Deep within the glacial ice of Alaska’s frozen north lives a creature so unusual that it has its own festival.  Its name sounds like something out of a fantasy novel, and the conditions that it thrives in are inimical to most other forms of life.

We are talking, of course, about the Ice Worm. Every year a festival is held to celebrate this creature, lift the spirits of those who live in the area, and to show that even in the depths of winter there’s something to celebrate!

History of Cordova Ice Worm Festival Week

The first Iceworm Festival would be held in 1961 when the local city planners decided that a big festival was necessary to celebrate the towns heritage and the discovery of the unique creature that lived in the nearby glaciers and snowfields. During the initial event, a competition was held to develop the mascot, the winner receiving $15 and an honored place in the parade.

The end result was nothing less of magnificent, a one-hundred and fifty-foot long terror with an enormous head, fierce eyes, and a total of 74 legs carrying it along. Vibrantly colored and inspirational, the Ice Worm caught the hearts of the locals forever.

The celebration would include a special fishing competition that took place off the city docks, a beard growing competition in which all the local men were compelled to participate, and an Iceworm Queen beauty pageant.

To demonstrate the madcap nature of the holiday a skiing race would be held from Mile 5 bridge to the Davis Store, a race in which all forms of cheating and short cuts were allowed.  These are just some of the incredible events that made the holiday capture the hearts of the Cordovians and ensure that it would be honored every year thereafter.

How to Celebrate Cordova Ice Worm Festival Week

The best way, by far, is to take a trip to Cordova, Alaska and enjoy the holiday in its homeland.  Not everyone is able to make the trip, a situation which the mighty Iceworm understands given that it can’t leave its frozen home, and so other forms of celebration are possible.

Host a local race of your own, tell the story of the Iceworm, host a fishing contest at local fishing holes, and share the news of the Iceworm with all your friends and family.  They’re sure to be fascinated and enthralled by this incredible event, and the Iceworm will be pleased!