Anchorage's signature winter festival is back, with events ranging from silly to traditional (and even a dash of indie rock thrown in). Dig out your biggest fur (faux or genuine) and get ready for the fun to begin -- we might not have had much of a winter, but we can celebrate like we did.
For a full schedule see furrondy.net.
Rondy officially started Friday, but the Fireworks Extravaganza feels like the real kickoff. Those will start at 6:45 p.m. at the small boat harbor in Ship Creek on Saturday. Bridge Seafood Restaurant will host a "Rondy-gras" viewing party from 6-11 p.m. with a special menu for $85 (includes meal and two drink tickets, eventbrite.com) and 49th State Brewing Co. (formerly the Snow Goose) will open its deck for the pyrotechnic display as well. Tickets $5 (907-277-7727, 49statebrewing.com).
If you're looking to make a night of it downtown, check out this year's Rondy melodrama with the intriguing title "Pirates vs. Gold Miners: The Realest Alaska Reality Show," at 49th State after the fireworks. Tickets, $15-$23, showing Thursday-Sunday through March 12 at 49th State (907-263-2787, centertix.net).
Watch competitors pushing elaborately decorated porta-potties race for No. 1 in this Rondy event on Fourth Avenue. 4 p.m. Saturday between E and F streets.
Sled dog races
With the Open World Championships canceled due to lack of snow, there's a dog dash happening instead. A field of 20 mushers are driving teams 3.05 miles a day in pursuit of a $25,000 purse in the Fur Rendezvous Invitational. That's a far cry from the 26-mile heats the Rondy teams usually race, but there's still plenty of action to catch. Friday's first heat offered at least one instance when teams tangled during a head-on pass.
Racing begins at noon each day at Fourth Avenue and D Street. Teams head down Cordova Street to the Anchorage Football Stadium and Mulcahy Stadium parking lots, where they loop around and head back downtown. Saturday and Sunday. Free.
It isn't an official Rondy event, mind you, but venture to Spenard and you'll find "Faux Rondy," a special night at the Tap Root Public House where fake fur and Alaska spirit "are recommended but not required." Local indie bands Hazia and Termination Dust will perform along with DJ Clint Samples. Tickets $7 in advance, $10 at the door. 9 p.m. Saturday, ages 21 and older. (907-345-0282, taprootalaska.com)