It's hard to forget the sights of winter in Anchorage; there are events you won't witness anywhere else. You can have plenty of fun just standing on the sidelines, but why stop there? Three huge events are packed into the end of this month and the beginning of the next. Watch and revel in the excitement, but I've got one more suggestion: get in on the action!
If you've never taken part in an event at Anchorage Fur Rendezvous...where have you been for the last 76 years? Rondy packs a whole lot of winter activity into late February and early March. Run with the reindeer, battle for snowball supremacy with Yukigassen (team snowball fights), or build an outhouse and push it to top speeds. Admire the snow sculptures, toss popcorn at the Rondy melodrama and cheer the World Championship Sled Dog Races starting Feb. 24. That's just a taste of what's in store, find your event at www.furrondy.net.
Is there any event as closely associated with Alaska as the Iditarod? This year, 70 mushers will have their sights set on the burled arch in Nome, and the field is full of big names. Score a ticket to the musher's banquet March 1, or head for the start line downtown March 3, 2012. Meet mushing legends and see the final preparations that go into the last great race. Think you've got what it takes? Then jump on the runners of your own sled with Alaska Sled Dog Tours. The Seavey family is about as close as you come to a mushing dynasty, and their new “OneFifteen” tour has you leading a team on trails around Anchorage. It's inexpensive as well as accessible. Longer tours and multiday trips are available too. Start dreaming of mushing glory at www.aksleddogtours.com
The Tour of Anchorage ski race celebrates 25 years in 2012 with 25-K, 40-K, and 50-K routes on the phenomenal Anchorage trail system. Let's be honest, there's almost never a bad time to cross country ski in this city, but few races bring together the whole community quite like this one. And while some will be gunning for the finish line or a personal best time, the tour is an opportunity for anyone to slap down skis and explore Anchorage. Wax up the skis and share the trail with elite athletes, as well as about 1,600 of your neighbors.
This is your call. Don't just watch, get in on the action and share in the fun this winter.