Friday Facts: Fur Rondy!
Alaska’s Fur Rondy or Fur Rendezvous is also known as the Fur Rendezvous Festival, an annual winter festival held in Anchorage, Alaska during late February.
The Fur Rondy Festival was selected as the number one winter carnival in the world by the National Geographic Traveler in 2012.
Most people know of the Fur Rondy by it’s honor starting the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, since 2004 but it is the ice sculptures, public winter sports competition and arts and craft shows.
Alaska Fur Rondy has beenaround for a long while, starting in 1935. It was started by an Anchorage resident named Vern Johnson to bring the community together and lift spirits to it’s very isolated and then much smaller (3,000) population.
It was originally called the Winter Sports Carnival and the timing was no accident with it being planned for when the trappers would come into town for their gathering to sell or trade the winter harvest. The fur trade, at that time was Alaska’s second largest industry.
Alaska Fur Rondy
Some of the most significant attractions to the very busy with over 100 events, Fur Rondy, are:
- Rondy Grand Prix – The Oldest Street Race in the U.S.
- Official Fur Rondy Fur Auction- the descendant of the original fur trade rendezvous, present since the earliest days.
- Miners’ and Trappers’ Charity Ball and Mr. Fur-Face beard contest (since 1950) – Beards are grown as long as possible and they are dyed, decorated and shaped for this contest.
- World Championship Dog Sled Race (since 1946, with a women’s race since 1953) – This three-day, 75-mile sled dog race brings mushers from across Alaska and the world.
- World Championship Dog Weight Pull (since 1967) -Sled dogs attempt to pull the greatest weight.
- The Running of the Reindeer (my favorite!!)
- Miss Fur Rendezvous pageant (Started in the 1950’s, also known as Miss Fur Rondy)
- Snow Sculpture Competition
- Fur Rondy Carnival
- Frostbite Footrace -Costumed competitors run through downtown Anchorage.
- Rondy Grand Parade
- Rondy on Ice – Figure Skating Show
- World Ice Bowling Championships
AND!! When you come to Alaska and after you experience Fur Rondy, you can come on up the road and have another true Alaskan experience with us and your own Wintertime Adventure Excursion!
From Family Friendly Winter Vacations to the experience of running your own trap line and wintertime predator hunts, Pioneer Outfitters guides will ensure your safety and enjoyment in the wilderness of Alaska.
Experience the awesome and soul touching realization of the Great North Country of secluded Alaska in mid-winter. Mountains cut into the crystalline blue of the arctic sky, sun-dogs dancing, disappearing and reappearing out of nowhere, to leave you breathless, again and again. The pitch black night of space comes alive with the twinkling of billions of more stars than you’ve ever seen before, glowing brilliant white with edges trimmed in reds and blues.
Excellent home cooked meals served family style and comfortable accommodations will set the mood for an unforgettable winter vacation. Satellite TV and wireless internet is available and hundreds of movies to pick from our private collection.
Photography, snowmobile riding or just holed-up in a warm comfortable cabin- if that is your pleasure. Beautiful, breathtaking Northern Lights are frequently seen. Visit the old gold mining sites. Photograph the Alaska Yukon Moose, the majestic Mountain Caribou, Dall sheep and an abundance of small game and birds.