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Check Out These Truly Bizarre Festivals And Events In Alaska

If you want to see something out of the ordinary on your next vacation, head up to Alaska. Every year, the Last Frontier hosts bizarre events and festivals that you definitely won't see anywhere else in America - or the rest of the world.

Here are five truly strange - but fun - Alaskan events and festivals. 

1. Running of the Reindeer

You've seen the running of the bulls in Spain, right? Well, Alaska has its own twist on the event. Every year, people gather in the streets of Anchorage to see if they can outrun herds of stampeding reindeer. The event is part of Anchorage's annual Fur Rendezvous, which takes place every year from the last week of February to the first week of March.

2. Running with the Bulls

Then there's the Alaskan version of the popular Spanish pastime. If you'd rather run from something with more girth, head 50 miles north of Anchorage and check the annual Running with the Bulls at the Musk Ox Farm in Palmer, Alaska. The event - which is held on the first Sunday of every August - features racers hoofing it alongside a herd of musk oxen - holdovers from the Ice Age that look like a woolly mammoth mated with a mountain goat.

But make sure to run with, not at them or you might get head-butted. Then your next trip will be the to the hospital.

3. Rubber Duck Racing

For a much, much less dangerous race, head to the Northwestern town of Nome on Labor Day, when locals gather for the annual Rubber Duck Race. Basically, people pay $5 to enter their duck in the race down Nome's Snake River. The first three winners receive cash prizes. And a "wild duck" picked at random will also receive prize money.

Now, there are other rubber-duck races in America. And the event has even appeared on "The Simpsons." But the one in Nome has been going on for 25 years now. And even if it isn't the oldest, it's definitely the northernmost race in the circuit.

4. Nome Bank Robbery

Bank robbers don't usually announce their next caper in advance. But in Nome, everyone knows that brigands will once again attempt to raid the town's Wells Fargo Bank on the Summer Solstice. The crooks dress up in old-timey attire for the event, which usually ends with a character dressed as former Nome resident Wyatt Earp shooting down the rascals in a showdown reminiscent of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

Afterward, the bank gives away loot bags of candy to kids in the crowd.

5. Burning of the Basket

In the Southcentral Alaska city of Homer, September is Burning Basket season. Basically, locals spend a week weaving a giant birch basket. Then they place personal notes and other decorations in it, take it out to the beach and burn it at sundown. Because fire is fun, we guess.

The event also features music, dancing and pyrotechnic performers with flaming batons. And no Nicolas Cages are harmed during the event (as far as we know).



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