We locals can already feel it in the air: Savvy travelers seeking early season deals are already beginning to show up in Anchorage, and winter-shuttered businesses are once again opening their doors. Before long, the Municipality of Anchorage will bring out its summer hanging baskets and it will be official: Tourism season is upon us.
National Tourism Week happens in May, which is an ideal time for we Alaskans to share the beauty of our state with visitors the world over. The visitor industry, for its part, is welcoming tourists and travelers with what is likely the only event in town where you can actually gain weight while completing a 5K course.
The Anchorage Visitor Industry Charity Walk, also known as the “5K Buffet” and the “Graze to Raise,” showcases some of the best food the city has to offer while raising money for charity. Last year, nearly $39,000 was distributed to 50 charities and nearly 1,200 people participated in the walk. This year’s event is set for May 12.
Philanthropy aside, participants have the opportunity to win incredible prizes. Last year the tourism industry donated more than $38,000 worth of tours, attractions, food and services that were given away to participants of the walk. Prizes include flightseeing tours, railroad packages, dining certificates and hotel stays – all for the sake of supporting our community.
The walk starts at 6 p.m. at the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center, and travels through downtown Anchorage, stopping for tasty snacks at food stations hosted by restaurants and hoteliers along the route. The walk ends at the Dena’ina Center for the grand finale featuring desserts, live entertainment, a beer and wine garden, children’s activities, and prize drawings.
Everyone in the community is invited — take part as an individual or a team. Prices up to May 7 are $35 for adults (18 and older) and $20 for children. Prices for late registration increase by $10 per person on May 8.
For more information about the Visitor Industry Charity Walk, go to anchorage.net/VICW.
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