Fur Rondy, Anchorage
Fur Rondy is an Anchorage tradition dating back 70 years. It started as a fur traders community carnival and has evolved into a full blown urban festival including two weeks of events and the famous Miners & Trappers Costume Ball.
One of the top events for spectators is the World Championship Sled Dog Race. This event attracts mushers from around the world competing in womens, juniors and open class races. The race route utilizes the trail system in Anchorage allowing for many uncrowded viewing areas. But if you love crowds and excitement go to the downtown finish line and cheer for the leaders.
Most people who visit will be surprised by the number of enthusiasts that follow this sport. Some of the mushers have gained regional star status. It is always strange to me to hear a middle aged mother next to me in a crowd rattling off statistics about an athlete whos name I have never heard.
So if you are in Anchorage at the end of February/beginning of March take the opportunity to see some beautiful dogs in action!
You may want to consider coming up here in the winter for the special events that take place at this time. Big events in Anchorage include the Iditarod (more written about this on my Alaska page),
Fur Rendezvous festival, the International Film Festival, winter festivals and carnivals and so on.
The "Fur Rondy" was named for obvious reasons. It's when trappers would meet up and sell their "goods" way back in the day. Then it became a place for isolated communities to meet up during the late winter to bring people together. Now, it's just a time for people to look forward to spring...it spans 2 weeks or more with a snow sculpture contest, fireworks, a carnival, the "frostbite footrace", etc.
All of these things bring out the community and other places completely cater to these events with specials and extra activities. It’s probably the best time to see how the locals live and hang out among them.