June 21st marks the first day of astronomical summer! Everyone knows that this day is the longest day of the year, but what people might not be aware of is that there’s one region in Alaska where the sun doesn’t set during this time of year. That’s right, parts of Alaska have 24 hours of sunlight every day for a few weeks! What would you do if you had unlimited sunlight? Well for the people of Fairbanks, there’s only one right answer to that question: Play baseball.
This year is the 113th Annual Midnight Sun Game, an event where teams play baseball for 24 hours straight. Youth and collegiate teams alike will take the field throughout the course of the day to take part in the tradition, with hundreds of spectators watching the exciting events.
According to a local new station, the games started right when the first day of summer did:
“The party will get started as soon as the clock strikes Midnight on Thursday. The Fairbanks Post 11 49ers and the North Pole Post 30 Wild Legion teams will kick off the event with a league game. There will then be an Interior Girls Softball League Game from 2-4am. The Wee hours of the morning will belong to the Fairbanks Adult Softball league, who will host two different games, one from 4-6am, and one from 6-8. Two different PONY league games, one 8U and one 10U will play from 8-10am. The Air Force and Army Softball teams will play eachother at Growden Park from 9-10am. The 12-U PONY and RBI Alaska Squads will play eachother from 10 to noon and there will be a final PONY League game between 14U teams from 12-2PM. There will then be two Play Ball Open Sessions that will go from 1-3 and 4-6. The Doors will then open for the Midnight Sun game at 8pm, where the Alaska Goldpanners take on the Orange County Surf.” (via Web Center 11)
The beloved event is part of Major League Baseball’s Play Ball initiative, which aims to celebrate baseball and the camaraderie that naturally comes with it. The Annual Midnight Sun Game will be the first time that 24 hours worth of baseball and softball events occur in all natural light!
How are you celebrating the summer solstice? Let us know in the comments below!