Anchorage is ready to Rondy

Victoria Barber
The dog team of Marie-Anick Elie rounds the corner at Goose Lake on the final day of the Anchorage Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race in 2013.
Bill Roth
“Moose Hunting” won second place in the Family/Corporate division during the 2013 Snow Sculpture Competition.
Bill Roth
Teams face off for the Yukigassen tournament on the Delaney Park Strip in 2011. Teams seek to capture each other’s flags in Yukigassen, a snowball fight competition that originated in Japan.
Marc Lester
Neal Davis wears appropriate headgear as he helps get the Rondy Carnival up and running Friday, Feb. 21, 2014 at the buttress area downtown. Davis is the assistant ride manager for Golden Wheel Amusements. The 2014 Anchorage Fur Rendezvous opens Friday.
Bob Hallinen
Reindeer run past spectators gathered along 4th Avenue in downtown Anchorage during the 3rd annual Running of the Reindeer on Sunday, Feb 28, 2010.
Bill Roth
Fred Wing, left and Mike Philo of the Military Society of Model Railroad Engineers set up a n-scale train display on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, inside the historic Alaska Railroad Depot at 411 West 1st Avenue in preparation for the Fur Rondy event "The Great Train Show" that is open every day through Sunday, Mar. 2.
Bill Roth
The 2013 Fur Rondy fireworks explode in the sky over the Golden Wheel Amusement carnival rides on the bluff in downtown Anchorage.
Bob Hallinen

The ice rinks are smoothed, snow sculptures carved and dog mushing trails prepped. In a winter of uncertain conditions, Fur Rendezvous executive director Jeff Barney said, the 79th annual winter carnival will proceed as planned.

"Everyone gets frantic about there being no snow. But as you're seeing now, it'll come. It's here," Barney said. Had the weather not turned when it did, however, he might not have been so unflappable; "Any more days of melting and we might have been in trouble."

Some Fur Rondy traditions are such mainstays they seem to be in the event's DNA -- like sled dog races, Rondy pin exchanges and the Grande Parade. Then there are newer events that keep growing in popularity and help draw in younger crowds, like outhouse races and the Running of the Reindeer.

This will be the first year for Leaf Blower Hockey, in which players strap on leaf blowers and drive a wiffle ball to score, and Cornhole (sometimes known as "bean bag toss"). Back this year after being dropped off the roster are the Great Alaska Talent Competition and the waiter and waitress races, in which waiters, waitresses and bartenders must carry trays of drinks through an obstacle course at the Park Strip.

If your interest is in wacky outdoor events, Native culture or taking in some local talent, there's a lot going on this week.

Here's a full schedule of events for this weekend.

Complete Rondy schedule at
By Victoria Barber
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