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The Best 7 Fur Rondy Events

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RON-DAAAE, RON-DAE-VU COME ON!! or something to that effect. Its that time again, and to some it means its time for Anchorages biggest winter festival and celebration… Fur Rondy! The Fur Rendezvous for those unaware of it, is a 10 day festival celebrating the pioneering spirit of Alaskans. Carnival rides, dog sleds, ice sculptures, furs and foot races are all things that make up this annual celebration.

The Fur Rondy festival boasts nearly 50 Rondy themed events all over town, from the traditional to the down right outrageous. Started back in 1935, the festival marks the beginning of the Iditarod and the coming of spring, (but lately we’ve been getting dumped on all thru March, so its more like the celebration of the continuing of winter).

So lets Rondy!! Whether you are a regularly participating participant or a first timer, the experience can be very different depending on how much you want to involve yourself. So you have your choice to participate or just watch, there is a little something for everyone. We at 907 prefer the dancing and drinking events, but that’s just us… So with so many events, where do you start? Zip up the coat, and grab some ear muffs, lets Rondy… here is our list of the best 7 Fur Rondy events:

Rondy Carnival |

Fur Rondy Carnival
Who doesn’t like carnival rides? We dare you to say “I hate carnival rides” out loud and around people and see if you don’t get a few raised eyebrows. The Rondy Carnival runs just about everyday until 9pm. Funnel cakes, the Ferris wheel and whats a carnival without the Gravitron?

Event Standouts: How Alaskan are you: We are going to be honest, we may get lucky this year with our current “warm spell” but February is C.O.L.D. Whipping around on even the slowest ride will freeze up the jiggly bits. Bundle up… this carnival is not for the faint of heart. #coldasice

Frostbite Footrace & Costume Fun Run |

Frostbite Foot race
It appears in the last few years Anchorage has become a running town… we love it. But more than that, we love wearing costumes… ridiculous ones. The Frostbite Footrace and Costumed Fun Run is among some of the newer Rondy events, but appears to have a bit of staying power. This early morning run is both a 5K and 2.5K open to all ages. “Mama there goes that man”.

Event Standouts: Yes, Batman enjoys a good reindeer dog too: There’s something to be said about athletics and costumes… what sounds like a good idea at first can sometimes have a hilarious outcome. Who thought running in a one piece would be so much work. #nohedidnt

Outhouse Races |

Outhouse Races
There are alot of names its commonly referred to as, the Privey, or Dunny, Porto-pottie, Nessy, the Thunderbox, even the Pooter Scooter… few however refer to it as a Go cart. (“Which actually, now that we just read that out loud… it kinda fits”) The Fur Rondy Outhouse Races are just about one of the most fun events to watch. 2 Custom designed outhouses strapped to skis are man powered down a two lane course head to head in an attempt to finish first. The outhouses are later judged in different categories such as “Best Engineered” “Most Realistic” and “People’s Choice”.

Event Standouts: Redefining “The tipping point”: The funniest part of this race is definitely seeing the different outhouse constructions that the teams came up with. More so is “the turn”. The teams must run to the end of the course and “turn” their outhouses and come back to finish. Lets be glad that its only the riders that are dumping out of those racers. Ahw, who doesn’t enjoy a good poop joke?

Big Air Snowboarding Demo |

Rondy Big Air Demo
The Fur Rondy in recent years has been making attempts to make the festival appeal to well… a more youthful demographic. And this initiative welcomes new events ideas like this crazy ass one, the Rondy Big Air Demo. Skiers and snowboarders are lifted atop a 40 foot scaffold and drop in to launch themselves across Anchorages 2nd avenue. Flips, twists and turns mid air makes for one exciting event. 7 years, no broken necks…

Event Standouts: Up up and Away: By far the festivals best attempt at being cool, this event has come under alot of scrutiny. Sketchy drop ins, weather delays, and overall organization are among the things that are crippling this already questionable event. In spite of that… this event is definitely worth its attendance, and probably a close runner up to our favorite.

Rondy Grand Parade |

Rondy Grand Parade
Probably the staple of the Fur Rondy Festival is the Rondy Grand Parade. Classic cars and motorcycles, the Rondy Royal Court and hundreds of volunteers and sponsors make up  Anchorages largest parade as it snakes thru downtown. There even is a mobile jail for spectators found without “Rondy flare”. Make sure you wear your official Rondy pin or you might find yourself behind bars, then again… you get a pretty good view of the parade. Who said crime doesn’t pay?

SHOW STANDOUTS: Elbow,Wrist, Elbow: Admittedly, the parade is pretty neat. There is a certain home town feel about the whole thing. And question… how many Miss Alaskas are there? I mean, we’re not complaining… fur, pretty faces and classic cars makes for a pretty decent Saturday afternoon in our book.

Running of the Reindeer |

Running of the Reindeer
8 years ago, someone came up with this idea…. we should  run with reindeer instead of bulls like they do in Pamplona.  EUREKA!!!! Chairs overturned, music played, chest bumps happened and the celebration of the idea carried late into the night… Ok, its safe to say that didn’t happen but the idea is pretty genius. The Fur Rondys Running of the Reindeer is by far its most prominent event. Previous years crowds have been in the 3 thousand plus range and there has been no shortage of excitement.  The race features mobs of costumed runners in 5 different heats running down the streets of Anchorage, weaving and dodging hoofed, horned Santa helpers on vacation leave.

Event Standouts: On your mark… get set: As bad as it is, I think we all would like to see someone get impaled. We mean not to death, just a couple hundred thousand Youtube views enough. Its all fun and games until Darth Vader gets one up in the backside.

Miners & Trappers Ball |

Miners & Trappers Ball
An event as old as the festival itself, the Miners & Trappers Ball is a party and mustache & beard contest all in one. Each year the ball hosts a different them and invites its participants to dress up. To really consider yourself a true Rondy participant this is one you have to attend. Com’on, its like tradition.

 

Have you been to a Fur Rondy event? What did you do? We’d love to hear about it… lets us know in the comments or message us about your favorite moments from these events.

 

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Phillip Crawford

Content creator and video/photographer for 907Life.com You can follow Phillip on Twitter and Instagram - @phillip907

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