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Fairbanks Business Signs
The city of Fairbanks is located in the center of the northern most state of Alaska. Prior to encroachment by the United States, there was no permanent native settlement in this exact spot. However, Athabascan Indians and their predecessors have lived in this area for at least 10,000 years. Athabascan activities in the area were limited to seasonal hunting and fishing. It is surmised the Tanana Valley and the Tanana River were explored by Russian traders from Nulato and Hudson’s Bay Company prior to explorations by citizens of the United States. In 1885, Henry Tureman Allen led the first U.S. Army expedition into the Tanana Valley. However, a permanent settlement wouldn’t be created until August of 1901, when Captain E. T. Barnette first established the city. Barnette named the city after Charles W. Fairbanks, who at the time was a Republican senator from Indiana, but would later become the twenty-sixth Vice President of the United States, serving under Theodore Roosevelt during his second term.
Today, according to a 2014 estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau, Fairbanks, Alaska has a total population of 32,469 people. This makes it the second most populous city in Alaska, after Anchorage. In 2015, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the Fairbanks North Star Borough Metropolitan Statistical Area had a total population of 99,357 people. This is also the second largest metropolitan area in the state, after Anchorage. Additionally, it is the northernmost metropolitan area in the United States, “located less than 120 miles (190 km) south of the Arctic Circle.”
One of the most prominent cultural landmarks in the Fairbanks, Alaska area is undoubtedly the University of Alaska Fairbanks. This public research university, which was established as the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines in 1917, had a $143.7 million endowment as of Fall 2014. This university features seven major research departments: the Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, the Geophysical Institute (operating the Poker Flat Research Range), the International Arctic Research Center, the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center, the Institute of Arctic Biology, the Institute of Marine Science, and the Institute of Northern Engineering.
The University of Alaska Fairbanks also boasts the Museum of the North, which opened with the university. This museum’s mission is “to acquire, conserve, investigate, and interpret specimens and collections relating to the natural, artistic, and cultural heritage of Alaska and the Circumpolar North.”
Fairbanks, Alaska’s sporting scene, you may be surprised to learn, is booming. In fact, in 2014, the city hosted the Arctic Winter Games. It also hosts the annual Yukon Quest, which is a 1,000-mile International Sled Dog Race. The Yukon Quest alternates starting and ending points each year between Fairbanks, Alaska and Whitehorse, Alaska. It is often considered one of the toughest races in the world.
Elsewhere in Fairbanks, Alaska’s sports scene, the Alaska Nanooks are the University of Alaska Fairbanks mascots. They play in NCAA Division II and Division I (but only for hockey). The Nanooks’ mixed rifle team has won ten NCAA Rifle Championships. As for professional sports franchises, North American Hockey League’s Fairbanks Ice Dogs play their home matches in the Big Dipper Ice Arena. The Ice Dogs have one regular season title, one Cascade Cup, and three Robertson Cups to their names.
Alaska Baseball League’s Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks play their home games at Growden Memorial Park. The Goldpanners have won 35 league championships. The Goldpanners also host the annual Midnight Sun game, which is played every summer solstice. Due to the sun being out for almost 24 hours a day at that time of year, “the game starts at about 10:30 at night and completes around 1:30 the next morning.” The Midnight Sun game began in 1906. Artificial light has never been used!
Do you own a small business in the Fairbanks, Alaska area? Are you by any chance considering it? These resources could help you:
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