"Going to the Dogs"
March 2014

For the past eight years the Valley Arts Alliance has asked local artists to create unique dog-themed artwork to be displayed in conjunction with “The Last Great Race on Earth”. As in previous years, this exhibit was displayed at the Dorothy G. Page Museum in Wasilla in March 2014.

The Iditarod Trail, as originally planned in 1908, started in Seward and ended in Nome. In the first decade of the 20th Century, thousands of gold-seekers traveled this route to the Iditarod goldfields, and gold-carrying sled dog teams became a regular sight on the trail. But by the 1920’s the stampede for gold was over, and the construction of new rail lines resulted in the Iditarod Trail falling into disuse.

In 1967, during the 100th anniversary of America's purchase of Alaska from Russia, Dorothy Page, the namesake of the Wasilla museum, and Joe Redington Sr. decided to help revive and reenergize the sport of mushing in Alaska. The Iditarod trail seemed ideal for a spectacular dog race to wake Alaskans up to what mushers and their dogs had done for Alaska.

In the years since that first 50-mile centennial race the Iditarod has grown into Alaska's greatest sporting spectacle, the 1049 mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race from Anchorage to Nome known around the world as "The Last Great Race on Earth".