Visitors lucky enough to be in Anchorage March 4th are in for a real treat—it’s Iditarod Day! The famous festival showcases the culture, story, dance, games, art and films of Alaska’s indigenous people. Celebrations take place from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Alaska Native Heritage Center. However, the real stars of the day are the beloved sled dogs. Meet and greet the state’s beloved unofficial mascots, and watch these four-legged athletes in action.

These sled dogs are responsible for the state’s most iconic winter events, and it all starts on the first Saturday each March. The first race kicks off at 10 a.m., and you can watch it happen on Fourth Avenue at D Street. You won’t want to miss this 11-mile journey.

March In Like a Sled Dog

The local mushers and their dogs showcase the kind of speed and agility necessary for the genuine 1,000+ mile trek to Nome. Local companies offer snowmobiling tours to keep pace with the teams, or you can secure a spot in one of the Iditarod “sled baskets” during the ceremonial one-mile start. (However, for this honor, you will need to plan for next year—they’re only auctioned off in December!)

Prepare for Iditarod with one of the other local events like Fur Rendezvous. One of the biggest winter events in the world takes place right here in Alaska and includes 10 consecutive days of fun, games and cheer beginning March 1st. Catch the Running of the Reindeer, the Charlotte Jensen Native Arts Market and the Snow Sculpture Competition.