The 2010 Mushing History Conference, presented by Northern Light Media, will be held in Willow, Alaska, on September 25 and 26, in conjunction with the Willow Dog Mushers Association’s third annual Canine Athletes Symposium. The location is the beautiful lakeside Willow Community Center, in the heart of downtown Willow, Alaska.
Award-winning Talkeetna artist David Totten contributed artwork for a limited edition poster, which will be available for purchase.Totten, who has designed the official poster for multiple years of the Yukon Quest, and designed the poster for the 2010 Jr. Iditarod, has often used his own team of sled dogs as models for his artwork. The WDMA Symposium will hold center stage in the Willow Community Center on Saturday, September 25, with keynote speaker Mary Shields, the first woman to run and finish the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in 1974. Opening her kennel near Fairbanks to visitors, Mary has been sharing her 41 years of adventures in mushing, and her love of living in Alaska with her family of sled dogs, since 1984.
Complementing Ms. Shields’ address will be a panel of veteran women mushers, and attendees will also experience a wealth of canine athlete related activities, including hands-on seminars, workshops, demonstrations and more. There will also be a new and used gear swap, a vendor fair, and a fundraising dinner with a silent auction and a showing of Mary Shield’s PBS documentary, Season of the Sled Dog.
The 2010 Mushing History Conference is sponsoring a display of historical mushing items such as freighting sleds, antique harnesses, gear, posters, photos, books and more, and there will be a comfortable place for ongoing informal discussions about the history of sled dog travel in the north. On Sunday, September 26 the Mushing History Conference gets underway in earnest, with a program which includes The All Alaska Sweepstakes, the Serum Run, Dog Mushing in the Northwestern Fur Trade, Iditarod Mail Carriers, the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, the history of women in racing, and more.
• For information about the 2010 Willow Dog Mushers Association Canine Athletes Symposium and Mushing History Conference contact the Willow Dog Mushers Association, P.O. Box 858, Willow, Alaska 99688; 907-495-0671; http://www.willowdogmushers.com