Celebrate the Iditarod start: Win a hat!

thThe Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race has its ceremonial start in downtown Anchorage on the first Saturday in March. People line the streets, which have been prepared by having snow put on them and which are aflame with barking, leaping, howling dogs.

If you happen to speak Canine, you’ll be able to hear what they’re saying: Let’s GO! Let’s GO! Let’s GO!

Come to think of it, you don’t need to know what a dog’s saying — just check his body language (See “barking, leaping, howling,” above.)

I hope to be there myself, although it will be a late night on Friday — I’m reviewing the touring company of “The Addams Family” for The Anchorage Daily News (my former long-time employer), and I’m expected to put the review up on the Arts Snob blog that same evening. The show probably won’t let out until about 10:30 p.m., which means I won’t even start to write until 11 p.m. Who knows what time I’ll get to bed?

I’ll be there in spirit if nothing else, having attended Iditarod starts in the past and enjoyed them hugely. I’ll also check out photos on the Daily News website of both the ceremonial start and then the next day’s re-start in Willow, Alaska. You should, too: The ADN shooters are masters of the art.

But that’s not what I came here to talk about. I came to talk about a hat.*

Two hats, actually, that make up this week’s giveaway. One is a gray knit cap with an Iditarod logo, and the other is a pale green Big Bear Eco-Beanie with a “National Geographic Channel” logo.

Both very stylin’ and, more to the point, very warm. They’ll keep you cozy whether you’re on Fourth Avenue in Anchorage or on the U.P. and wondering why you’re being punished.

To enter:

If you do any (or all!) of these things, please leave separate, additional comments to get credit for each entry.

The deadline to enter is 7 p.m. PST Tuesday, March 4. If I don’t hear back from the winners by 7 p.m. PST Wednesday, March 5, I’ll pick a new winner. So if you enter, be sure to check your e-mail by Wednesday afternoon.

Note: Due to the high cost of international shipping, a winner who lives outside the United States will be given an Amazon gift card and the hats will go up for grabs again.

*Kudos to those of you who caught the “Alice’s Restaurant” reference. Gee, we’re old.

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  1. How fun! Thanks!

  2. i’m on your facebook pg

  3. i need a warm hat. it’s been horribly cold in nyc. such a harsh winter and i lost my hat last week. i’m so bummed. it was warm. since i lost it, i’m just wearing a backup i had but it isn’t warm. brrrr.

  4. My son is studying the Iditarod at school right now. He is following Musher Sonny and will write a report. The hat would be the talk of 3rd grade if he won! We are hoping to come in person next year.

  5. This is a cute giveaway!

  6. I subscribe via email.

  7. I follow on Twitter and FB.

  8. I would give this to my husband – he would LOVE it!!!!

  9. I follow by email 🙂

  10. I hear that our Wisconsin winter has been worse than yours. Please send warm hats! 🙂

  11. We’ve talking about the Iditarod races over here in NC. I almost wish I was there.
    I follow on twitter.

  12. I get you on email, and I GET you, too.

  13. DebbieJean

    Winter hasn’t left Missouri and we are expected to get another 12 inches of snow this weekend. I need a new hat to chase away the winter! My dogs will have to “mush” themselves through the snow again to go out.

    Enjoy your time in Anchorage Donna!

  14. Would love to win and consider it a reward for suffering thru one of the worst winters in memory…and I’m old….so that’s saying something….Will this snow ever melt?

  15. If I win, can I respectfully request that my hat be given to Sara’s son (#3 above)? All I’d ask is for a pic of him in the hat. 🙂

  16. Linda Gertig

    Omaha is a place one needs a warm hat.

  17. Mary P

    I always keep track of the Iditarod – such a story of courage!

  18. Mary P

    I subscribe to the email newsletter.

  19. Mary P

    I follow you on Facebook.

  20. Tracy Stone

    Fun! Hope you made it and enjoyed “The Addams Family”.

  21. Cathy in NJ

    My daughter would love a warm hat. We are getting another big storm (6in-12in)in Jersey. Time to batten down the hatches.

  22. judyyy

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  23. judyyy

    email subscriber

  24. judyyy

    follow on facebook

  25. You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant. Yes, we are old as dirt.

  26. Catfight

    I could absolutely use these hats. Recently had surgery, and wouldn’t you know it, developed bald spots on my scalp afterwards. Also, can’t color my hair yet. Trying to keep a sense of humor about it. Lol.

  27. Alexandru Rusu

    I want to win this

  28. Alexandru Rusu

    Liked on Facebook

  29. Alexandru Rusu

    Subscribed to email

  30. KHBride

    It’s freezing here so extra warm hats sound awesome

  31. KHBride

    I follow on fb and twitter

  32. KHBride

    i subscribe

  33. Sherry

    It’s still chilly here! I’d love hats!

  34. Wow, what I wouldn’t give to see either start of the Iditarod (or any part if it), they don’t even talk about it on the news here in Metro Detroit, so I hope you got to see it! Thanks for the chance to win a real Iditarod souvenir, and since I think we might have had more snow and cold than Alaska this year, both would come in handy when I have to shovel all this white stuff! Loved the review of the play, would love to see that too, what fun!

    • Donna Freedman

      Some years back Mitch Albom wrote what he thought was a one-off column about the Iditarod. Readers went nuts and demanded to know more so he wound up covering the whole thing, as I recall.
      And yes: Could we have our winter back, please? 😉

  35. conee corning banks

    love your blog

  36. conee corning banks

    follow you on facebook

  37. Deedee

    I am looking out my back door at over 3 feet of snow that has accumulated. It is a mess here in my part of Montana! On my facebook feed tonight is a picture of my friend’s 3 grandchildren in Alaska at the start of the Iditarod. So cute. I would also like to have you send the Iditarod hat to Sara’s son if I am the one selected by the random picker. I am now going to click on the link for your review of the Addams Family!

  38. My son would love the hats, he is a huge dog lover 🙂

  39. I hope that you enjoy the Addams Family show. I really enjoyed it when I saw it last year.

    Funny story, though… it was during the peak of a higher than normal Miller Moth season – those suckers were everywhere. When the big red velvet curtains opened, a whole bunch of the moths flew out and over the audience.

    A little old lady behind me remarked that she “didn’t know that they could train moths to be part of a stage show.”

    I nearly sprained a rib trying not to laugh…

  40. This is so cool! I’ve always wanted to see the Iditarod start.

  41. The hats sound great!

  42. Loved your review of the Adams Family!!!

  43. Rachael

    After this cold Michigan winter I could use another hat!

  44. Kim Kelley

    I’d love to go to the Iditarod! How lucky are you!

  45. Glad you finally got enough snow for the start. Sure couldn’t sent some of our snow your way this year!!!

  46. My son’s 4th grade class is studying and tracking the race too! His teacher would love the hat.

  47. Holly S

    I heard on the radio on Tue that there are some spots w/o snow along the trail that have resulted in some problems.

    Maybe they should have moved this race to Chicago, Green Bay or Minneapolis this year.

    In Chicago we are expecting 2-4″ MORE snow today.

    • Donna Freedman

      Yep. The Farewell Burn is particularly bad, with practically no snow and lots of rocks and roots left bare. Mushers are getting beaten up by their sleds (and occasionally trees) but so far no dog injuries.


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