AskDefine | Define fairbanks

Dictionary Definition



1 United States film actor; son of Douglas Elton Fairbanks, (1909-2000) [syn: Douglas Fairbanks Jr.]
2 United States film actor noted for his swashbuckling roles (1883-1939) [syn: Douglas Fairbanks, Douglas Elton Fairbanks, Julius Ullman]

User Contributed Dictionary




Proper noun

  1. An English habitational surname for someone who lived in any of several places named "fair bank" etc.
  2. A city in Alaska Interior, Alaska.

Extensive Definition

Fairbanks is the largest city in the Interior region of Alaska, and second largest in the state. It is the principal city of the 'Fairbanks, Alaska Metropolitan Statistical Area' which encompasses all of Fairbanks North Star Borough and is the northernmost Metropolitan Statistical Area in the United States. According to 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 31,324.. Fairbanks is home to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the oldest college in Alaska.

Geography and climate


Fairbanks is located at 64.837780° North, -147.71639° West (Sec. 10, T001S, R001W, Fairbanks Meridian). Fairbanks is located in the Fairbanks Recording District.
Fairbanks is located in the heart of Alaska's Interior, on both shores of the Chena River, near its confluence with the Tanana River in the Tanana Valley. By air, Fairbanks is 45 minutes from Anchorage and 3 hours from Seattle. It lies 358 road miles (576 km) or a 6 hour drive north from Anchorage.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 32.7 square miles (84.6 km²), of which, 31.9 square miles (82.5 km²) of it is land and 0.8 square miles (2.1 km²) of it (2.48%) is water.


Fairbanks' climate is subarctic. The Interior, home of Fairbanks and Denali National Park, has some of the most extreme and variable weather in the world with rapid temperature swings, thunderstorms with hail and lightning and snow in the summer. Winters are very long, lasting from early-October to mid-April. They are bitterly cold and dry, with temperatures sometimes dipping down to -65 °F (-54 °C). Often the temperature is below zero Fahrenheit (-17.8 °C) for entire months. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Fairbanks was -66 °F (-54.4 °C) on January 14, 1934. The average January low is -19 °F (-28 °C) and the average January high is -2 °F (-19 °C). Winter snowfall averages around 67.4 inches (171 cm) per year. During the winter months, if the temperature drops below -20 °F (-29 °C), ice fog can occur. The summers are usually very warm, with temperatures often reaching into the 80s °F (27° to 32°C) and sometimes reaching into the 90s °F (32° to 37°C). The average July low is 53 °F (12 °C) and the average July high is 72 °F (22 °C). The highest temperature ever recorded in Fairbanks was 99 °F (37.2 °C) on July 28, 1919. Thunderstorms with hail and lightning can occur in summer. August and September can be rainy, and snow often starts falling in September. In Spring, snow often falls well into May, and sometimes even into early June. The average annual precipitation is 10.34 inches per year (rainfall plus melted snow). Fairbanks is known for its lingering summer days. The sun is up for 21 hours and 49 minutes on the 21st of June with 24 hours of usable daylight. In summer the local golf clubs have all night golfing. Conversely, the sun is up for 2 hours and 42 minutes on the 21st of December with 5 hours and 33 minutes of usable daylight.
According to the New York Times, spectacular displays of the aurora borealis ("northern lights") are visible on an average of 200 days a year in the vicinity of Fairbanks. (Jerry Garrett, "The Cold Show in Fairbanks Alaska," New York Times, March 2, 2007).

People and culture


As of the census of 2000, there were 30,224 people, 11,075 households, and 7,187 families residing in the city. The population density was 948.7 people per square mile (366.3/km²). There were 12,357 housing units at an average density of 387.9/sq mi (149.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 66.67% White, 11.15% Black or African American, 9.91% Native American, 2.72% Asian, 0.54% Pacific Islander, 2.45% from other races, and 6.57% from two or more races. 6.13% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 11,075 households out of which 39.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.2% were married couples living together, 12.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.1% were non-families. 27.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.15.
In the city the population was spread out with 29.4% under the age of 18, 14.7% from 18 to 24, 32.8% from 25 to 44, 16.4% from 45 to 64, and 6.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females there were 105.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 108.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $40,577, and the median income for a family was $46,785. Males had a median income of $30,539 versus $26,577 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,814. About 7.4% of families and 10.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.6% of those under age 18 and 7.0% of those age 65 or over.


Fairbanks' largest newspaper is the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, which also includes a weekly entertainment guide, Latitude 65. A few other periodicals also serve Fairbanks and the Fairbanks North Star Borough: The Ester Republic and the University of Alaska Fairbanks student newspaper, the Sun Star. Fairbanks also has its own equine publication, Northern Horse Source.
Fairbanks is also served by television and radio. Leading radio stations include AM Stations KFAR 660 talk radio, KCBF 820 ESPN Radio Network, KFBX 970 talk radio and KJNP-AM 1170 religious radio. FM stations include 88.5 popular christian, KUAC 89.9 National Public Radio, KSUA 91.5 University of Alaska, Fairbanks, KXLR 95.9 classic rock KYSC 96.9 soft rock, KWLF 98.1-"Wolf 98.1", top 40, KJNP 100.3 religious radio, KAKQ-FM 101.1-"Magic 101.1" pop music, KIAK-FM 102.5 country music, KTDZ 103.9-"K-TED" adult hits, and KKED 104.7 rock music. Fairbanks Open Radio is a local organization working on creating an independent community radio station, but the group does not yet broadcast.
Fairbanks' major television affiliates are KATN (ABC)-(KIMO retransmission), KFXF (FOX), KUAC (PBS)-"AlaskaONE" with some KMXT-only programming, KTVF (NBC), K13XD (CBS), and UHF station KDMD-LP-(i)-Fairbanks. Cable TV is available from GCI and Denali Television.


