March 5, 2012

Fur Rondy!

The Fur Rondy Festival is a significant part of the history and tradition of Anchorage.  In the 1930s, Anchorage was a small town with little to do during the brutal winters.  To combat this depressing time, a festival was created to coincide with the time that the miners and trappers came to town with their winter's yield.  It got its name from the economic importance of the Alaskan Fur Trade, which during the 1900s, was Alaska's 3rd most valuable industry.  So, it only seemed logical to incorporate the industry into the celebration.

The first official festival began February 1935 as a 3-day sports tournament, featuring skiing, hockey, basketball, boxing and a children's dog sled race. Since then it has gained both national and international notoriety, growing from 3 days to 10 days of celebration.  During this time the streets come alive with winter sports, native art and culture, plus tons of events for everyone to enjoy! It is a time that allows you to feel Alaska's frontier spirit. Activities include a fur auction, the World Championship Sled Dog race, outhouse races, Yukigasen snow ball fight, snowshoe softball, blanket toss, a carnival, fireworks, snow sculptures, hockey, the extremely popular, and crazy, Running of the Reindeer and much much more!

Fur Rondy came to a close this past weekend, and unfortunately I didn't get to take part in any of the festivities this year, but here are some pics from last year...

On your mark, get set...
Fur auction.

Visiting Alaska in winter may not be appealing to most, but if you do choose to brave it, schedule your visit around Fur Rondy.  It's an experience that will forever be etched in your memory. Guaranteed.

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