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Blanket Toss Event, 1957
Blanket Toss Event, 1957 Photo - Ward Wells

Anchorage Fur Rendezvous

This ten-day celebration of the end of winter begins on the second Friday in February. The Anchorage Fur Rendezvous is based on the gatherings between the mountain men, Natives and fur traders who tried to tame the Alaskan wilderness and extract its treasures. Each year, trappers agreed to meet in a designated place in the early spring to exchange their winter's kill for cash, whiskey and supplies. By the 1930s, the rendezvous was relegated to the history books as the days of old-time grizzled fur traders gave way to more modern trappers and fur buyers. During the early 1930s, a group of more contemporary pioneers riding the train from Fairbanks to Anchorage rekindled the idea of a rendezvous. From its origin in 1935 as a "Winter Carnival" -- renamed the "Fur Rendezvous" in 1938 to bring fur buyers and trappers into town for a celebration -- the Rondy has evolved to a full-fledged Anchorage cultural event with 120 events ranging from skiing, snowboarding, hockey, boxing, one-dog children's sled race, and open-class sled dog race for adults to a bonfire and torchlight parade. It has been named one of the top ten winter festivals in the country by both the Northwest Festival Association and International Festival Association.

Project documentation comprises 13 black-and-white 8 x 10 photographs and three color slides with descriptions; a seven-page report; copies of newspaper articles; and a TV news story on videotape from February 10, 1999 entitled "Fur Rondy History."

Originally submitted by: Frank Murkowski, Senator.

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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