If you’re in Anchorage from 25 Feb – 6 Mar, you better be at Fur Rondy! Be part of the 76 yr old tradition of miners and trappers who rendezvoused in Anchorage with their winter yield. Created as a three-day festival of games and contests, the Fur Rondy has turned into a 10 day winter-fest to beat all others. Abbreviated from the words Fur Rendevous, Fur Rondy boasts the most festive Alaskan atmosphere in the cold winter months. People come from all corners of the world to see this event that’s become an icon in its own right. http://www.furrondy.net/
Parking: As usual, we park at the garage by the bus station on 6th or at the downtown mall which is central (and $1 per hour). Events are all over downtown; you’ll walk no matter where you park.
Wear: Warm hats, boots and gloves (no hoochy boots, girls). Sunglasses and sunscreen on your face are musts, fair friends. The wind was bitter last weekend; be forewarned.
Key areas: 3rd-4th Ave: Carnival, Alaskan Experience Theater (40 min show) and vendors. Races (outhouse race, dog races, etc.) are on 4th street (4th Street is blocked to traffic). The Anchorage Senior’s Center has tons of exhibits, shows and activities. Along 9th street are the dog sled rides, several rings/competitions.
Spread all throughout downtown Anchorage are exhibits and races galore. Of note: View the schedule. This list is not NEARLY all the events.
1. Arts: Rondy Melodrama – The Merry Monsters of Matsylvania. For a popcorn throwing, musical rucous, attend this locally written and produced show at the Snow Goose Theater. Tickets always sell out; get there early for decent seats. Dress as your favorite monster or zombie for total participation. For another local touch, see the Native Musicale at the Change Point Church. No monsters here. The Pioneer Stories Dinner Theater (Anchorage Seniors’ Center) offers food and entertainment. Is there anything better? Iditarod Day is celebrated on Saturdays at the Anchorage Museum.
2. Race: Fur Rondy’s World Champion Sled Dog Race was last weekend, 25-26 Feb. This weekend is the Ceremonial Start for the Iditarod (10am Sat, 4th Ave). Outhouse Races (25 Feb). Showshoe Softball, Snowball Fights, Dog Weight Pull and more are listed on the schedule.
3. Kids: Rondy Carnival. Complete w/ ferris wheel, rides, booths and carnival games, kids of all ages will love the festive feel of the carnival. Pony Rides are also available. Blanket Toss, a native game comparable to a human-held trampolene, 12-2pm. Located on 3rd St.
4. Contests and Collections: Arts and crafts, photography, stamp show, Rondy Rail Fair Train show (Russian Jack Park), Double Dutch contest, billards contests and more, more, more! See the schedule for details and venues.
5. Local Flair: Running of the Reindeer (11am on Sat). Roller Derby (6pm on Sat, Dena’ina Center). Miner’s and Trapper’s Charity Ball (7:30pm on Sat, Egan Center). Helicopter Rides (Sat & Sun, 3rd & A St). Sled Dog Rides (Sat & Sun, 9th & E St). Outdoor Hockey Tournament (Sat and Sun, multiple locations). Horsedrawn Carriage Rides (Most days, 3rd & E St).
Official Fur Rondy 2011 Website: http://www.furrondy.net/
Official Fur Rondy 2011 Schedule: http://www.furrondy.net/2011/2011-official-schedule.pdf.
Official Events Results and Descriptions: http://www.furrondy.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=231&Itemid=394
Shuttle Bus Schedule/Map: http://www.furrondy.net/2011/2011-guide/rondy-guide-downtown-map.pdf
Dress warmly and have a great time!!!