Alaskans are an odd group of people, and I mean that in a good way. I have always had quirky friends and that might explain why I’ve (more or less) been living in Alaska the last 10 years. One of my favorite and quirkiest events each year is the 10-day Fur Rondy Festival that culminates with the start of the Iditarod in Anchorage. Fur Rondy, short for Fur Rendevous, started in 1935 as a festival at the start of spring when trappers returned to town with a winter’s worth of pelts. Today, there are myriad events, from ice carving to outhouse races to running of the reindeer a la Pamplona. Snow is trucked in and laid down in the streets of Anchorage for the ceremonial start of the Iditarod and people brave subfreezing temps to ride carnival rides and eat funnel cakes. After four long months of cold dark winter, people are eager to get out and socialize. This year, due to warm temperatures and no snow, the Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Races were canceled and the Iditarod start moved to Fairbanks, 360 miles north. It was 45 degrees the day of the Iditarod ceremonial start in Anchorage. (Cut to a video of Senator Jim Inhofe throwing a snowball on the Senate floor declaring there is no such thing as global warming.) Although I missed two of the most photogenic and ridiculous events (the outhouse races and running of the reindeer), I did get some snapshots of the parades, Iditarod, fireworks, and the carnival.
(click on any photo to open a slideshow view)
What quirky festivals do you have in your area?
To see more of my Alaska photos, click the picture below. http://smu.gs/1FeJp25