Monday, February 28, 2011

What in the Heck is a Fur Rondy?

One of the most anticipated events at this corner of the world, the Fur Rendezvous, or Fur Rondy as locals call it, started in 1935 as a three-day sports tournament that coincided when fur trappers and miners congregated in Anchorage to conduct their business.

Today, the original three days have been stretched out into a two-week activity-filled festival including dog sled races, outhouse races (see below), ice sculpture contests, cultural expos, and even a little carnival for the munchkins.

The Fam bravely ventured out into the cold (with much preparation of course!) to get a feel for it.  The main agenda, though, was to witness the infamous Outhouse Races. Teams construct an "outhouse" complete with toilet that must be raced down the snowy course (a city block) to turn around and race back.  Military squadrons participate every year, as well as the local restaurants on 4th (Humpy's, RumRunners, etc.). Many others enter to race, even one who was running for local office.

Before the races begin, each team gets announced and they parade down the block, tossing beads and candy to the spectators. Then they group like teams...i.e., military teams, restaurant their respective heats.  Winners of each heat advance to the final rounds.

We decided to cheer for the folks in the flight suits.  (I love flight suits, or should I say, men looking the way they do in flight suits. teeeheehee)

  The girls in a train ride at the carnival a block down from the races.  Note the happiness on my babies' faces. Of course, as most of you know, the older one was the exact opposite thirty minutes later. More on the endangered toes fiasco HERE.

We don't plan on returning until next weekend.  We will be watching the Running of the Reindeer (yep, just like the bull version in Spain, but not as dangerous), hopping on a dog sled ride or two, and maybe even a helicopter ride.

Doesn't it make you just want to come on over and visit? :-)

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