Sled dog symposium plannes in Willow
©2011 Husky Productions/Donna Quante
The Willow Dog Mushers Association is offering the Association K9 Athlete Symposium Sept, 24 at the Willow Community Center, Milepost 69.7 of the Parks Hwy. Ownership of a sled dog is not required to participate, and earlier registration saves money.
The day begins with registration in the community center starting at 9 a.m. Check out the vendors, silent auction items, and the “Parade of Dogs” there as well. The kitchen will be open all day for anyone needing a cup of coffee or some food.Then, cruise the parking area for the gear swap. Here you’ll find mushing related items and general merchandise to barter or buy. Some valuable items at a decent price are always here.
Back inside the community center, choose from many hands on seminars that will benefit anyone who plays in the outdoors of Alaska. Learn how to use a GPS with Vic Stanculescu; Extreme Weather Outdoor Survival with John Wilber; Canine Massage and Acupressure with Susan Whiton DVM; and Basic Wilderness Medicine with Paul Forman and Dianne Maythorne. Behind the community center are demonstrations from experts for all kinds of dog lovers: Nose Work with Claudia Sihler; and Dirt Dogs with the Anchorage Skijor Club. From these, you may find activities you want to try with your dog. Or try learning about: Emergency Shelters, Fires and Knots with volunteers from the North American Outdoors Institute AK. These seminars will repeat three times so you can visit at least three of them.
At 1 p.m. the Official Symposium kick off takes place in the main hall. Welcoming remarks and presentations will be made. Taking the stage will be keynote speaker, 2011 Iditarod Champion, John Baker. We are very pleased that John, who is the first Alaskan Native to win the Iditarod, will join us. We feel his speech will be quite inspirational. There will also be time for a Q&A, so get your questions ready!
Following John, will be a series of panel discussions that include: What Does It Take to Break Into the Top Ten with panelists: John Baker, Dallas Seavey, Ramey Smith and DeeDee Jonrowe; Challenging Your Personal Status Quo with panelists to be announced; Best Sled For Your Purpose - Design and Function with Bernie Willis and Cody Strathe.
Outdoor activities will continue with: Military K9 Unit Demo with the Elmendorf Air Force K9 Unit; Harness Fit and Function with John Baker, Martin Buser, Dallas Seavey, Egil Ellis and Kelly Griffin; and High Flying Disc Dog Demo with Will and Chanelle Barron, the 2010 Alaska Skyhoundz Champion. We have champions everywhere today!
Closing the day program will be a panel we call: Gathering of 2011 Champions with John Baker, Egil Ellis and Dallas Seavey. We feel so fortunate to have the 2011 Iditarod, Yukon Quest, and Fur Rondy and ONAC champions together on our stage.
But, it’s really not the end. At this time, there will be a live auction of Sled Dogs On Parade. These life size wooden dogs are made by Dale Evans. This was a huge fundraiser for the association last year and a raucous time. The bidding became fast and furious with lots of laughter and fun. The dogs will be on display all day. The session finishes up with any silent auction items and closing remarks.
We’ll have a bit of time for dinner concessions and a social hour before clearing the hall for our evening presentation, PAMYUA. This is a new event for us and it is made possible, in part, by generous contributions from an anonymous donor, Willow Area Community Organization (WACO) and Vern Halter: Dream-A-Dream Dog Farm. We thank them all!
Pamyua is the band who played for John Baker as he drove his team down Front Street in Nome to win the 2011 Iditarod. From Wikipedia:” Pamyua’s music is self-described as “tribal funk” and “world music”. Most of their songs are based on traditional Yupik, Inuit and Greenlandic chants, but the group is well-known for reinterpreting them in modern styles, such as the song “Cayauqa Nauwa”, which has been performed a cappella (mengluni, 1998) and with Pacific Islander influences (Caught in the Act, 2003), as well as traditionally (Drums of the North, 2005).”
Pamyua is separate from the symposium, with separate charges. Seating is limited, so ordering tickets early is recommended. Adults can buy one ticket and get one free child (under 12) ticket if reserved at the same time.
Prices for the symposium and Pamyua can be found at www.willowdogmushers.org/Symposium.html Prices go up by $10 for all events after Sept. 19.
On the website is the full agenda, registration forms and vendor forms.
For information about the symposium, email the symposium chairperson, Janet Sweeney:firstname.lastname@example.org
Vendors should contact Jenny Evans: email@example.com.