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 FurRondy.net
By Victoria Barber