10 Seriously Fun Reasons Everyone Should Attend Fur Rondy

Fur Rendezvous, February 26 - March 8, 2020

Anchorage, Alaska

 By: Courtney Dowd-Stanley 

Every year when that catchy "let's get ready to Rooondy" tune is blasted across the radio and television airways, we simply cannot help but to get SO excited! As cheesy as it may sound, we really DO get ready to Rondy! There is just something about this joyous winter event that brings out the kid in all of us. Maybe it's all that cabin fever after a long winter that also makes us more ready than ever to "get our Rondy on" but, whatever it is - it simply cannot be ignored. Once the event finally arrives, it's a bit like the ceremonial end to our long, cold winter season with it it now officially being time for spring to commence. Fur Rendezvous, a.k.a. Fur Rondy is a seriously fun time of celebrating culture and tradition in the most epic way possible. This 10-day event celebrates an 85-year-tradition of life in the Last Frontier with winter sports, native culture, and the most unique events imaginable. From February 26 - March 8, 2020 everyone should make time to visit the downtown district in Alaska's most beautiful big city of Anchorage, to "get their Rondy on!" Here's why:

Flickr - Nat Wilson

1 – The streets of downtown Anchorage come alive with anticipation as the city celebrates the biggest winter festival in the state. Even if you're just making a trip through downtown on your commute home, or if you have to run errands in the district... the spirit of Fur Rondy will pull you in with it's magic touch. 

Flickr - Kim F.

Flickr - Michael Hayes

2 – The Blanket Toss event is pretty remarkable. This is an ancient Alaska Native tradition that joined the festival in 1950 and is one of the most fun, FREE events to attend. The blankets are made out of different materials, including seal lion, bear, & more. Located on the corner of 3rd & E St. by the Carnival Grounds, this event will be on February 29, 2020 from 4-5:30pm for (Day 1) and on March 6th @ 4:00pm.

Flickr - Travis

Flickr - Paxson Woelber, The Alaska Landmine

3 – The Alaska State Snow Sculpture Championship presented by BP happens daily from 10:00am - 10:00pm, with the judging happening on Sunday March 1st at 10am, and the awards happening on Sunday March 1st at 12pm noon. These sculptures are absolutely mind-blowing to observe and a true gem of the event. The artistic ability is beyond what words can describe, must be seen to be believed! 

Flickr - Zach

Flickr - Michael Hayes

4 – Well Alaska doesn't really "do" fireworks like the lower 48 during the 4th of July, but we certainly do have a heck of a show during Fur Rondy! The AT&T Fireworks Extravaganza happens on Friday February 28th at 7:30pm in the heart of downtown Anchorage. The pyrotechnic artists commence and paint the sky with blasts of wow-worthy colorful blazes, fun for the whole family to enjoy for FREE! 

Flickr - Eric Teela

Alberto Abouganem Stephens

5 – The South Central Chapter of the Alaska Trappers Association is one of the oldest and most beloved events at Fur Rondy. This year, visitors can attend on the following dates for FREE, located at 3rd Ave and E St: (Day 1) February 29th from 11am - 3pm, (Day 2) March 1st from 11am - 3pm, and (Day 3) March 7th from 11am-3pm. Here's a little secret: sometimes the spectators are just as fun to watch (and swoon over all those incredible furs) as are the auctioneers! 

Corinne Graves, The Alaska Landmine

Flickr - Travis

6 – Did you know that the average person spends 94 hours "doing the deed" in their lifetime? Well, this event known as the "Outhouse Races" celebrates that and is a real blast to watch! Head to 4th Ave and E St on Saturday February 29th at 4pm. 

Flickr - Mike Jurvud

Flickr - Troy B. Thompson

7 – Fur Rondy Snowshoe Softball Tournament is a great way to enjoy a lot of laughs and get a great workout. With the supremely scenic backdrop that Anchorage has to offer, this is another fun event where you players have fun getting dressed up in wacky costumes before strapping on snowshoes and playing 'ball. The tournament is located at 16th Ave and Cordova St. (Kosinski Field) on Saturday and Sunday February 29th - March 1st, 2020 from 8:45am - 6pm. 

Flickr - Troy B. Thompson

Flickr - Troy B. Thompson

8 – The Fur Rondy Carnival, an overwhelmingly popular time and certainly one of the main attractions, is a must-visit! Located on 3rd Ave and E St. and happening daily, visitors can enjoy all the classic carnival favorites dressed crisply in snowy winter-wonderland splendor. Catch a good sugar rush by loading up on funnel cakes and caramel apples, twirl it all up with a ride on the gondola or gravitron, and enjoy a place guaranteed to bring out the kid in everyone. 

Flickr - Arctic Warrior

Flickr - Michael Hayes

9 – A visit to the Anchorage Mushing District, a landmark honoring the state sport of Alaska, wouldn't be complete without attending the Open World Championship Sled Dog Races. This FREE event located at 4th Ave and D Street from February 28th - March 1st kicks off daily at 12:00pm noon. After watching the fastest dogs on planet earth complete a mad 25-mile dash through the streets of Anchorage, you'll quickly see just why this was voted “Best Event” by the International Sled Dog Racing Association. Meet lots of adorable four-legged locals (and their handlers) on some of the most prized mushing teams in the world. The start of "The Last Great Race" the famous Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race then kicks off on Saturday, March 7th! 

Flickr - Corinne Graves, The Alaska Landmine

Flickr - Dana Orlosky

10 – Last but certainly not least, what you've all come here for, the Running of the Reindeer! This event is pretty much as fun, zany, and entertaining as it gets! Dressed in wild costumes, racers have their choice of four different reindeer "herds" as they run in a mad-dash down the streets of Anchorage in an effort to outrun the big, beautiful reindeer. This is as fun and Alaskan as it gets. This event is held on Saturday, March 7th at 4pm. You don't want to miss this, come find out why they call this "Alaska's wackiest race."

Flickr - Corinne Graves, The Alaska Landmine

Flickr - Troy B. Thompson

Flickr - Fred Rhoades III

What are some of our favorite events to attend each year at Fur Rondy? Do you have a wild and crazy memory you'd like to share? We'd love to know all about how much fun you've had attending this spectacular winter festival. For a complete list "from A to Z" of all the 2020 events: CLICK HERE.
Looking for another great read? Check out these 50 free Alaska activities that you can do without spending a dime. This summer festival guide from 2017 is also a great read, of which many of those same events are happening annually throughout the last frontier. If you are living and loving The Alaska Life – share your adventures with us on our Facebook page HERE, and they might just end up being featured in one of our next blog posts.
Written by Courtney Dowd-Stanley 

1 comment

Pretty sad that Jim Beam Jam won’t be at Egan Center. Pretty much puts a lot of long time goers out !! As Williwaw can’t possibly hold all of us

Bev April 17, 2021

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