Dog Fans Expected to Rush and Mush to IditaZoo
ANCHORAGE—As Alaskans celebrate the state’s official sport over the next couple of weeks, the Alaska Zoo will mark the “Last Great Race” with its own Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race celebration. The annual IditaZoo event on Saturday, March 9, lets aspiring mushers of all ages join the action. From noon to 4 p.m., attendees can “race” through zoo grounds, stopping at “checkpoints” along the way, as the zoo’s education team shares fun facts and history about the Iditarod.
IditaZoo includes hands-on activities with dog mushing equipment and talks with local musher Eddie Duque, who will share stories about life on the trail with sled dogs. At education action stations, attendees can discover the importance of pet care, learn the meaning of mushing terms and test your Iditarod knowledge. Throughout the day, there will be arts, crafts, and a special sled dog Storytime program in the zoo’s greenhouse.
“From following the mushers to meeting the dogs, excitement around the Iditarod is contagious. It’s one of the most riveting sports worldwide, but in Alaska it represents even more,” says Alaska Zoo Education Director Stephanie Hartman. “The Iditarod embodies our state’s rich history, unique culture, tight-knit communities and unwavering determination. The zoo is proud to offer a fun event to celebrate our official state sport with visitors.”
All IditaZoo activities are included in the price of regular zoo admission. Scheduled activities include a Critter Chat with a zookeeper at 11:30 a.m., and a special sled dog Storytime program for toddlers and kids at 2 p.m. Specific details about additional scheduled activities will be posted for visitors at the event. More information is available at AlaskaZoo.org.
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The Alaska Marine Lifeline
The current conversation Alaskans are having was spurred by Governor Mike Dunleavy’s initial budget proposal for 2020, which would cut funding to the AMHS by 75 percent and essentially end most operations by October.