Department of Music

Life and Culture in Alaska

Alaska has an eclectic culture with roots in early 20th century settlements of gold miners, adventurers and a large population of Eskimos and other Native groups. In general, Alaskans are spirited and individualistic. Geographically, Alaska contains mountain ranges, vast plains, boreal forests, lakes, rivers, and glaciers.

The Weather

The climate in Fairbanks is semi-arid. With an annual rainfall of 10-11 inches, it is most often dry with only light breezes. Temperatures can reach a summer high in the 90's to a winter low in the -40's. However the average temperatures range from summer 70's to winter 10-20 above zero. While the winters here can be cold and dark, they are relatively free of other kinds of winter conditions such as freezing rain, wind and slush. For more information on climate weather conditions in Fairbanks, click here.


There are many things to do and experience year-round in Fairbanks. Culturally, there are a variety of organizations providing concerts, exhibitions, performances and shows. These include the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra, Fairbanks Concert Association, Fairbanks Light Opera Theater, Fairbanks Drama Association, to name a few. Winter outdoor sports such as cross country and downhill skiing, dog mushing, ski-joring, cycling and snow boarding provide for great recreation. The UAF campus has a first rate recreation center, hosts a large intramural sports network and has an extensive network of cross-country ski trails. In the summer there is mountain climbing, hiking, hunting, boating, sailing, mountain biking, canoeing, kayaking, cycling, running and fishing. Annual events like the Midnight Sun Run, Golden Days, Festival of Native Arts, the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, and the Yukon Quest are just a few of the activities that give Fairbanks a distinctive character. Visit the official Fairbanks and the University of Alaska Fairbanks websites for more information.