When it comes to breaking up winter's chilly grasp, Soldotna had its Peninsula Winter Games. Homer had its Winter Carnival. Now it's Anchor Point's turn with the annual 2011 Anchor Point Chamber of Commerce Snow Rondi beginning Thursday and continuing through Sunday, Feb. 24-27.
Organized around this year's theme -- a little touch of heaven -- the fun begins with Thursday evening's auction and finally wraps up at Sunday's awards ceremony. The jam-packed schedule promises a heavenly good time, but there's nothing little about it.
Kicking off the Snow Rondi is an auction at Anchor River Inn at 7 p.m. Thursday. Bidders choose from a variety of items donated by local merchants. They also have the opportunity to bid on a pool player looking for sponsorship in the Friday night pool tournament.
A talent show also is on the Friday night schedule. Unlike the recent Cabin Fever Variety Show, a fundraiser for the Anchor Point Public Library that highlights talent of all ages, the spotlight Friday will focus on the younger set.
"It's just little kids who want to get out there and it's adorable," said Debbie Poindexter, Chapman School secretary and organizer of the event.
As a peek at what's on the program, Poindexter said some young musicians are ready to step up to the microphone. One youngster has signed up to display her new jump-roping skills.
Rondi visitors can get Saturday off to a tummy-filling start by stopping at the Anchor Point Senior Center for breakfast anytime between 9 a.m. and noon. It's an all-you-can-eat spread for $6. Treats to take home or enjoy during the Rondi can be purchased at the Beta Sigma Phi bake sale beginning at 10 a.m. at the Anchor Point Visitor Center.
Fire trucks, a color guard and other entries begin lining up for the parade at Petro Express at 10 a.m., with the parade starting at 10:30 a.m. The Sterling Highway route, south to the parking area near Anchor River Inn, allows spectators plenty of room to wave at parade participants and scoop of handfuls of candy tossed to the crowd.
Pinewood derby entries are on the starting line in Chapman School gym at 11 a.m., with weigh-in at 10:30 a.m. The action, which seems to get faster each year, and close competition, requires officials to use computers to determine winners.
While the Pinewood derby has proven a crowd-pleasing event in past years, there also are snowshoe and ski biathlons, archery turkey shoots, ski races and ice bowling to fill the day. Adults, those with any energy left, can whoop it up at the Snow Rondi Dance, 8 p.m., Anchor River Inn.
"There's a costume contest that's mostly about the theme of the Rondi," said dance coordinator Jennifer Clutts, hinting that costumes should have a celestial touch.
Live country and rock 'n roll music will keep the action going, with prizes awarded for such competitions as longest hair, longest beard, best costume and a possible limbo contest. The music begins at 8 p.m. and continues until last-call at 1 a.m.
Another hearty breakfast gets things started Sunday at the senior center, followed by snowmachine races for youth up to age 8 with a noon sign-up. The Mountain Man Classic begins with a 10 a.m. safety meeting.
After a one-year absence, the popular dog show is back on the Rondi program, complete with tricks, costumes, biggest, smallest and pet-person look alikes. In the past, the event has never failed to draw a crowd, making it a good idea to arrive at Chapman School gym early enough to find a seat.
"Yes, the dog show is back," said Poindexter. "It begins at 2 p.m. and all proceeds go to the Homer Animal Shelter."
Pre-registration is required. Call Chapman School for information, (907) 235-8671.
The Pa Haga Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10221 serves a community fish fry at 4 p.m.
Finally, a button raffle and awards ceremony wraps up the Rondi at the Anchor River Inn beginning at 5:30 p.m. Sunday. This year's Rondi button was designed by Chapman first-grader Mason Baker. The buttons, with numbers written on the back, are available at Anchor Point businesses for $2 each. Winning numbers will be drawn Sunday, with three prizes and a split-the-pot awarded.
It is the first year the Rondi has enjoyed the support of a sponsor. VFW Post 10221 has stepped up to the plate with financial support for Rondi expenses.
"This is new for the chamber," said Jonni Roos, chamber spokesperson. "We also are trying to get sponsors for every event this year and so far, so good."
For more information on the 2011 Anchor Point Chamber of Commerce Snow Rondi, call the chamber at (907) 235-2600. For a schedule of events, visit the chamber's website, www.anchorpointchamber.org.
McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at email@example.com.
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