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Strange Things About Alaskans – According to The Lower 48

Apparently, there are things about Alaskans that people from the lower 48 find weird. However, to us locals, these things are perfectly normal! In fact, these Alaskan traditions are simply what makes us special!

Everyone loves a traditional wedding complete with white gown, bridesmaid’s dresses, and tuxedos. However, Alaskans take great pride in their matrimonial tradition of wearing Xtra Tuffs to their wedding! Yes, Xtra Tuffs…also known as “Sitka Sneakers”. You may have also heard of people that work on the slope? Well, “slopers” typically work 6 months out of the year but get paid for a full year’s salary! Hearing somebody say they work 2 on and 2 off is everyday speak for somebody who goes up to the North Slope, works 2 weeks, then flies home for 2 weeks, and then turns around and does it all again. What about normal attire for the winter season? Well, we Alaskans like to think we are actually tougher than most polar bears and have decided that shorts and t-shirts are appropriate for any temperature over 30 degrees! Have you ever called in late to work? Because a moose was on your front porch and you couldn’t get out your front door? Yeah, that’s a thing here! Let’s talk fishing, Alaskans do it a little differently than the rest of the US. We simply go down to the beach with our 18-foot dipnets, take a stroll along the edge, and drag the dipnet in the water. Then, aftera bout 10 yards or so, we bring in the net to reveal 5 or 6 lovely salmon and call it a day! Easy peasy! Most of the “lower 48ers” or what Alaskans affectionately refer to as “outsiders”, would plan a vacation around traveling to a beautiful island getaway or maybe skiing in the mountains. Alaskans plan their vacation around when the reds are running. That’s right! We must be sure to hit the Kenai River at exactly the right time to limit out on red salmon!

While all of these little details are proof of how unique us Alaskans really are, nothing compares to one of the biggest events of the year that kicks off right in downtown Anchorage! It’s called the Iditarod, the Last Great Race. To start this spectacular event, we host the annual Fur Rendezvous, or better known to us as The Fur Rondy. It’s 2 weeks packed with dancing, blanket toss, food, fur trading, ice skating, food, sledding, cross country skiing, outhouse races, food, live concerts, dogsled races, model train shows, and did I mention food? And don’t forget the carnival rides and games! But mind your manners and be sure to wear your “Rondy Button” because if you don’t, the Keystone Cops will put you in “jail”! Don’t forget to cruise through the fantastic display of ice sculptures! And then, we top it all off with the Trappers & Miners Ball!

Needless to say, people who live in Alaska are incredibly unique! It takes a special kind of person to thrive in the Last Frontier. And while the Lower48 may find these things a bit strange, us locals are proud to call ourselves Alaskans!