This weekend is the final one for the 2020 Willow Winter Carnival, and it actually gets started bright and early.
The Willow 300 Sled Dog Race began Thursday and will conclude around 6 a.m. at Sheep Creek Lodge. Hosted by the Willow Dog Mushers Association, it is one of the state's premier middle-distance races and attracts a very competitive field each year.
Saturday, Feb. 1 is jam packed with events, with most of them taking place at the Willow Community Center. While the Willow Creek 300 is expected to finish sometime around 6 a.m., if you want to sleep in, the rest of the events get started at 10 a.m., following a pancake breakfast at 8 a.m.
At 10 a.m. one of several snowmobile events get started, with a poker run leaving from Willow Lake. If human-powered runs sound better, the Sven Eriksson 25K Tour starts on the lake at 10:30. The race has three categories - fat tire biking, running and skiing, giving racers several options. Also at the community center, fat tire bikes will be available for rental. If you have never tried fat tire biking before, the Willow Winter Carnival is a perfect place to try it out.
Throughout the day, there will be live music, a cribbage tournament, kids games, craft fairs, auctions and much more, all taking place at the Community Center. One funny event is the MTA Telephone toss, which is exactly as it sounds - tossing of telephones.
The "Talent or Not" competition rounds out Saturday, with doors opening at 6 p.m. On Sunday, the only event is the Willow 300 awards ceremony, at noon at Sheep Creek Lodge.
Take a trip to Willow this Saturday and visit one of the state's most unique community celebrations. A full schedule can be found here.