ANCHORAGE - So far this month, we’ve seen Groundhog’s Day, Valentine’s Day and of course, today, President's Day.
That can mean only one thing: It’s time for the 2013 Fur Rendezvous.
Preparations are well under way.
Whether it's reindeer running, sled dogs mushing or even outhouses racing, Fur Rondy is a pick-me-up right at the point that Anchorage residents are starting to tire of winter.
"It really increases the traffic,” said Buzzy Rohlfing, owner of The Bear Square. “I think it's great for the community, you know. It’s been pretty cold lately and now we're going to have something to do during the weekend. The fireworks always have been a great turnout for everybody. And of course we have the carnival down here and all the events. And it works out pretty darn good."
Snow carvers already are competing in a parking lot near Ship Creek.
"I'm hoping it's going to be geisha girl playing a flute, kneeling down, so we'll see, we'll see,” said veteran competitor Guy Urban. “It might turn out to be a giant rabbit, but my plan is to make a geisha girl."
While Fur Rondy organizers are excited, they say there's not going to be anything really new. They’re going to stick with the tried and true.
"Right now, it's still open. All of our registrations are open,” McCleary said. “Whether you're coming out to the ball, the ballroom, for the Miners and Trappers Ball, to the Jim Beam Jam or to be doing the snowball battle up at Hilltop. So all of our registrations are open, and we're hoping the public will come out, because we have snow now."
Ten years ago, a study concluded that Fur Rondy generated about $16 million in additional business activity.
"We currently are going to be doing another economic impact study this Rondy, through the Visit Anchorage group, and we'll have a better feel of that come this summer," McCleary said.
But whether it’s for love or money, Fur Rondy is an Anchorage mainstay.
The ten-day festival begins Friday.