Some people avoid winter at all costs, but many adventurous souls embrace winter with activities, festivals and winter carnivals across the United States. If you are traveling cross country this winter, or if you are looking for a way to enjoy the season, take in one of these options for winter fun.
Since it’s beginning in the 1930’s, the Fur Rendezvous has evolved into a 10-day celebration of Alaskan life that by necessity, embraces winter. This event’s highlights include the running of the reindeer and sled dog races that draw mushers from around the world. This Alaskan “Rondy” has remained true to its roots with a lineup of outdoor winter sports such as snowshoe softball, ice hockey, and a frostbite footrace. Feb. 22 to Mar. 3, 2013.
Saranac Lake, New York
Folks in the east enjoy the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival in the Adirondack wilderness. This festival includes traditional winter sports competitions; alpine and Nordic skiing, children’s skating races, and curling, as well as offbeat contests, such as the women’s frying pan toss. A themed parade adds to the fun — 2013 Theme: “Under The Sea”. This “longest-running event of its kind,” involves many local volunteers who build a huge ice palace from thousands of blocks of ice harvested from Lake Flower. Feb. 1-10th.
St. Paul, Minnesota
For more than a century locals and visitors celebrate Saint Paul’s unique history and heritage through fun and educational experiences at the Winter Carnival. March in torch-lit parades, run half-marathons, play winter games, slide the toboggan slides, and view detailed ice sculptures from Jan. 24 to Feb. 3.
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Events range from ski-jumping to slalom mountain biking at the Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival demonstrating the western region’s rich winter sports heritage. A muzzle-loading mountain man biathlon occurs with participants clad in vintage fur-trapper outfits compete in marksmanship and Nordic skiing. This event draws some serious athletes. Enjoy a ski parade, tubing party, and quirky street contests, including a donkey jump, a shovel race, and a 25-yard dash with dogs pulling cute kids on toboggans. Feb. 6-10th.
For more than 50 years the residents of Whitefish, Montana, have feted Ullr, the legendary god of snow who lives in nearby Big Mountain. This season they celebrate with Pirates on Parade, in an annual weekend of street and ski parades; winter sports contests in ski-racing and skijoring, in which skiers are towed by horses, and the annual Penguin Plunge, a frigid dip in Whitefish Lake. Starts Jan 4th ending Feb. 1-3rd.
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