This weekend, Big Lake takes center stage as one of Alaska's fastest events begins - the start of the 2013 Iron Dog snowmobile race.

Big Lake WinterfestBut Iron Dog isn't the only game in town. In conjunction with the race, the community of Big Lake is hosting Big Lake Winterfest, a two-day event filled with fun for all ages. There will be helicopter rides, kids 120 snowmobile races, vintage snowmobile demonstrations, an enormous fireworks display and more. And don't forget to decorate your "Alaska stilettos" - their is a Bunny Boots Bling contest as well! The event kicks off on Saturday and continue through the weekend. For a complete schedule and more information, visit the event's Web page at

On Sunday (Feb. 17), the Iron Dog brings heart-pounding adrenaline to the starting line for kickoff of the race's 30th year. Teams of two drop the hammer on the throttle starting at 11 a.m. The racers will tear across Big Lake and head into the wilderness, making their way along the Iditarod Trail all the way to Nome. From there, they backtrack a bit and then veer off the trail toward Fairbanks, where the finish line awaits. With speeds reaching 100 mph at some points, Iron Dog is not for the feint of heart. They'll cover the 2,000 miles of grueling trail in six days, with several mandatory layovers included in that time.

For more information on the Iron Dog, visit the organization's Web site at

Big Lake is the place to be this weekend! Fun is at its peak in the Valley.