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Contact: Kris Fister, (907) 683-9583
Denali National Park and Preserve and the Denali Borough communities invite all who love winter to come celebrate Alaska’s longest season at Winterfest 2015, taking place Thursday, February 26 - Sunday, March 1. This long-running community-wide event features an array of activities, with something for all ages, interests, and abilities! Browse the schedule with times and details of activities.
Festivities begin on Thursday, February 26 with an evening presentation at the Murie Science and Learning Center (MSLC) by winter Artist-in-Residence and photographer Camille Seaman.
The Winterfest weekend kicks off on Friday, February 27 with a homebrew and appetizer completion and potluck at the McKinley Park Community Center, followed by live acoustic music. Join a nearby star gazing party later in the evening, weather permitting.
The National Park Service is offering a wide variety of activities on Saturday, February 28. The day’s offerings include an ice carving demonstration by master carver Larry Moen, sled dog rides, a demonstration of “Life on the Mountain” by a NPS mountaineering ranger, ranger-led snowshoe walk, snow sculpting contest, children’s activities, presentation on Japan’s winter wildlife by local author and photographer Tom Walker, and a talk on Denali weather by Dr. David Arnold, former professor of Meteorology and Geosciences. Hot drinks and light lunch refreshments are provided by park concessioner Doyon/ARAMARK Joint Venture, and a selection of park-related publications and other items is available for sale at the Alaska Geographic bookstore.
Weather permitting, the Denali Park Road will be open to the public as far as the Mountain Vista Rest Area (Mile 12). The National Park Service will offer two activities in that area Saturday afternoon - a 5K ski race and tour (snow conditions permitting), and an open house at the historic Savage River Cabin used by rangers during winter patrols. The rest area has vault toilets and picnic shelters, and is an ideal location for viewing Mt. McKinley (weather permitting), and heading out to explore the park via snowshoes, skis or sled dogs.
Events continue Saturday evening in Healy with a community chili dinner (a fundraiser for local student groups), the return of Healy’s Got Talent, and live music. These activities are all taking place at the Tri-Valley Community Center.
On Sunday, March 1 events wrap up with a late morning fun ski from the Stampede Road and an afternoon family friendly “Frozenfest” at the Tri-Valley Library in Healy.
Meals, lodging and other services are available year-round in the communities of Healy and Cantwell. The Bear Loop of the park’s Riley Creek Campground 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 made possible with the assistance of Alaska Geographic, Denali Borough, Denali Borough School District, Denali Education Center, Doyon/Aramark Joint Venture, Friends of Stampede, Holland America-Princess, National Park Service, and the Tri-Valley Community Library.