlson Center on November 10, 2003 for the express purpose of denoting the centennial of incorporation. The Fairbanks North Star Borough, created by the Alaska Legislature under the Mandatory Borough Act of 1963, was incorporated on January 1, 1964.
Electricity is provided by the Golden Valley Electric Association. The Chena power site has four steam turbines fueled by coal and one oil-fueled electrical generator. Interior Alaska is not connected to the electrical grid of the contiguous United States and Canada, but a transmission line constructed in 1985 connects Fairbanks with power plants in the coal-producing area of Healy and the Anchorage area. Fairbanks currently holds the world record for the largest rechargeable battery, which weighs approximately 1,300 tons. The battery was installed to help bridge the gaps that occur during frequent power outages. The battery will provide power for 7 minutes to about 12,000 homes.
Until 1996, telephone service was provided by the Municipal Utilities Service, a public company. In that year, telephone service was sold to Alaska Communications Systems, a private company. General Communications Inc. has competed against ACS in Fairbanks since 1997. Both companies offer mobile phone service in Fairbanks, as do national and local providers such as AT&T Mobility and Verizon Wireless.
A pair of fiber optic cables provide long-distance telephone and Internet service. One parallels the Parks Highway and connects Fairbanks to Anchorage, while the other parallels the Richardson Highway and connects Fairbanks to Valdez. A third, spur fiber optic cable parallels the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and connects Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay. Broadband Internet access is provided by GCI, ACS, Ace Tekk and a handful of satellite Internet and wireless Internet services.
Among the companies based in Fairbanks are Doyon, Limited.
Fairbanks North Star Borough School District operates public schools serving the City of Fairbanks.
Airport Way, eastbound (left) and westbound (right), is the main east–west thoroughfare in Fairbanks. Constructed in the early and mid-1970s, it links the main gate of Fort Wainwright with the main terminal of Fairbanks International Airport.
As the transportation hub for Interior Alaska, Fairbanks features extensive road, rail, and air connections to the rest of Alaska and Outside. At Fairbanks' founding, the only way to reach the new city was via steamboat on the Chena River. In 1904, money intended to improve the Valdez-Eagle Trail was diverted to build a branch trail, giving Fairbanks its first overland connection to the outside world. The resulting Richardson Highway was created in 1910 after Gen. Wilds P. Richardson upgraded it to a wagon road. In the 1920s, it was improved further and made navigable by automobiles, but it was not paved until 1957.
Fairbanks' road connections were improved in 1927, when the 161-mile (259 km) Steese Highway connected the city to the Yukon River at the gold-mining community of Circle. In 1942, the Alaska Highway connected the Richardson Highway to the Canadian road system, allowing road travel from the rest of the United States to Fairbanks, which is considered the unofficial end of the highway. Because of World War II, civilian traffic was not permitted on the highway until 1948.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, a series of roads were built to connect Fairbanks to the oil fields of Prudhoe Bay. The Elliott Highway was built in 1957 to connect Fairbanks to Livengood, southern terminus of the Dalton Highway, which ends in Deadhorse on the North Slope. West of the Dalton intersection, the Elliott Highway extends to Manley Hot Springs on the Tanana River. To improve logistics in Fairbanks during construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, the George Parks Highway was built between Fairbanks and Palmer in 1971.
Until 1940, none of Fairbanks' surface streets were paved. The outbreak of World War II interrupted plans to pave most of the city's roads, and a movement toward large-scale paving did not begin until 1953, when the city paved 30 blocks of streets. During the late 1950s and the 1960s, the remainder of the city's streets were converted from gravel roads to asphalt surfaces. Few have been repaved since that time; a 2008 survey of city streets indicated the average age of a street in Fairbanks was 31 years.
Public transportation has been provided by the Metropolitan Area Commuter System, an agency of the borough government, since 1977. Bus service links much of the urban Fairbanks area, with most routes connecting at the downtown transit center. University Bus Lines, a private company, existed for several decades before MACS started. The company, which was owned first by Paul Greimann and later by Walt Conant, mainly linked downtown Fairbanks with the university campus and the military bases.
Commercial airlines connect Fairbanks to the rest of Alaska as well as the lower 48 and select international destinations via Fairbanks International Airport. Fairbanks is the smallest city in the United States to be served by transatlantic flights, as Condor operates direct flight to Frankfurt in the summer tourist season.
The Alaska Railroad provides regular freight and passenger service between Fairbanks and Southcentral Alaska towns. Shown on the left is the railroad's Fairbanks depot, off the Johansen Expressway on the northern edge of the railroad yards. It opened in 2005, replacing the depot in downtown Fairbanks (right) which opened in 1960.
