Events: June : Festivals Usher in Summer



The 22 hours of sunlight at the summer solstice is welcomed in Nome, Alaska with the Midnight Sun Festival, June 17-19. Downtown, there’ll be street dances, barbecues, carnival booths and a staged bank robbery. The softball tournament takes advantage of daylight with games played almost around the clock. On June 19, homemade rafts compete in the Nome River Raft Race with the winner taking home the grand prize: a fur-lined honey bucket. For more information, contact the Nome Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 240, Nome, Alaska 99762; telephone (907) 443-5535.


Prescott takes its place in Arizona history as the first territorial capital seriously--but not too seriously. Territorial Days, held June 11-12, celebrates the town’s past with a weekend packed with old-fashioned events. Cloggers and square dancers will entertain on the north side of the tree-lined Courthouse Plaza. There’ll be strawberry shortcake and lemonade for sale, an arts and crafts fair, antique show and quilt show. For more information, contact the Prescott Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 1147, Prescott, Ariz. 86302; tel. (602) 445-2000.


Hannibal keeps the Mark Twain flame burning with National Tom Sawyer Days, June 30 to July 4. Events with a Twain twist include frog jumping, Tom and Becky look-alike contests, Mississippi mud volleyball and, of course, the national fence-painting contest. Visitors are welcome to join in all activities except for the look-alike contests (limited to hometown impersonators). The fest ends with a Fourth of July fireworks display over the banks of the Mississippi. For more information, contact the Hannibal Visitors Bureau, P.O. Box 624, Hannibal, Mo. 63401; tel. (314) 221-2477.



More than 200 Gen. George Custer buffs are expected among the crowd in the grandstands for the re-enactments of Custer’s Last Stand in Hardin on June 24-26. Participants in traditional Sioux and calvary garb will depict the battle at a site a few miles from where it took place on June 25, 1876. The event is part of Little Big Horn Days, a festival with parades, entertainment, food, carnival booths and a rodeo. Hardin (pop. 2,940) is 45 minutes from Billings. For more information, contact the Hardin Chamber of Commerce, 219 N. Center Ave., Hardin, Mont. 59034; tel. (406) 665-1672.

U.S. Virgin Islands

Stilt-walking, 30-foot-high Moko Jumbies loom over the costumed revelers in St. John’s Carnival, held June 26-July 4. Both an Independence Day and a West Indian cultural celebration, there’ll be children’s and adult parades, boat races, calypso contests and fireworks. Carnival Village, in Cruz Bay, offers food and music. For information, contact the U.S. Virgin Islands Division of Tourism, 3460 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 412, Los Angeles 90010; tel. (213) 739-0138.


One of most unusual celebrations of Queen Elizabeth’s birthday is held half-way around the world in Barunga, Northern Territory. On June 10-13, Aboriginal groups gather for a festival of sports and culture. There are soccer, softball and basketball games, traditional dancing, music, spear-throwing and boomerang contests, and an arts and crafts show. Barunga is about 50 miles northeast of Katherine; the only overnight accommodations are in campgrounds. For this weekend, no permit is needed to enter aboriginal land. For more information, contact the Australian Tourist Commission, 2121 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 1200, Los Angeles 90067; tel. (708) 296-4900 or (310) 552-1988.


Schubertiade, a summer-long festival to honor early-19th-Century composer Franz Schubert, moves to Feldkirch during June. In this medieval town near the Swiss border, concerts will be held June 13-26 in a palace courtyard, the Knights Hall and community hall. Another Schubert fest is held in Vienna in the fall but this one, begun in 1976, draws the most ardent devotees. Some last-minute tickets are available. For more information, contact the Austrian National Tourist Office, 11601 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 2480, Los Angeles 90025, tel. (310) 477-3332, or write to Schubertiade Feldkirch, Schubertplatz 1, Postfach 625, A-6803 Feldkirch, Austria.

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