Summer solstice celebrations begin in downtown Anchorage

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) We're still a few days away from summer solstice, but in downtown Anchorage, the party has already started.

"Alaska is so unique compared to a lot of other places in the world," said Penny Smythe, Anchorage Downtown Partnership. "Solstice is really important, certainly for the locals, but I think this is a great opportunity to show people who are not from anchorage what solstice really is. The amount of daylight, sunshine, the beautiful days we have here during the summer time."

From 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., more than 7,000 Alaskans and visitors flooded downtown Anchorage to celebrate solstice on 4th Ave.

Throughout the day there was live music, a kayak pool, mushers corner, street fair food and a friendly competition between Alaska's first responders known as the Hero Games.

"The big thing we try to do for our city is to create downtown and make it a vital place," said Smythe . "This is just a festival that grows from year to year. It brings locals into downtown, something to do for the visitors. But we really want to showcase what solstice is and what downtown has to offer."

Solstice this year falls on Tuesday June 20.

This Downtown Summer Solstice Festival was sponsored by the Anchorage Downtown Partnership. This is the 11th year the annual event has been held.

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