Wintertime in Alaska can be pretty hard sometimes, battling the snow, the dark and the cold. Even worse, you can't prospect for gold this time of year. So what on earth do you do for fun? Why not throw a party? It's called the Fur Rendezvous!
Vern Johnson, the father of Fur Rendezvous, threw this outrageous town festival back in 1935 to celebrate the miners and trappers winter yield. By this time of year they needed a break from the cabin fever. It started out as a 3-day sports tournament and almost the entire population of Anchorage attended. Party-goers could compete in skiing, basketball, hockey and boxing. Children could even participate in a sled dog race down 4th avenue.
"Fur Rondy," as its affectionately called, is still a crazy and fun diversion today. This February marks the 85th celebration and takes place on the streets of downtown Anchorage. It is 10 days of parades, sports and snow sculpture competitions, Rondy on Ice, carnivals, reindeer running, blanket tossing, fur auctions and fireworks!
A highlight is the Miners and Trappers Charity Ball. This is the 70th year of this event that has raised millions of dollars for charities. At this ball, manly men are competing for the coveted title of "Mr. Fur Face." There is also the famous Outhouse races that requires strapping to a porta-pottie on skis and racing to the finish line.
Whatever tickles your fancy, its likely the Fur Rondy has it. This celebration of life really shows the world Alaskans know how to party! For more information check out their website for fun gallery photos and this years line-up of events. http://www.furrondy.net/