by Nancy DeWitt
Fairbanks puts on a fantastic Solstice celebration every summer, but Alaska's hottest car show only rolls around every two years. Don't miss it this June!
Corvettes, Cobras, Thunderbirds and hot rods will be heating up the streets during the 2014 Midnight Sun Cruise-In on June 20 & 21. Those out enjoying Fairbanks’ longest days can expect to see an eclectic mix of classic cars rumbling throughout the city. They'll be cruising through downtown Fairbanks on Friday evening and then gathering at Pioneer Park for dinner at the Salmon Bake. Saturday afternoon is the Tour de Fairbanks, where the cars will cruise out the Steese Highway and through the Goldstream Valley, University of Alaska campus, and downtown Fairbanks.
The highlight of the Cruise-In is the Midnight Sun Car Show, organized by the Vernon Nash Antique Auto Club of Fairbanks. Held on the expansive grounds of Wedgewood Resort, the June 21 show is expected to attract close to 200 pre-1985 cars ranging from Model Ts and Studebakers to Mustangs and El Caminos.
Admission to view the cars is free, and the crowd will choose the winners among several classes:
- Hot Rods/Modified (2014 featured class)
- Pre-war Fords (2014 featured class)
- Muscle Cars (owner definition)
- Vintage (1949 and older)
- Baby Boomer Classic (1950-1972)
- Millennial Classic (1973-1989)
- Miscellaneous (tractors, military vehicles, motorcycles, etc.)
Show-goers can also enjoy free hayrides, watch an antique steam car demonstration, see a 100-year-old electric car in action, and peruse the eye-popping collection of historic automobiles and fashions inside the museum. The awards banquet for the show takes place in the Fountainhead Auto Museum Saturday evening and is open to the public (advanced tickets required).
One fun new event will take place during the car show: Valve Cover Car Races! It's similar to pinewood derby racing, but you make a racer from a valve cover from an internal combustion car engine. Anyone, no matter how young or old, can play and there is no fee to enter unless you'd like to rent a car. For more information about valve cover cars and the race rules, see pages 6-7 of the car club's newsletter here. You can also check out Fairbanks's inaugural valve cover races at the club's annual show at the Carlson Center May 31 - June 1.
The Cruise-In will stage at Wedgewood Resort, the host hotel for the event. They are offering a smokin' hot room rate at Bear Lodge for the weekend at just $99/night. Call 1-800-528-4916 and use code CRUIS14 to make your reservation. Rooms fill fast for Solstice weekend, so don't delay!