Fur Rondy cancels 2021 Open World Championship Sled Dog Race due to COVID-19

Published: Nov. 17, 2020 at 5:43 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Some Fur Rendezvous 2021 events have been canceled in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2021 Anchorage Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race has been canceled, Greater Anchorage, Inc. and the Alaskan Sled Dog and Racing Association announced Tuesday.

Due to the large number of spectators the race brings, as well as the requirements for the race, the organizations decided to nix the event.

“We could just not come up with a way of doing any tracking of the spectators who might be two, three, or four people deep along 4th Avenue,” said Fur Rondy Executive Director John McCleary.

The announcement comes shortly after the cancellation of the Open World Championship Sled Dog Races.

Mushers can still compete in the Outhouse Races, but not downtown. Those will now take place at Anchorage Football Stadium, along with other outdoor events. The Melodrama and the Great Alaska Talent Competition will go virtual.

“Having them, the spectators, sitting in the bleachers where we can control as far as having masks and safety precautions in this COVID climate,” McCleary said.

The carnival will remain along with several other outdoor events, including the ice sculpture competition, and outdoor hockey.

“Running of the Critters, that was on 4th Avenue, we’ll probably be doing that along the Park Strip,” said McCleary. “We are morphing events as much as we can, but, staying in the tradition of fun for families and children.”

As organizers re-imagine Fur Rondy during the pandemic.

Fur Rondy will take place from Feb. 26 to March 7.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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