Anchorage: Fur Rondy Anticipation

When I first got on the plane 7 weeks ago to fly to Alaska, it wasn’t until my 4th leg of the trip that I could actually get my hands on a copy of Alaska Airlines Magazine. To my surprise, I learned my visit in Anchorage would overlap with the biggest festival in the state: Fur Rendezvous, or “Fur Rondy” as locals call it.
For 10 days, Anchorage will erupt in everything from fireworks to snow sculptures, with world championship sled dog races, amateur photo competitions, blanket tosses, and even–get this–outhouse races. I found this old photo of a blanket toss from an early
Fur Rondy celebration and it was enough to get me stoked about seeing it
in person this coming weekend. According to the schedule there will also be things like snowshoe softball, fur trades, tribal gatherings, and the much-anticipated Reindeer Run (which pits reindeer against foolhardy humans in a race down the city’s main drag).
Though I don’t plan to attend any of the fur auctions, Alaska Airlines Magazine writer Eric Lucas described one scene pretty well: “Did you trap these yourself, young fellow?” the auctioneer asks one such. He nods. “Well, let’s get a good price for these very practical skins,” the auctioneer says as he starts the bidding for two dozen muskrat pelts…I’m struck by the fact that this is likely little different from the scene I might have witnessed almost a century ago.
It’s been a tough week and I’m ready to go home. But there’s still time yet for a little distraction, Alaska-style. Seems like the Fur Rondy might be the perfect send off.

Showing 4 comments
  • northco

    Yep, there are outhouse races every February in the small town of Trenary here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Amazingly, draws huge crowds from all over…lots of laughs and lots of beer…maybe the two are interrelated.

  • Elizabeth

    I found your blog via Katie Wibby! She has been enjoying your Anchorage accounts and suggested I check it out. It seems like you are getting to know Anchorage in a wonderfully-unique way! Fur Rondy is a great time of year!! Be sure to check out the Snowball Fight and the Melodrama if your schedule allows. How long are you here?

  • Katey Schultz

    Hi Elizabeth,
    Thanks for your comment on my blog. I'm here until Thursday morning. I'm so glad you are enjoying the Alaska posts. They go all the way back to 12/31/11 for my most recent adventure, but there are more if you use the search box on the sidebar and type in ALASKA. Enjoy, and thanks for your support!
    Katey Schultz

  • Elizabeth

    Fantastic! Thanks for sharing the Last Frontier with your readers!! If ever you are back in Anchorage, and need a coffee visit with a local, please let me know =) (
    Happy Travels!

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