The Carlson Center is home to University of Alaska Fairbanks athletics, the Top of the World preseason college basketball tournament, and as of Spring 2008 will be the home location for the Fairbanks Grizzlies, a professional arena football in the Intense Football League.
The Fairbanks Ice Dogs, a junior hockey team in the North American Hockey League, play at the Big Dipper Ice Arena.
The Alaska Goldpanners and the Fairbanks AIA Fire are summer collegiate baseball teams, playing home games at Growden Memorial Park. The park is home to the annual Midnight Sun game, an annual tradition since 1906, played without artificial lights starting at eleven at night on the summer solstice.

Facilities, utilities, schools, and health care

Fifteen circulating pump stations distribute treated water throughout the greater Fairbanks area. City water, sewer and electric systems are operated by a private company. The Chena power site has four steam turbines fueled by coal, and one oil-fueled electrical generator.
Garbage collection services are provided in some areas of the city, although many Fairbanks residents must haul their own garbage to "transfer stations" where trash and garbage are picked up and taken to the dump. Collected refuse is hauled to the Class 1 Borough landfill on South Cushman Street. Garbage services are funded by a tax that is paid by resident property owners regardless of whether or not they are eligible for garbage collection services in their area. Fort Wainwright operates its own landfill.
Electricity is provided by Golden Valley Electric Association. Fairbanks, currently holds the world record for the largest Rechargeable battery, this weighs approx 1,300 tons, and was installed to help bridge the gaps that occur during frequent power outages. the batteries will provide power for 15 minutes to about 12,000 homes.
The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District has a student enrollment of slightly over 14,000. There are both public and private schools. Most private schools are run by religious organizations. (i.e., private Catholic schools.)
Local hospitals or health clinics include Fairbanks Memorial Hospital; Interior Community Health Center; Chief Andrew Isaac Health Center; Bassett Army Community Hospital/Fort Wainwright. The hospitals are qualified acute care facilities and State-certified Medevac services. Specialized Care: FNA Regional Center for Alcohol & Other Addictions. Long Term Care: Fairbanks Pioneers' Home; Denali Center. Fairbanks is classified as a small city. It is found in EMS Region 1C in the Interior Region. Emergency Services have highway, airport and floatplane access. Emergency service is provided by 9-1-1 telephone service, paid EMS service, volunteers, a health aide and the military. Auxiliary health care is provided by Fairbanks Fire Department; Airport Fire Department; University Fire Department; Chena Goldstream Fire & Rescue; Steese Area Volunteer Fire; Guardian Flight Critical-Care Air Ambulance; Warbelow's Air Ambulance; Fort Wainwright Fire/Emergency.

Economy and transportation

As the regional service and supply center for the Alaska Interior, Fairbanks offers a diverse economy, including city, borough, state, and federal government services; and transportation, communication, manufacturing, financial, and regional medical services. Tourism and mining also comprise a significant part of the economy. Including Eielson Air Force Base and Fort Wainwright personnel, over one third of the employment is in government services. The University of Alaska Fairbanks is also a major employer. Approximately 325,000 tourists visit Fairbanks each summer. The Fort Knox hardrock gold mine produces 1,200 ounces daily with 360 permanent year-round employees. 126 city residents hold commercial fishing permits.
Fairbanks is at the confluence of the Richardson Highway, George Parks Highway, Steese Highway, and Elliott Highway, connecting the Interior to Anchorage, Canada, and the lower 48 states. The Dalton Highway to Prudhoe Bay begins about 75 miles (about 120 km) north of town. Goods are transported to Fairbanks by truck, air, and the Alaska Railroad. Regularly scheduled jet flights are available at the state-owned Fairbanks International Airport. An 11,800-foot (3,597 meter) asphalt runway, winter ski strip, heliport, and seaplane landing strip are available. A public seaplane base is also located on the Chena River. In addition, there are several privately owned airstrips and heliports in the vicinity.
Fairbanks was a major shipping center via waterway for the rest of the Interior, but in modern times water transportation is primarily recreational or used for subsistence hunting and fishing access.


  • Sales: None
  • Property: 20.777 mills (7.171 city/13.606 borough areawide)
  • Special: 5% alcohol tax (city only); 16% tobacco tax (8% city/8% borough); 8% accommodations tax (city only)

Sister Cities


fairbanks in Asturian: Fairbanks, Alaska
fairbanks in Czech: Fairbanks
fairbanks in Danish: Fairbanks
fairbanks in German: Fairbanks
fairbanks in Spanish: Fairbanks (Alaska)
fairbanks in Persian: فیربنکس
fairbanks in French: Fairbanks (Alaska)
fairbanks in Korean: 페어뱅크스 (알래스카 주)
fairbanks in Croatian: Fairbanks, Aljaska
fairbanks in Indonesian: Fairbanks, Alaska
fairbanks in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Fairbanks, Alaska
fairbanks in Italian: Fairbanks
fairbanks in Marathi: फेरबँक्स
fairbanks in Dutch: Fairbanks
fairbanks in Japanese: フェアバンクス
fairbanks in Norwegian: Fairbanks
fairbanks in Polish: Fairbanks (Alaska)
fairbanks in Portuguese: Fairbanks
fairbanks in Russian: Фэрбенкс (Аляска)
fairbanks in Slovak: Fairbanks
fairbanks in Finnish: Fairbanks
fairbanks in Swedish: Fairbanks
fairbanks in Volapük: Fairbanks (Alaska)
fairbanks in Chinese: 費爾班克斯 (阿拉斯加州)
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