[An earlier version of this story was published at Downtown Association of Fairbanks. Republished with permission.]
Last week, the Downtown Association of Fairbanks announced Aaron Worley as the winner of the 2014 Midnight Sun Festival Logo Contest. The public chose Worley’s design from among seven finalists. It received 169 votes out of 724 cast. Official festival t-shirts, banners and maps will feature his logo.
“The apex of Fairbanks’ whimsical spirit is Summer Solstice and its epicenter is downtown Fairbanks during the Midnight Sun Festival,” Worley said. His design features a moose standing along 2nd Ave., with people and local landmarks in the background.
“The bold cross-hatching and choice of buildings represents our frontier spirit, while the looser lines of the people and sun show our carefree, friendly spirit,” he said. “Our unexpected guest, the moose, reminds us that we live in an unpredictable, natural environment.”
“Worley’s design is uniquely Fairbanks, and we think it will sell well” said David van den Berg, executive director of the Downtown Association. “It has a little bit of everything that makes downtown special.”
The landmarks showcased in the design are well-known to Fairbanks citizens. The Co-Op Plaza sign, “The First Unknown Family” statue in Golden Heart Plaza and the “wooden lady” – named Martha – all feature prominently in the design.
Martha is a fixture of the downtown scene. Part statue and part fashion model, Martha is the wooden mascot of “If Only… a fine store.” She can be seen dancing alongside a break-dancer toward the bottom right of the design.
Martha is – some could argue – the mascot of downtown itself. In fact, in 2006, she received the Visitor Ambassador of the Year Award from the Downtown Association. It’s no surprise then, that she should eventually find her way onto the logo of Alaska’s largest single-day event.
Rebecca Morse and Georjean Seeliger, co-owners of “If Only… a fine store,” know the logo’s designer. “[Aaron’s] a very talented young man who follows in his mother’s footsteps,” said Morse. And she should know. Before she passed away, Pam Worley, Aaron’s mother, used to work for If Only. In fact, she was the stores first paid employee.
Both Morse and Seeliger like the design and are happy to see Martha on it. “She’s very iconic,” said Seeliger .”We’re glad that Fairbanks has really embraced her.”
Six additional finalists received the votes,as well: Brianna Reagan (135), Teal Rogers (122), Hannah Foss (119), Lauren Hatty (68), Isaiah Mangum (60) and Kathryn Everson (40). The contest received 14 designs from 12 graphic artists.
Since 2012, the Downtown Association has let the public select the logo for the festival. This year’s Midnight Sun Festival will be on Sunday, June 22, from Noon to Midnight in downtown Fairbanks.
[Jeremia Schrock is the communications director for the Downtown Association of Fairbanks.]