Friday, March 6, 2009

Iditarod Musher's Banquet

From a blogger who attended:

Arriving downtown we found a parking garage right across from the convention center and followed the crowd over to the musher's banquet. There were people coming in 4 or 5 different entrances and the front of the building contained this huge serpent of a line waiting to get in.

Lance Mackey showed up in the middle of this mess and signed autographs and posed for pictures for a few minutes. He was spinning like a ballerina for a while trying to take care of all the fans.

There were more than 200 tables and we were seated 10 to a table. Each table had either a musher or an Iditarod volunteer seated at the table.

Some people paid $100 a person to be there (hope they got to sit with a musher, because we didn't).

They auctioned a couple of high dollar items one of them being a bib #1 with autographs from 7 former Iditarod champions including Jeff King, Lance Macey and Martin Buser. This thing went for $5150. Then they auctioned a bear watching trip. They fly four people along with Lance Mackey and his wife up to see grizzlies catching salmon during their spawning run. Winning bidder paid around $10,000 for that little vacation.

Funniest person at the podium tonight was Jeff King when he said "OK, now can we stop all the alarm clock and park service jokes?" Referencing his sleeping while Lance tip-toed out of a check point to take the win last year, and also his run-in with the authorities for shooting a moose that was some distance outside of a legal hunting zone.

The mushers drew for their bib numbers which took a while and a lot of them signed autographs and posed for photos. Not all the mushers, but most. Martin Buser had a crowd around him.

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