Rendezvous is a winter celebration of Alaska's fur trapping
and trading heritage that is held in Anchorage each February.
The Fur Rendezvous dates from the 1930s; the Alaskan fur trade
dates back to the days when Alaska was a Russian territory.
Charles Dana, in his book Two Years Before the Mast,
tells of encountering a Russian fur trading vessel that had
come down from Kodiak, Alaska, to California in the 1830s. Fur
trapping continues in Alaska; animals that are infrequently
seen in the Lower 48 remain plentiful in Alaska today.
Fur Rendezvous provides Alaskans relief from the winter doldrums
with a carnival, fur auction, a ball, parade, snow sculpting
contest -- the photos above and at right are of entries in
recent contests -- the World Championship Sled Dog Race (not
to be confused with the Iditarod, this race consists of three
25-mile heats over the course of three days), fireworks, a
blanket toss, and more.
Below, a dog shows its strength by hauling a weight-filled sled a measured distance in the World Championship Dog Weight Pulling Contest.