The Malemute Saloon, complete with swinging doors and sawdust floors, was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987 and is part of the Ester Gold Camp Historic District. Every night from late May to early September the place still comes alive with a professionally produced show featuring songs and stories of early Gold Rush Days. Also featured is poetry from the Bard of the North, Robert Service, who is responsible for the most common perceptions of life during the Great Gold Rush, circa 1898.
If you enjoy the lively music of the old time banjo and other stringed instruments, sprinkled with dance, song and humor, with your favorite drink, in an authentic setting filled with terrific artifacts, this may be just the place for you to spend an enjoyable evening. Come early and explore the eleven other structures of historic significnace in the Ester Gold Camp complex, including a hotel and restaurant.
Shows are nightly at 9:00 p.m. Adults - $15.00 and Children (3-12) - $7.50. A full-service bar is open seven days a week from 5:00 p.m. until?
Dress Code: Casual
The legendary Howling Dog Saloon in beautiful Fox, Alaska, is a Fairbanks institution. On any given night, you may see Harley bikers (including an occasional Hell's Angel), tourists, gold miners, university students and faculty, local professionals and blue collar workers, military—well, you get the idea. It's a place where you can check your inhibitions at the door—to borrow from Vegas, what happens at the Dawg, stays at the Dawg.
Closed through winters, its eagerly awaited annual awakening in late April gets the Fairbanks summer entertainment season going in true Alaska style (maybe "Alaska style" is an oxymoron).
Wednesday night is Blues Jam Night at the Dawg, featuring Alaska's most venerable blues band, The Mighty Untouchables, with Larry "Rain Dog" Raines on lead guitar and vocals, Rif Rafson on bass guitar, and Lewis Holdaway on drums. Larry Cantil often joins the guys, blowin' his blues harp, and often the Rain Dog's brother, Lindy, takes the stage on guitar.
These guys remain true to the blues, covering classics from the likes of Muddy Waters, Slim Harpo, Jimmy Rogers, BB King, and their icon, John Lee Hooker. The guys toured Alaska with the Hook some 25-30 years ago. Yup, the Untouchables have been playing the blues in Fairbanks for 30 years or more. In fact, this band is as much a Fairbanks institution as is the Howling Dog.
Blues Night also is swing dance night at the Dawg, with plenty of swingin' tunes by the Untouchables, supplemented by recorded swinging blues played during the band's breaks.
The Untouchables welcome guest jammers to the stage every Wednesday night. Some of the greatest live rockin' blues I've ever heard has happened late on Blues Night—so if you've got some serious chops, bring your sax, harp, guitar, trumpet, pipes, or whatever you've got for jumpin' on some blues at the Dawg!
On weekends, the Howling Dog features various rock and blues bands—roots rock, classic rock, and some Alaska originals. Occasionally Ralph, the owner, brings in an outside "name" act, but it's usually local/Alaska bands on stage.
The annual Foodstock charity music festival at the Howling Dog raises money and food donations for the local Food Bank. The three-day weekend tradition features some 30 to 35 bands and other performances, which occur simultaneously on the indoor stage and outside on a makeshift stage set up on a flatbed trailer. After the Howling Dog opens sometime in May, call there to get a date on this year's Foodstock.
There is deck out back, a sawdust volleyball court, and horseshoe pitching. Food's available inside, and there are no-frills cabins to rent if you don't want to drive after a night of partying.
Dress Code: This is jeans and tee shirt/shorts and sandals kind of place, but anything goes.
There is room for dancing on the well-worn plank floor, but it's not the place for women to try to dance in high heels—but that's not to say it's not done by brave souls who take their chances getting heels caught between floor planks. Athletic shoes, sandals, cowboy boots—any flat-soled shoes—tend to be the better choices in foot gear. Some bare-footin' goes on, too.
