Alaska in the full flavor of pre-spring. Of course, we don't call it spring. Maybe it's one more act of refusal to conform, but in Alaska, it's called break-up. It's the time of year that rivers and snow begin to break-up. But what exactly does that mean to those of us who call "Seward's Icebox" our home?
- Nenana Ice Classic Tickets are on sale. The event is a State lottery of sorts. The goal is to place the closest guess as to when a large tripod will fall through the ice on the part of the Tanana River that flows through the small town of Nenana. Winners take home thousands of dollars annually. I've never played.
- Bad road conditions. "The brakes are not your friends" phrase is commonly heard at this time of year. In fact, Mom hit a moose with her Subaru last week. She's the first of the family to do so in the nearly 20 years we've been here! She and her car were unscratched. The moose, however, broke both her hind legs and had to be shot. In Alaska, churches are called to salvage all moose road kills, including Mom's.
- Ice Alaska: The world ice art championships are held in Fairbanks, Alaska. The "coolest" part of this is the kid's park. Fit for all ages, giant ice slides tower above smaller playground equipment: all made of ice. If you aren't up for a trip to Alaska in March, you can visit the Fairbanks Ice Museum from May-September. Though it doesn't hold many sculptures, there is an ice slide, to give you a taste of the real deal.
- Daylight Saving Time: Alright, some of our legislators are lobbying to get rid of the tradition, but I love it! Sure, in the dead of winter it is dark all the time, and in the middle of summer, we never see the stars, but this time of year, I just like seeing the sun still up at 9pm.
- Fur Rendezvous: Another event I've never taken part in, though this one sounds GREAT! Held in downtown, Anchorage, participants are welcomed to join in a variety of winter games such as dog sledding and reindeer races.
- March Madness at Birch Hill Ski and Snowboard Area: Located on Ft. Wainwright, this is a local favorite. Events include everything from pudding eating contests to ski-n-surf. It is held the last weekend of March.
- Dog weight-pull championships: The Fairbanks events are usually held in the Bentley Mall parking lot. This is a really fun event to watch or participate in. Dogs compete to see which can pull the sled carrying the most weight. Any dog can participate!
- Mush For Kids: This event is held at what I must grit my teeth and call "Pioneer Park" (formerly known as "Alaska Land"). It is free event to support the Alaska Children's Trust. Various vendors provide free services for children such as dog sled rides, hockey, puppy petting, crafts, etc.
Though there must be countless more community events happening, I'll end my list here. What I enjoy most this time of year is the water dripping from my roof, the sun shining past 9pm, taking my own dogs on dog sled rides, wearing a light jacket and Crocs to town, and just knowing summer is weeks away!