Thousands of people went downtown Saturday to soak up the longest weekend of the year.


The annual Summer Solstice Festival shut down part of Fourth Avenue for much of the day. The festival included plenty of fair food, live music and family-friendly games and activities.


Those who enjoyed the festivities say the sunshine and energy is always the best part of the summer solstice.


“It’s just energizing,” said Kristen Newby, one of the many people celebrating Solstice. “Anything that happens — it’s just the sunshine, and it just makes you feel happy.”


“I like the sunshine — and we had to draw the curtains last night in the hotel, but it was fun,” Mark Mobley said about the extra daylight.


The actual Summer Solstice takes place June 20.


On the longest day of the year, Anchorage gets 22 hours of daylight.