The Fur Rendezvous, or the Fur Rondy, as locals call it is one of the most anticipated events of the year in Alaska and one of the premier winter festivals in the nation. An annual tradition since 1935, it represents the hardy pioneering spirit of the Alaskans while offering some offbeat and wacky fun to break up the long, cold winter. From fur auctions to frostbite races and snowshoe softball, here is what not to miss in Anchorage’s kookiest celebration, or as we like to call it, Mardi Gras of the North.
Miners & Trappers Ball
Who said pageant queens should get all the glory? Celebrating the lumbersexual in all of us, break out your favorite costume and world-class beard to compete in the Alaska state championship Mr. Fur Face and Moustache competitions as part of the annual town ball. All that hair’s there to keep you warm right? At least it’s for charity.
Strap a couple of skis to the bottom of your porto-pottie and get ready to run. With points for both design andengineering make the most creative toilet and you just might win a prize. At stake? Proving you’re king or queen of the throne because you don’t want to be #2 in this race (pun intended). Plenty of awards are up for grabs beyond the fastest team and most creative design – we particular enjoy “cleanest.”
Running of the Reindeer
Alaska’s version of Pamplona’s Running of the Bulls, four “herds” are let loose in a mad dash down the streets of Anchorage as you avoid being trampled. Much less dangerous than Spain’s version of the event, about 2500 people try to outrun 20 or so reindeer with most of the money going to charity. The heats are broken into guys, girls, couples/groups and tourists. Yes, tourists are kept separately specifically so the locals can laugh at them.