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Funding drive aids effort to revive Fairbanks' solstice fireworks

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Posted: Friday, December 21, 2012 12:19 am

FAIRBANKS — Don’t confuse the loud booms and lights in the sky tonight with the impending Mayan apocalypse — it’s just the return of the annual fireworks display as part of the Downtown Association of Fairbanks’ winter solstice festival.

Thanks to pledges on the social funding platform Kickstarter, along with financial help from Alyeska Pipeline Co. and Fire Art Pyrotechnics, the fireworks team, the fireworks are back after a hiatus last year that allowed the Downtown Association to focus on other aspects of the solstice festival. The online funding drive sought a goal of $1,000 for this year’s display. So far, 24 donors have pushed funding to $1,475.

“We had pledges from Anchorage and Fairbanks residents as well as businesses and property owners in downtown and even strangers,” said Amy Nordrum, communications

coordinator for the Downtown Association. “We even had pledge from someone in Oklahoma.”

The extra $475 of the $1,000 will go toward helping defray costs of the winter solstice festival. “Our organization absorbs a lot of costs for putting on events like this, and that bonus helps the cost. Every little bit helps to a nonprofit like us,” Nordrum said.

Tonight’s fireworks display begins at 7:30 p.m., with the fireworks being launched from the field behind the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center on Dunkel Street. Prime viewing spots will be on the footbridge over the Chena River and anywhere along the river or on First Avenue. Because of sub-zero temperatures, some businesses are letting spectators view the show from the warmth of their downtown stores and offering discounts on food or merchandise.

Contact Features Editor Gary Black at 459-7504 or on Twitter at @FDNMfeatures.

If you go

• What: The 2012 Alyeska Pipeline Winter Solstice Festival and fireworks display featuring live music by traveling bands, carolers on the streets and in shops, Cocoa the Reindeer at Arctic Travelers Gift Shop, the lighting of luminaries in Golden Heart Plaza for Relay for Life, and Mrs. Claus at Fairbanks Community Museum.

• When: 5-8 tonight, with fireworks at 7:30

• Where: Downtown Fairbanks

• More info: For a complete schedule of events, visit www.downtownfairbanks.com

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