After large-scale gold mining began north of Fairbanks, miners wanted to build a railroad from the steamboat docks on the Chena River to the mine sites in the hills north of the city. The result was the Tanana Mines Railroad, which started operations in September 1905, using what had been the first steam locomotive in the Yukon Territory. In 1907, the railroad was reorganized and named the Tanana Valley Railroad. The railroad continued expanding until 1910, when the first gold boom began to falter and the introduction of automobiles into Fairbanks took business away from the railroad. Despite these problems, railroad backers envisioned a rail line extending from Fairbanks to Seward on the Gulf of Alaska, home to the Alaska Central Railway.
In 1914, the US Congress appropriated $35 million for construction of the Alaska Railroad system, but work was delayed by the outbreak of World War I. Three years later, the Alaska Railroad purchased the Tanana Valley Railroad, which had suffered from the wartime economic problems. Rail workers built a line extending northwest from Fairbanks, then south to Nenana, where President Warren G. Harding hammered in the ceremonial final spike in 1923. The rail yards of the Tanana Valley Railroad were converted for use by the Alaska Railroad, and Fairbanks became the northern end of the line and its second-largest depot.
From 1923 to 2004, the Alaska Railroad's Fairbanks terminal was in downtown Fairbanks, just north of the Chena River. In May 2005, the Alaska Railroad opened a new terminal northwest of downtown, and that terminal is in operation today. In summer, the railroad operates tourist trains to and from Fairbanks, and it operates occasional passenger trains throughout the year. The majority of its business through Fairbanks is freight. The railroad is planning an expansion of the rail line from Fairbanks to connect the city via rail with Delta Junction, about 100 miles (160 km) southeast.
In 2010 Fairbanks ranks as the third most dangerous U.S. city for women with a rate of rape more than double the national average: 70 forcible rapes per 100,000 inhabitants.
Compared to communities of similar population, Fairbanks' crime rate (violent and property crimes combined) is higher than Alaska's average, which in turn is higher than the U.S. average.
|Motor Vehicle Theft||216||236||379|
The city of Fairbanks and the greater Fairbanks area is home to a number of attractions and events, which draw visitors from outside of Alaska throughout the year. Summer tourist traffic primarily consists of cruise ship passengers who purchase package tours which include travel to Fairbanks. Many of these tourists spend one or more nights at a local hotel and visit one or more attractions. Tourism the rest of the year is mostly concentrated around the winter season, centered upon the northern lights, ice carving and winter sports. In addition, other events draw visitors from within Alaska, mostly from the community's trading area throughout Interior Alaska and the North Slope.
Alaska State Parks operates the Chena River State Recreation Site, a 29 acres (12 ha) park in the middle of Fairbanks with a campground, trails, and a boat launch. (There is a similarly named Chena River State Recreation Area, a much larger park, about 30 miles (48 km) outside Fairbanks)
Fairbanks is twinned with:
Andrew Jay Kleinfeld (born June 12, 1945) is a Senior United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska and a former Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Alaska.Carlson Center
The Carlson Center is a 4,595-seat multi-purpose arena in Fairbanks, Alaska, United States. It is the 3rd largest arena in Alaska for seating capacity after the Sullivan Arena and Alaska Airlines Center, both of which are in Anchorage. It is home to the University of Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks ice hockey team of the WCHA and also serves as the site for the university's commencement exercises as well as graduation ceremonies for Lathrop, West Valley, and North Pole High Schools. The building served as the site for the Top Of The World preseason college basketball tournament until its demise in 2007. Opening in 1990, the venue is named after John A. Carlson (1920-1988), who served as Fairbanks North Star Borough mayor from 1968 to 1982.
The facility is located on the banks of the Chena River near Growden Memorial Park. It is owned by the Fairbanks North Star Borough and managed by SMG of Alaska, Inc. which also manages the Sullivan Arena, the Egan Civic Center, the Dena'ina Center and the Ben Boeke Ice rinks in Anchorage.Corey Flintoff
Corey Flintoff (born April 8, 1946) is a retired international correspondent previously based in Moscow for National Public Radio.
Flintoff was born in Fairbanks, Alaska. He has a bachelor's degree from University of California at Berkeley and a master's degree from University of Chicago. Flintoff spent many years as a newscaster and reporter at the Alaska Public Radio Network before joining NPR in 1990, where he was a newscaster.
