UAA | Sam Wasson

Great Alaska Shootout

In Anchorage, basketball rules Thanksgiving week with the Great Alaska Shootout. Top collegiate teams show their prowess on the court over the holiday long weekend. The tournament runs Nov. 22-26, 2016.

A tradition in Anchorage, the annual tournament is hosted by the University of Alaska Anchorage at the Alaska Airlines Center.

For 2016, the hometown UAA Seawolves face off against Missouri State, USC and Portland in the women's bracket. The Seawolves finished second in Division II play last season. In the men's bracket, Buffalo, Oakland, Nevada, UC Davis, Weber State, Iona and Drake join UAA. The field includes five NCAA Tournament qualifying teams from last season and two other postseason performers.

Purchase ticket packages, and find tournament information at Single game tickets are on sale in November.

Thanksgiving in Anchorage

In between games, there is plenty to see and do in Anchorage. Thanksgiving week is filled with events. The annual tree lighting ceremony takes place Friday evening in Town Square Park. Santa will be there along with his real live reindeer team. Shuttle service links tree lighting ceremony with the evening games on Friday. 

From ball games to ballet: the annual performance of "The Nutcracker" will entertain kids of all ages will fall in love with the costumes and choreography, it runs Friday through Sunday overlapping the tournament.

While in town don’t miss out on unique shopping activities. Find the perfect gift at the Anchorage Museum’s Crafts Weekend. The museum carefully selects every artist so shoppers will be guaranteed authentic, handcrafted works. Anchorage also has the state's best shopping, with locally owned shops and popular national retailers splitting retail space.