I was walking back to my car with the wife and kiddo at the end of the parade when some guy in a mini van pulled up next to us.
“What’s going no here? What is all this?” he asked, gesturing to the swarms of people and barricaded streets.
“It’s a parade!” I said. “Actually the 70th Annual Winter Parade,” I added, like I knew what I was talking about.
“Huh,” the guy said. “What’s it for?”
I had never thought about that before… “I don’t really know. They do it about this time every year — probably because it’s winter time and everybody is looking for something to do.”
He sort of chuckled and I kept on walking. But, it turns out, I was pretty much right. According to the website for the 70th Anniversary Winter Carnival Celebration, the parade and other shindigs around town are put on so that people have something to do in the dead of winter in our small town at the end of the road in Alaska.
What I didn’t realize is how much other stuff beside just the parade happens over the same weekend — horse rides, ice car races, music, a scavenger hunt, and even a high school basketball tournament (which may or may not be a coincidence).
It’s cool though. It’s pretty fun for something to do during a time of year when there’s really not a ton to do in town. Another thing that’s always unpredictable in Alaska any time of year is the weather. This year the stars aligned and the sleety rain subsided just before the parade and started up again not long after, and the sun even peaked through for a few brief minutes.