Downtown Anchorage Prepares for the Fur Rendezvous Festival

The Running of the Reindeer, a sled dog race and a fireworks display are among the annual festivities

By: By Skye Mayring

Running of the Reindeer // (c) Jody Overstreet/ACVB

Running of the Reindeer // (c) Jody Overstreet/ACVB

A 75-year-old tradition — Anchorage’s annual Fur Rendezvous festival — will take over the downtown area from Feb. 26 to March 7 with winter sports, native art and culture exhibits, a fireworks display, a carnival and more.

The Rondy, as the festival is affectionately called by locals, features a host of unusual events as well — including the Running of the Reindeer, a bizarre activity in which participating visitors and residents run down Anchorage’s main street among a dozen or so reindeer. In addition, there are also the 25th Annual Oyster Shucking Contest and a costume fun run.

The cornerstone event of the Rondy, however, is the World Championship Sprint Sled Dog Race, which takes place on Feb. 26, 27 and 28 at noon in downtown Anchorage. Held since 1946, these sprint races attract mushers from around the world to compete for an $80,000 purse — the highest cash prize for sprint racing to date. According to a recent announcement, famed Iditarod musher and author Jeff King will participate in this event.

This year, for the first time, up to 150 individuals will have an opportunity to be a part of the World Championship Sprint Sled Dog Race as a K-9 Crewmember. Crewmembers will be a part of a musher’s team, handling the dogs at the starting line and lending a hand wherever needed. Participants (no racing experience is required) will receive a custom K-9 Crew jacket and race credentials. The cost is $500 per day.

Anchorage Fur Rendezvous