In 2007, Flintoff was included in a report compiled by MSNBC of journalists who had made campaign contributions to political candidates. A 2003 contribution of $538 to Howard Dean made their list. Flintoff insists that his wife made the contribution from a joint account. In spite of the error, Flintoff stated that it led to policy reforms at NPR.Everts Air Cargo
Everts Air Cargo is an American Part 121 airline based in Fairbanks, Alaska, USA. It operates D.O.D, scheduled and charter airline cargo within Alaska, Canada, Mexico and continental US Its Maintenance base is Fairbanks International Airport with its major cargo hub at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.Fairbanks Gold Rush
The Fairbanks Gold Rush was a gold rush that took place in Fairbanks, Alaska in the early 1900s. Fairbanks was a city largely built on Gold Rush fervor at the beginning of the 20th century. Discovery and exploration continue to thrive in and around modern-day Fairbanks.Frank Murkowski
Frank Hughes Murkowski (born March 28, 1933) is an American retired politician and a member of the Republican Party. He was a United States senator from Alaska from 1981 until 2002 and the eighth governor of Alaska from 2002 until 2006.Frontier Flying Service
Frontier Flying Service (now d/b/a Ravn Connect) is an American airline headquartered in Fairbanks, Alaska, United States. It operates an extensive network of year-round scheduled commuter services and postal services to Alaska bush communities, primarily north of Fairbanks, as well as charter services to the lower 48 and Canada.
Its main base is in Fairbanks (Fairbanks International Airport), with hubs in Utqiagvik (Wiley Post–Will Rogers Memorial Airport), Anchorage (Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport), Kotzebue (Ralph Wien Memorial Airport) and Bethel (Bethel Airport).Georgianna Lincoln
Georgianna Lincoln (born February 22, 1943) is an American politician and businesswoman.
Born in Fairbanks, Alaska Territory, Lincoln graduated from Lathrop High School in Fairbanks, Alaska in 1960. She also went to University of Alaska Fairbanks. She lived in Fairbanks and in Rampart, Alaska. Lincoln was involved with the commercial fishing industry and served on the board of directors of Doyon, Limited. Lincoln served in the Alaska House of Representatives in 1991 and 1992. She then served in the Alaska Senate from 1993 to 2005 and was a Democrat.Jon Button
Jon Button (born February 10, 1971) is an American bass player born in Fairbanks, Alaska, and based in Los Angeles, California. Button has played on commercial, film and television scores and toured with a number of well-known artists. He plays both electric and upright string bass.KCBF
KCBF is a commercial radio station airing sports programming in Fairbanks, Alaska, broadcasting on 820 AM. KCBF obtains its programming from ESPN Radio. Until March 2011 the station carried ESPN Radio.
It signed on in 1948 as KFRB on 1290 kHz. It moved to 790 kHz in 1953 then to 900 kHz in 1954. It moved to its current frequency in 1981.
KCBF is the exclusive radio home to University of Alaska Nanooks hockey. The station also serves coverage of the Nanooks' men's and select women's basketball games. It was also the former radio home of Fairbanks Grizzlies football.
KCBF is also the Fairbanks radio affiliate for the NFL on Dial Global and the NCAA radio network during the Final Four men's basketball tournament.KDMD-LP
KDMD-LP, UHF analog channel 32, was a low-powered Ion Television-affiliated television station licensed to Fairbanks, Alaska, United States. The station was owned by Ketchikan Television, LLC. It shared its call letters with its sister station in Anchorage, and was licensed as a translator of that station.KFAR
KFAR is a commercial radio station programming news/talk in Fairbanks, Alaska, United States, broadcasting on 660 AM. Founded in 1939 by industrialist Austin E. Lathrop, KFAR is the oldest radio station in Fairbanks and one of the oldest in Alaska. KFAR airs Fox News Radio throughout the day and carries national radio programs through Compass Media Networks, Genesis Communications Network, Premiere Networks and Westwood One, among others. The station previously held longtime affiliations with the ABC Radio Network, Mutual Broadcasting System and the previous incarnation of Westwood One.
