Fur Rondy is the biggest festival in Alaska and is held in the week building up to the start of the Iditarod. The spectrum of events includes everything from dog-sledding to blanket-tossing to stamp-collecting, and the week is filled with fun and mayhem as everyone shakes off any cabin-fever symptoms.
The opening ceremony of Fur Rondy boasts a spectacular Grand Parade, and Daniel and I rushed into Downtown to be a part of this truly American display of pomp and circumstance. We think, however, (very diplomatically, of course) that the pomp might have been popped by the weather, as the crowds were meagre in the -10 degree chill. The Parade turned out to be a fizzle of Girl Scouts and insurance companies handing out free sweets, but we tried to imagine some spirit.
We also rushed down to the waterfront to watch the Big Air Demo, and were quite surprised when not a single plane flew overhead. The Big Air Demo turned out to be snowboarders flying down a ramp and doing tricks in the air! Not quite what we expected, but brave nonetheless.
Just behind the flying snowboarders was the Rondy Central Carnival. Finally, we thought, a chance to relish the American spirit: candy floss, big wheels, root beer floats, and stuffed teddies to be won at stalls. We made it as far as the Big Wheel, from which we could see, for the first time, Anchorage's beautiful waterfront and beaches.
The evening finished off with a fireworks display over the sea, and then we took our numb feet home.