WATCH: Arctic Valley welcomes visitors for 2019 Merry Marmot Festival

Published: Mar. 30, 2019 at 7:00 PM AKDT
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The Merry Marmot Festival serves as an annual springtime celebration of the quickly approaching end of the 2018-2019 ski season at Arctic Valley. The tradition continued this year despite the recent streak of warm temperatures.

"Hopefully the warm weather will bring people up," said Mark Heysell, a board member of the Anchorage Ski Club. "The skiing is great in the afternoon once the snows been softened up. It's been a good season, it's been tough on snow.

"There's been a lot of warm ups throughout the year and not a great snow fall up here," he said, "but it's still been a fun year."

The event usually draws a crowd of around four to five hundred people. Those who don't come to ski or snowboard are there to spectate for several events: tube rides, fat tire bike races and the ever-popular grand finale- the dummy launch, which requires teams to send a makeshift sled down the slopes, piloted by a dummy.

Heysell said that one of the most valuable aspects of the Merry Marmot festival is that it serves as a way to get a lot of people up to the local ski area for the first time.

"We hope the event brings up new people, so they can fall in love with the beauty of Arctic Valley," he said.