A friend of mine recently asked me to come with her to the Wild Ride Sled Dog Rodeo. She is a tour guide and she sometimes gets free tickets to things like flightseeing, rafting and other excursions. The idea is that if the tour guides enjoy the show, they’ll talk it up to their customers who would then purchase tickets to see it themselves.
Once I found out that this was a dinner show, of course I said yes. I’m not one to pass up a free meal.
So we headed over to the show, which is in downtown Anchorage near the Ulu Factory. The tourists were thick in the waiting area, and we decided that we fit in pretty well except that we weren’t sporting an Alaskan hat or T-shirt.
A young man let us in to where they keep the puppies, and I got a few pictures. There were two pens of puppies- one with 5-week old puppies and one with 9-day-old puppies. They were so cute I almost stuffed one of them in my purse.
After holding the 9-day-old puppies, we got to visit with the 5-week-old puppies for a few minutes before heading in to the show. This was the cutest one:
We were called into the arena (a gravel-covered oval with bleachers) and the show began. The operation is owned and operated by Dallas and Jen Seavey, son and daughter-in-law of Mitch Seavey, an Iditarod veteran. In 2005, Dallas was the youngest person to ever run the Iditarod and in 2009, he came in 6th place. He is only 22 years old.
The show consists of mushers racing around the track on dog sleds, a weight pull, and a lead dog steering demonstration. My favorite part was when they hooked up a full team of 16 dogs and they pulled a 10,000 lb truck out of the arena.
Jen Seavey and Hugo, the star of the movie “Snow Buddies”
After the show, we were invited into a tent which was decked out and served a delicious meal of roast beef, potatoes and sauteed vegetables. The chocolate cake with raspberry sauce was to die for. During dinner, Jen and Dallas mingled with the crowd, answering questions and visiting. After dinner, they told the story of how Dallas came in 6th place this year, which was fascinating. We also watched a great video about the Iditarod on flat screen TV’s.
I would definitely recommend this show to visitors from out of state, but as an Alaskan, I found it interesting and entertaining, too. I do have to admit, though, that snuggling the puppies was my favorite part.