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Fur Rondy events abound with more to come

By Emilie Mesner

Update: 45 a few minutes ago Published: 45 a few minutes ago

Snow sculptures take shape, funnel cakes are devoured, furs are auctioned by the minute: Fourrure Rondy is officially in full swing.

“It’s a fun time to socialize,” said Richard Jackson as he stood, draped in furs, and waited for his food at a nearby stand in downtown Anchorage. “Everyone is so open to conversation. We like that.”

Fur Rendezvous events have been dotted throughout the previous days, but this weekend marks the biggest round of festivities yet. There’s ice bowling, snowshoe softball, sled dog racing, a fun run, parade, and fireworks, to name a few.

The Outhouse Races drew large crowds to Fourth Avenue after the day’s sled dog races ended.

Ten teams participated in the event and raced in homemade outhouses for first place glory and a toilet paper trophy.

A dog named Hippo even got in on the action. Accompanied by Shana Kent, the couple sat in their addiction and took part in the race, which drew laughter and praise from the emcee and the audience.

At the snow sculpting, the artists kicked things off on Saturday afternoon as the competition drew to a close. The warm weather allowed for difficult snow conditions, as carvers struggled to work out details and maintain structural integrity.

“This is probably, I would say, the worst year ever,” sculptor Dannelle Mellor said as she worked on her sculpture Thursday afternoon. “The inside of these blocks is like a Tootsie Pop.”

Mellor has competed in all divisions of the Alaska State Snow Carving Championship and boasts of the community of carvers who work with her and her family.

Sculptor Guy Urban echoed his statements. “Everything is gooey and gooey,” he said. “It melts as fast as you do.”

A few snow blocks away, three Tiki totem poles were carved out of the 8-foot-by-8-foot snow block by Kenna Bates and her in-laws, Art and Marilyn Carpenter. On Saturday night, Bates sat in a lawn chair next to the sculpture, waiting for the fireworks to begin. After the exhibition began, she took photos as fireworks lit up the sky behind her artwork.

For a full list of Fur Rondy events, click here.

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