Every Saturday evening (with rare exceptions) all year-round, the University of Alaska Good Time Swing Dance Club hosts a combination swing/ballroom/Latin dance at the Silver Spur nightclub, 285 Old Richardson Highway on the south side of Fairbanks. Pre-recorded music, selected by a dancer for dancers, begins early at 6 pm and goes non-stop until 8:30 pm—leaving the rest of every Saturday night free to do other fun things in Fairbanks! Fairbanks dancers have eclectic tastes, and that's reflected in the musical selections. About half of the music covers different kinds of swing, including West Coast, East Coast, and Lindy swing, and hustle. The other half of the music is for nightclub 2-step, foxtrot, American/Viennese/Cajun waltzes, cha cha, rumba, salsa, merengue, American and Argentine tango, slow dances, and even an occasional polka. A Fairbanks entertainment institution, this fun night of dancing has been going on every Saturday for over 8 years! Big dance floor, great sound equipment, full bar, and best of all, fun and friendly people! Must be at least 21 years old to attend. No cover charge until 8:30 pm, when the music and dancing switches over to Country Western. Two or three times a year, this dance is bumped by other special events at the Silver Spur. So you are advised to call to make sure the dance is happening. 907-456-6300. Or contact the dance host at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dress Code: Dress is casual. For guys, the fun-loving mostly Baby Boomer crowd (but all ages attend, from 21 to 81) gets into wearing loud Hawaiian shirts, and jeans or casual slacks. The swing kittens tend toward kicky skirts and fun dresses, or jeans or comfortable slacks. For photos of action at this swing/ballroom dance, visit http://www.ballroomfairbanks.org/SilverSpur/index.htm
Pick a clear night, get away from streetlights, let your eyes adjust to the sky and wait for the solar wind. If you get cold, go back inside and try another night :)
Winter months are best because of super clear skies and long dark nights.
Dress Code: WARM
We didn't actually go inside, but we did stay at the Aspen Hotel across the street. The parking lot was lively after the Showboat II opened, and the place sure is lit up well.
Dress Code: I'm sure there's a different dress code for the patrons than there is for the employees. I'll leave it up to you to decide if that's correct. I recommend against bringing in cellular telephones or pagers.
This place features live music but also boasts a movie theater. $5 for a movie of good choice and you can also dine while
viewing the film as well as enjoy your favorite alcoholic beverage.
They have special events during the summer like Pig Roast/ Jerry Garcia party.
Dress Code: You can wear whatever you want or not
Don't even bother...drive to Anchorage, or better yet, Vancouver BC or Seattle.
We have such a 'provincial' nightlife scene
(pock-marked with flare-ups of twanging, mule-braying Bluegrass that Carhartt hippies find unaccountably irresistable),
you'll be smashing your beer bottle against the bar and using the jagged neck to slit your own throat in no time.
You might want to try Ivory Jack's in Goldstream Valley for a slice of Fairbank's own career-alcholic dystopia.
You will feel grateful for the veritable wealth of culture in your own burg upon returning home.
Dress Code: Carhartts and 'bunny-boots'. If you are unsure of what bunny-boots actually are, pray to your god you never find out.
Many choices for nightlife in Fairbanks. Depends on your style. For more rustic alaskan atmosphere I'd reccomend The Howling Dog Saloon in Fox. If you're under 30 and like hiphop, dance, ect I'd go to the Blue Loon off the Parks. The Marlin is pretty groovy with a liberal atmosphere and some live music.
For a more touristy Alaskan feel check out the Pump House of Chena Pump road. The best choice for over 30 visitors. Two pool tables, nice mix of tunes and upscale yet alaskan.
Dress Code: Dont dress up for any bar in Fairbanks! You'll probably stand out as "out of state".
Wanna see students, professors, hear some (odd) music and drink cheap beer? Not that interested in dress code or trendy beats? Come to pub at Wood Center at University.
If you are lucky, you can get into some special events like Wine tasting or Beer one!
Dress Code: Open:
ABSOLUTELY NO DRESS CODE!
Remember age limit, 21.
Watching the Northern Lights (winter only):
Drive out the Steese Highway towards Fox - keep heading up teh hill until you reach the top of the hill and take a left on Hagelbarger Rd. There is a pull off that overlooks the city. Best time to watch i think is around 11 pm to 2 am.
Dress Code: warm - we can get temps down to -50 to -60 below (in DEC thru Feb)
The BLUE LOON is the cultural epicenter of Fairbanks, Alaska. They offer music, movies, dining, and dancing. You won't want to go anywhere else.
Dress Code: Casual
The Marlin is a place that is just awesome. You meet the most interesting diverse people. It's all good at the marlin.
Dress Code: It's Alaska, there is no dress code.
Always something going on at the LOON! Events can vary from comedy shows, to live bands, to movie/dinner nights and such. Never a dull moment at the Loon!
Dress Code: Dress is casual most of the time.
For most people, it is impossible to truly understand what it means to have 24-hours of daylight until they experience it.