Official State of Alaska Vacation and Travel Information
Chugach National Forest
by: Michael DeYoung
by: Frank Flavin
Today Anchorage is a busy city of over 280,000 people with a plethora of winter recreation options. But in the 1930s, the town's 3,000 residents were looking to add a little spice to the winter season. Anchorage Fur Rendezvous, or Rondy as the locals call it, is the brainchild of a group of friends who began a three-day sporting event to coincide with the time that the miners and trappers came to town to sell their furs. Since then, Rondy has grown into a 10-day soirée earning international attention and drawing visitors from around the world. In February 2010, Rondy will celebrate its 75th anniversary, making it one of North America's longest running winter festivals.
While Alaska has been an official state for only 50 years, a handful of its national parks actually predate statehood. Alaska's oldest federally designated park, Sitka National Historical Park, will turn 100 in March 2010. The 113-acre park was established in 1910 to commemorate the 1804 Battle of Sitka, the last major conflict between Russia and the Alaska Natives. Visitors can celebrate the centennial celebration in Sitka in a variety of ways.
One historic street in Skagway immortalizes an important part of Alaska's history, the Gold Rush. Recently, the American Panning Association designated Broadway Street as one of the "10 Great Streets for 2009" as part of the association's Great Places in America program. Broadway is the first street in Alaska to receive this designation. A unique example of Alaska's Gold Rush history with its boardwalks and false front buildings, the street is also a part of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, Alaska's most-visited national park.
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