We had a wonderful celebration of the Yukon Quest last night at the Westmark Hotel in Fairbanks. Starting with music from The Rock Bottom Stompers and a chance to catch up with fellow mushers, handlers, friends and fans.
There was a lot of effort put into the table decorations with the napkins folded into dog bones, battery operated toy huskies, sponsor tote bags and first day covers from Quest's past.
Chris and Ruth; place setting
The Colours were presented by the UAF US Army ROTC followed by Theresa Bauer-Burger's powerful Canadian and US Anthems. Pastor Jim Hardenbrook delivered the Invocation and Don Honea, Traditional Chief of Doyon, Ltd - Tanana Chiefs Conference welcomed everyone to Fairbanks. Don himself was a Quest and Iditarod musher so understood the challenges the mushers faced. Karl Kassel, the Mayor of Fairbanks North Star Borough, who was a sprint musher, continued the welcome, as did Jim Matherly, Mayor of the City of Fairbanks. Jim admitted he is highly allergic to dogs but still appreciates their ability and loyalty from afar. LeRoy Shank, one of the founding fathers of the Quest was also there to say a few words.
Amazing cake by Michaela Gilly from Bella Noche Cakes; the program for the evening
We then were treated to a ten minute video put together by the Quest Visual Content Team that moved many of us. The whole room cheered for Ryne and her team over a raging Eagle Summit. Keep an eye on the YQ Facebook Page and You Tube Channel as they are sure to post it for us all to enjoy over and over.
Each musher took to the stage to thank their teams and tell some trail stories: spontaneous brownies on the trail, bigger summits than could be imagined, amazing hospitality and the "Quest Family". Matt Hall received a standing ovation as he went to the stage and Keeper and Anchor enjoyed their moment in the spotlight as Golden Harness winners.
Congratulations to all the other prizewinners at last night's Prizegiving. For a full account check out this excellent article on the Yukon Quest website.
Allen's 3rd place trophy
Aliy's 2nd place prize from Alaska Rod's