Alaska is known for its quirky festivals and celebrations. The creativity of the locals seems to bloom during the long winter months. I have discovered some events that range from unusual to downright odd.
The Cordova Ice Worm Festival has been held in Alaska since 1961. A couple of the locals were looking for a way to break up the long winter months and they came up with the Ice Worm Festival. The most popular event is the Miss Ice Worm pageant. However, you will also get a few laughs at the beard contest and paper airplane competition.
The Fur Rendezvous has been held in Anchorage since 1935. The locals call this celebration the Fur Rondy. There are quite a few events held at this event. You may want to begin with the Rondy Costume crawl before heading over to the snow sculpture championship or the Fur Rondy Pin Swap. Other events include the Frostbite Footrace and the Rondy Carnival. You definitely won’t want to miss the Rondy Fireworks at the end of the ten days of fun.
Over in Nenana, you will want to be around for Tripod Days. This event has been held in Nenana since 1906. No one ever knows for sure when the exact Tripod Days will be each year, so this is an Alaskan event that is difficult to plan ahead for.
A tripod is placed on the ice of the Tanana River. People then start to place bets on when the ice will begin to break up for the year. The ice normally doesn’t begin to break until the middle of April, but it could be later many years.
There is a line attached to the tripod and the nearby Ice Classic Tower. There is an actual clock inside the tower that will stop once the tripod moves the designated one hundred feet.
Chatanika Days are held in Fairbanks every winter. Multiple events take place during Chatanika Days. But the highlight is definitely the outhouse racing.
The Wilderness Women Contest & Bachelor Auction & Ball is held every year in Talkeetna. The Wilderness Women Contest is for all women age twenty-one and over. Those who enter the contest must have true Alaskan grit to win!
Over at the Bachelor Auction & Ball, you will watch Talkeetna bachelors get auctioned off to the highest bidder. The Bachelor Ball begins right after the auction ends.
The World Ice Carving Championship is held every year in Fairbanks. This is the most intense ice carving event in the world. This competition is held at the Tanana Valley Fairgrounds. The event begins in the middle of February and continues until the middle of March. If the weather cooperates, the ice sculptures stay in place until the end of March.
Three ice carving events are part of this championship. They include the Multi-Block Classic, Double-Block Classic, and Single-Block Classic. There is an award ceremony after each one. You may also enjoy the Military Appreciation Day, Youth Classic, Kid’s Day, and UAF Day.
Chickenstock is a strange festival that happens in the very small town of Chicken. This festival is held on a weekend during the month of June. Hundred of people arrive for this world music festival. While the bluegrass and folk music may seem normal, it is the people that make this event strange. Everyone is encouraged to dress up as chickens. And of course, the chicken dance is a must.
There are years when this festival gets even stranger too. During those years, a plane flies above and drops marshmallow Peeps down to the people dressed as chickens.
These are seven of the quirky festivals and celebrations in Alaska. I have to say, they are definitely unique and classic Alaska! I know I would love to attend at least one of them, but what about you?? Attending one of these festivals is easy when you do a road trip in Alaska. Check out my post Everything you Must Know About A Road Trip in Alaska to find out more.
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