Not even the coronavirus can stop International Friendship Day from happening this month. For the 34th year, the popular traditional event will happen virtually on Oct. 17.
“This event day needs to be acknowledged and celebrated,” said longtime organizer Rosalind Kan.
The three local mayors already proclaimed International Friendship Day an official Fairbanks celebration back in 2017. The event, usually held at Pioneer Park’s Civic Center, always draws hundreds of people to a day filled with cultural dancing and singing, along with booths featuring cultures and food from around the world.
In order to continue sharing the diversity of Fairbanks, organizers are in the process of collecting short video clips from each presenting group, performing in their living rooms, in their yards, all with social distancing for safety at the forefront. Many of these videos are taken with cell phone cameras, adding to the homespun charm of the day.
All the videos will be compiled into one YouTube video. That YouTube link will be shared publicly, a few days before the Oct 17 celebration. After Oct. 15 search YouTube for “Alaska-Fairbanks International Friendship Day 2020.”
Dozens of groups generally perform on this day, from the Fairbanks Youth Orchestra to dancers demonstrating cultural dances from the Alaska Native, African American, Latino, European, Thai, Filipino and Chinese communities and more.
International school clubs usually host booths as well. The Peace Corps is always there, manned by local residents who have served in the Peace Corps themselves.
“We are very happy and proud that this event has continued for this long,” Kan said at last year’s event. “It is all attributed to the enthusiasm of all the groups and individuals who come to share their experience with others.”
The event is sponsored by the Fairbanks International Friendship Day Committee and Fairbanks North Star Borough Parks and Recreation.
For more information, call 907-888-3831.
Reach columnist/community editor Kris Capps at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @FDNMKris.