What Happens During Fur Rondy?

What Happens During Fur Rondy?

What Happens During Fur Rondy?

Posted on 02/16/2013 Evan Swensen

Rendezvous is French for get-together, and Anchorage’s Fur Rendezvous is rated the best winter festival anywhere in the world, by National Geographic Traveler Magazine.

We hope that if you haven’t already taken part in a Fur Rondy, that you will make it up to Alaska soon for this wonderful time, and enjoy its unique series of events.

It starts in less than a week, and at ten days long, a lot goes on. World Championship Sled Dog Races, snow sculpture competition, the Grand Parade, and the annual Rondy Melodrama are just some of the 100 events that take place. There are also fur auctions, which were the original reason Alaska trappers would come to town every February.

Modern sports such as basketball, hockey, and snowboarding are featured nowadays. There’s the carnival, and a figure skating show.

The Blanket Toss, an ancient Alaska Native event traditionally held in June in Inupiak villages to celebrate successful whaling, became part the Festival in 1950.  The one being tossed must always land on his or her feet, and might be thrown 20 feet into the air. It is believed the blanket toss originally developed to help hunters on the treeless tundra spot game in the distance.

One of the best things about Fur Rondy is its spirit of friendly competition. The Miners and Trappers Charity Ball, sponsored by the Alaska Lions Club, is also a contest for best costume, as well where judging takes place for the celebrated Mr. Fur Face competition.

The Running of the Reindeer began in 2008, and though it looks a bit like the running of the Pamplona bulls, it’s practically guaranteed to draw a lot less blood.

All kinds of races have become part of Fur Rondy, including the Great Alaska Bed Races, and Outhouse Races.

In 1967, another event with dogs was begun:  The World Championship Dog Weight Pull. Dogs in all weight classes pull incredible amounts of weight. Only verbal commands are allowed, and no holding out of treats, either.

You’ll find much more information at the official web site: www.furrondy.net.

Keep in touch.

Evan Swensen, Publisher
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