Many of the state and local events that were originally established by Alaskans for their own entertainment have begun to attract tourists. The Anchorage Fur Rendezvous is a week-long celebration in February featuring fur auctions, sled-dog races, fireworks, and outdoor games. Ice carvers from around the world compete in the Fairbanks Ice Art Competition in March. People come from many parts of the world to participate in Alaskan dog mushing competitions, including the extremely difficult Yukon Quest and Iditarod races. In May, while some enjoy the Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival celebrating the migrating shorebirds, the hardiest souls are braving the frigid waters of the Bering Sea during the Polar Bear Swim in Nome.
Alaska summers are filled with fairs, rodeos, and midnight sun fun. Fairbanks, Nome, and Anchorage each hold festivities during the summer solstice in June. Gold Rush Days in Juneau, held in late June, and Golden Days in Fairbanks, in July, commemorate the gold rush days with logging and mining skill events. Marathons are run in Seward in July and Fairbanks in September. Valdez, Seward, and other coastal communities have salmon and halibut derbies all summer long. Many communities hold fairs in the month of August, including Alaska state fairs in Palmer, Haines, and Fairbanks. Autumn months bring festivals such as Sitka’s Alaska Day, commemorating the day the United States purchased Alaska from Russia, the Alaska Bald Eagle Festival, held in Haines near where thousands of bald eagles gather in the peak of winter, and the Bachelor Society Ball/Wilderness Women’s Contests, in Talkeetna. "USA" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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