Since adopting the news/talk format during the 1980s, KFAR has had a long-standing commitment to airing locally produced talk radio programming; the station turned down The Rush Limbaugh Show when it was originally offered in favor of local programming. KFAR is currently the only news/talk station in Fairbanks to produce local call-in talk shows. Their primary competitor, KFBX, airs locally produced news and public affairs programming (on weekday morning drive and midday, and on Sunday morning, respectively), but no local talk shows. To drive home this distinction, KFAR makes heavy use of the slogan Local Talk Radio. Problem Corner (which has aired on the station since 1961), patriots lament show and The Michael Dukes Show comprise a total of 4 hours of airtime each weekday. KFAR has also aired a succession of local talk shows on Saturday mornings.KFXF-LD
KFXF-LD, virtual and UHF digital channel 22, is a low-powered MyNetworkTV-affiliated television station licensed to Fairbanks, Alaska, United States. Owned by Gray Television, it is a sister station to NBC affiliate KTVF (channel 11) and Class A CBS affiliate KXDF-CD (channel 13). The three stations share studios on Braddock Street in downtown Fairbanks, where KFXF-LD's transmitter is also located.KUAC (FM)
KUAC is a non-commercial FM radio station in Fairbanks, Alaska, broadcasting at 89.9 MHz. The station is operated by the University of Alaska Fairbanks. It debuted on October 2, 1962, originally at 104.7 MHz, as Alaska's first non-commercial radio station, and second FM station (after KNIK in Anchorage).
KUAC airs public radio programming, primarily from National Public Radio, Public Radio International and American Public Media, as well as other sources, such as the Alaska Public Radio Network. In keeping with its roots, numerous multi-hour blocks of classical and jazz musics are programmed throughout the schedule, as well as programs focusing on more modern genres such as Afropop Worldwide, Beale Street Caravan, The Folk Sampler, Hearts of Space, Mountain Stage and World Cafe. The station has an extensive pool of volunteers, who produce many hours of locally originated programming per week, mostly in the evenings and on weekends.KXDF-CD
KXDF-CD, virtual and VHF digital channel 13, is a low-powered, Class A CBS-affiliated television station licensed to Fairbanks, Alaska, United States. Owned by Gray Television, it is a sister station to NBC affiliate KTVF (channel 11) and MyNetworkTV affiliate KFXF-LD (channel 22). The three stations share studios on Braddock Street in downtown Fairbanks; KXDF-CD's transmitter is located northeast of the city on Cranberry Ridge.Steve Cowper
Stephen Cambreleng Cowper (born August 21, 1938) is an American Democratic politician who was the sixth governor of Alaska from 1986–90. He was governor during the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.Steve M. Thompson
Stephen Max "Steve" Thompson (born October 27, 1944) is a retired businessman and Republican politician from the US state of Alaska. He has been a member of the Alaska House of Representatives from District 2 in Fairbanks since 2011. He previously served as mayor of Fairbanks from 2001 to 2007.Warbelow's Air Ventures
Warbelow's Air Ventures is an American regional airline based in Fairbanks, Alaska, USA. It operates domestic scheduled passenger, charter, and tour services as well as flight tours, mostly throughout Interior Alaska. Its base is Fairbanks International Airport. It is affiliated with Sukapak, Inc.World Eskimo Indian Olympics
The World Eskimo-Indian Olympics (or WEIO) is an annual multi-sport event held over a four-day period beginning the 3rd Wednesday each July, designed to preserve cultural practices and traditional (survival) skills essential to life in circumpolar areas of the world. The WEIO features games or sports rooted in ancestral hunting and survival techniques employed by the Inuit, Iñupiat, Yupik, and other Native Americans, as well as dance storytelling competitions, and an annual cultural pageant, called Miss WEIO, that focuses on cultural knowledge.
Places adjacent to Fairbanks, Alaska
|Climate data for Fairbanks International Airport, Alaska (1981–2010 normals, extremes 1904–present)|
|Record high °F (°C)||52
|Mean maximum °F (°C)||29.7
|Average high °F (°C)||1.1
|Average low °F (°C)||−16.9
|Mean minimum °F (°C)||−41.3
|Record low °F (°C)||−66
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||0.58
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||10.3
|Average precipitation days||8.5||6.6||4.8||3.6||7.1||10.9||12.9||13.3||10.4||11.2||10.3||9.0||108.6|
|Average snowy days||10.1||7.9||5.9||2.8||0.8||0.0||0.0||0.0||1.4||10.2||11.9||10.8||61.8|
|Average relative humidity (%)||69.3||65.5||60.4||56.2||50.2||56.6||64.2||70.8||68.9||74.1||72.8||71.3||65.0|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||54||120||224||302||319||334||274||164||122||85||71||36||2,105|
|Source #1:  NOAA (relative humidity 1961–1990)|
|Source #2: Danish Meteorological Institute (sun, 1931–1960)|
Municipalities and communities of Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska, United States
Borough seat: Fairbanks
|Largest cities |
pop. over 25,000
|Smaller cities |
pop. over 2,000