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PHOTOS: Frosty family fun at Merry Marmot

Skiers on the slopes at Arctic Valley. The 10th annual Merry Marmot festival is a fundraiser for Arctic Valley's Anchorage Ski Club, and a celebration of the tight-knit alpine ski community. Apr 5, 2014
Loren Holmes photo
Competitors in the slalom, which was meant to be single elimination but often the athletes would challenge each other to rematches. The 10th annual Merry Marmot festival is a fundraiser for Arctic Valley's Anchorage Ski Club, and a celebration of the tight-knit alpine ski community. Apr 5, 2014
Loren Holmes photo
The kids tube race, one of many fun events held throughout the day. The 10th annual Merry Marmot festival is a fundraiser for Arctic Valley's Anchorage Ski Club, and a celebration of the tight-knit alpine ski community. Apr 5, 2014
Loren Holmes photo
Little "merry marmots" prepare for the snowshoe race. The 10th annual Merry Marmot festival is a fundraiser for Arctic Valley's Anchorage Ski Club, and a celebration of the tight-knit alpine ski community. Apr 5, 2014
Loren Holmes photo
Kids compete in the snowshoe race, which involved not only snowshoeing but speed drinking an entire can of soda and hula-hooping. The 10th annual Merry Marmot festival is a fundraiser for Arctic Valley's Anchorage Ski Club, and a celebration of the tight-knit alpine ski community. Apr 5, 2014
Loren Holmes photo
Part of the snowshoe race involved hula-hooping around a marker. The 10th annual Merry Marmot festival is a fundraiser for Arctic Valley's Anchorage Ski Club, and a celebration of the tight-knit alpine ski community. Apr 5, 2014
Loren Holmes photo
Spectators cheer on the costumed competitors in the "anything goes" Chinese downhill race, a nod to the 1984 movie Hot Dog. The 10th annual Merry Marmot festival is a fundraiser for Arctic Valley's Anchorage Ski Club, and a celebration of the tight-knit alpine ski community. Apr 5, 2014
Loren Holmes photo
Chinese downhill competitors share the victor's champagne after the race. The 10th annual Merry Marmot festival is a fundraiser for Arctic Valley's Anchorage Ski Club, and a celebration of the tight-knit alpine ski community. Apr 5, 2014
Loren Holmes photo
The downhill kayak race, one of the many events at the Merry Marmot festival. The 10th annual Merry Marmot festival is a fundraiser for Arctic Valley's Anchorage Ski Club, and a celebration of the tight-knit alpine ski community. Apr 5, 2014
Loren Holmes photo
Competitors in the downhill kayak race spill at the bottom of the course. The 10th annual Merry Marmot festival is a fundraiser for Arctic Valley's Anchorage Ski Club, and a celebration of the tight-knit alpine ski community. Apr 5, 2014
Loren Holmes photo
Spectators cheer during the dummy toss, where handmade dummies are flung over a large jump, with spectacularly disastrous results. The 10th annual Merry Marmot festival is a fundraiser for Arctic Valley's Anchorage Ski Club, and a celebration of the tight-knit alpine ski community. Apr 5, 2014
Loren Holmes photo
Santa gets airborne during the dummy toss. The 10th annual Merry Marmot festival is a fundraiser for Arctic Valley's Anchorage Ski Club, and a celebration of the tight-knit alpine ski community. Apr 5, 2014
Loren Holmes photo
Children run down the hill after the dummy toss to retrieve the broken remains of the dummies. The 10th annual Merry Marmot festival is a fundraiser for Arctic Valley's Anchorage Ski Club, and a celebration of the tight-knit alpine ski community. Apr 5, 2014
Loren Holmes photo
Loren Holmes,Megan Edge

More than 300 people took the trek up messy and very muddy Arctic Valley Road Saturday afternoon to participate in the 10th Merry Marmot Festival, a fundraiser and celebration of spring to wrap up the winter season.

Women carried armloads of beer. A drummer dressed in a fake bear hat as children played on tricycles inside the day lodge. Some stopped by the event for a ski race, others to participate in fat-tire bike races, but many were just spectators enjoying the party.

A fundraiser for Arctic Valley Ski Area run by the the nonprofit Anchorage Ski Club, Merry Marmot is put together entirely by volunteers. The president of the local ski club estimated that last year's party brought in about $10,000.

By 3 p.m. the snowshoe races were underway. The oldest group of children strapped their boots into snowshoes and took off up a hill before circling, stopping to chug a Sprite, snowshoeing and hula hooping at the same time, and finally crossing a finish line marked with Easter buckets.

Thirteen-year-old Richard Gordon-Rein took an impressive lead from the start and kept it until the finish line. A seasoned pro, he said he's done this event most of his life. The key to winning for him was simple. "I just ran really fast up the hill then paced myself," said Gordon-Rein. "Also, I drank my Sprite really fast."

Spectators lining the deck suspect his victory, though, was earned partially because of his attire -- a flannel shirt and brown Carhartt pants.

While not everyone was brave enough to test their winter sporting abilities, plenty of attendees were content listening to music, gabbing with their friends and drinking red Solo cups filled with Alaska-brewed beer.