Denali National Park and Preserve and the Denali Borough communities are celebrating Alaska’s longest season during Winterfest 2012 on Friday, February 24 – Sunday, February 26. This long-running community-wide event features an array of activities, with something for all ages, interests, and abilities! The complete schedule is posted at www.nps.gov/dena.
Festivities kick off on Friday, February 24 at the McKinley Park Community Center with a dessert potluck at 6:30 pm, followed by a square dancing extravaganza with the Lost Dog String Band from Fairbanks at 7:30 pm.
Instruction will be provided, so there’s no excuse not to dance! The Community Center is located on the “Old Parks Highway” spur road at Mile 230 Parks Highway.
The National Park Service hosts a wide variety of activities on Saturday, February 25 from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm at or near the Murie Science and Learning Center located on the Denali Park Road. The day’s offerings include sled dog rides, ice carving demonstration, presentation by story teller Jack Dalton, ranger-guided snowshoe walk, snow sculpting contest, and a 5K family fun run/walk/ski/bike. Hot drinks and light refreshments are provided and a selection of park-related publications will be available for sale.
Saturday events continue in Healy, with chili cookoff at 4:00 pm, a free community chili feed beginning at 5:00 pm and a hockey game with the Healy Coal Queens at 6:00 pm. The evening will culminate with the second annual “Denali’s Got Talent!” competition beginning at 6:30 pm. These activities are taking place at the Tri-Valley Community Center at Mile 0.5 on the Healy Spur Road (Mile 248.8 Parks Highway).
Meals, lodging and other services are available year-round in the communities of Healy and Cantwell. 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, National Park Service, and Princess Tours.