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Contact: Kris Fister, (907) 683-9583
Celebrate the 11th Annual Winterfest!
Denali National Park and Preserve, its partners, and the Denali Borough communities invite the public to celebrate Alaska’s longest season during Winterfest 2011, which is taking place Friday, February 25 - Sunday, February 27. The Winterfest schedule contains an array of events for all ages, interests, and abilities. New offerings include a star gazing party, presentation on mountaineering in Denali, and a talent competition. The complete schedule of activities is posted at www.nps.gov/dena .
Festivities kick off on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the McKinley Park Community Center with local resident Ree Nancarrow’s reminiscence on the changes in the community she and her family have experienced during 50+ years they have lived in the area. A dessert potluck prior to the program begins at 7:00 p.m. The Community Center is located on the spur road one-half mile from the Parks Highway at Mile 230.
The National Park Service hosts a wide variety of events on Saturday, February 26 from
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at or near the Murie Science and Learning Center on the Denali Park Road. Offerings include sled dog rides, ranger-guided snowshoe walk, ice carving demonstration, snow sculpting contest, 5K family fun run/walk/ski/bike, quilt exhibit (with voting for your favorite), and indoor presentations. Hot drinks and light refreshments are provided and a selection of park-related publications will be available for sale.
The Healy community is also hosting Saturday activities, including hockey games, a dessert sale, face painting and other children’s activities. Saturday will be topped off with a free community chili dinner beginning at 5:30 p.m. and the “Denali’s Got Talent!” contest from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Both events are taking place in the Tri-Valley Community Center, located at Mile 0.5 on the Healy Spur Road (Mile 248.8 Parks Highway). The celebration continues with an 1980s party at the 49th State Brewing Company from 8:00 p.m. – midnight. Dress in ‘80s style and you might win a prize!
Meals, lodging and other services are available year-round in the communities of Healy and Cantwell. The Riley Creek Campground in the park is open for free camping – a vault toilet is provided for winter campers and water can be obtained at the Murie Science and Learning Center.
Winterfest is a community-wide event made possible with the assistance of Alaska Geographic, Denali Borough, Denali Borough School District, Denali Chamber of Commerce, Denali Education Center, Doyon/ARAMARK Joint Venture, National Park Service, and Princess Tours. For Winterfest Celebration information call the Murie Science and Learning Center at (907) 683-9532 from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. daily.