The Howling Dog

The Howling Dog Saloon, 2160 Old Steese Highway, usually opens in early May and closes around Veterans Day. Originally in Ester, the saloon moved into the original Fox General Store building in the mid-1970s. Live music is featured every weekend at the saloon. It's opening for the season on Fourth of July weekend this year. 

The COVID-19 pandemic shows no signs of slowing down, with state health officials reporting 27 new cases Wednesday — 20 in state residents and seven in nonresidents. Six of the new cases are from the Fairbanks North Star Borough.

As such, Fairbanks venues, organizations and event planners are responding. Here’s the latest on openings, postponements and reschedulings for the summer.

The Howling Dog

The Howling Dog Saloon, long a favorite live music venue, has postponed its summer opening.

The Dog was aiming to open this weekend but owner Ralph Glasgow has postponed until Fourth of July weekend, with classic rockers No Exit slated to play July 3 and 4. The postponement is “due to uncontrollable circumstances,” Glasgow said.

“We apologize to all our customers and hope our customers are staying healthy,” he said. “We’re looking forward to seeing all our friends.”

The Howling Dog Saloon is located at 2160 Old Steese Highway North in Fox.


Foodstock, the annual three-day music festival that takes place at the Howling Dog Saloon over solstice weekend, is on hold this summer.

The summer postponement of Foodstock is not COVID-19 related as organizers announced in 2019 the event would pause this year. Foodstock raises money and food for the Fairbanks Community Foodbank.

Cynthia Reed, the sibling of Foodstock founder Jay Hill, encourages people to still donate five cans of food to the food bank this summer even with the postponement of Foodstock.

“It had already been determined last year that we’d take a year off to ‘get our chores done’ but as it turns out, this was the best time to take our break,” Reed said in an email to the News-Miner. 

Ester Fourth of July

The 2020 Ester Fourth of July Parade and community picnic is canceled.

Ester Community Association President Monique Musick said in an email that the decision was made “in the interest of the health and safety of our community.”

“We regret having to cancel and look forward to future celebrations,” she said. “We have asked the community to share pictures from parades and picnics past on our social media so that we may virtually celebrate Ester’s Independence Day traditions while keeping our community safe.”

The parade traditionally starts in downtown Ester in front of the Golden Eagle Saloon and travels to Ester Community Park, where the community takes part in a pig roast and potluck. The parade is known for its poking fun at national events and politics. 

Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre

Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre has announced it will not perform a summer production this year at Jack Townshend Point on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus.

Earlier this month, the theater company took part in a survey via email asking theater-goers about attending summer performances.

“After reading all of your comments, and with much consideration, we have decided to postpone this year’s summer show and youth camps until next summer,” an email from the theater states. “It is a hard decision to make, but it is the best move for Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre for this season, and the only way that we can ensure the safety of our patrons. As always, we appreciate your support, and will continue to work to bring you Shakespeare under the midnight sun for many summers to come.”

Regal Cinemas

Regal Goldstream & IMAX in Fairbanks is set to reopen July 10. That’s according to its corporate website,, which states all Regal cinemas in the nation will reopen on that date.

“Reopening plans include a wide range of new health and safety measures based on guidelines provided from the CDC and other public health organizations,” a message on the website states. “The plan also includes safety measures based on feedback received from employees and moviegoers they have deemed most important for their return.”

Safety measures include contactless payment, fogging each theater with sanitizer after each movie plays, health screenings for employees, required hand washing, and where required, all employees and guests will wear masks. Audience capacity might be reduced to half, according to the website.

For the full list of safety measures, see

Jo Koy

Comedian Jo Koy’s August stand-up event at the Carlon Center is now postponed until 2021.

The comedian was scheduled to perform Aug. 13 in Fairbanks. Due to concerns surrounding COVID-19, the “Just Kidding World Tour” Fairbanks date is now on for March 14, 2021.

“We sincerely thank you for your continued loyalty and patience during this challenging time and look forward to welcoming Jo Koy to Fairbanks in March,” an email from the Carlson Center announcing the postponement states. 

For information regarding tickets that have already been purchased, you are encouraged to visit Ticketmaster. 

Contact Features Editor Gary Black at 459-7504 or at