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Ice Worm Festival Options
Posted: Saturday, February 04, 2017 12:00:00 AM
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Ice Worm Festival

This zany mid-winter festival celebrates the emergence of the ice worm in Cordova, Alaska. The highlight of the three-day festival is the procession of a 150-foot-long ice worm followed by 500 or so paraders. Other events include variety shows, ski events, a survival-suit race, a beauty pageant, music, and dances. The celebration began in 1961, and the legend was born then that an ice worm hibernates during the winter in the Cordova Glacier but starts to hatch or wake up in early February. The worm has gained international fame, and the festival draws great crowds of people. More...
Posted: Saturday, February 04, 2017 6:10:32 AM

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Legend of the Ice Worm

The Legend of the Ice Worm begins back in 1898. E.J. "Stroller" White was a struggling journalist in Dawson, Alaska, who had just gotten a job with the Klondike Nugget. A condition of his new position was that he increase newspaper sales with his news articles. As he struggled to find any interesting news, a blizzard hit the area, and he came up with an idea. He excitedly announced to his editor that he had discovered a new creature: the ice worm.

According to "Stroller", these ice worms so loved the extreme cold that the blizzard caused them to crawl out of their holes in a nearby glacier in order to enjoy the frigid temperatures. There were so many ice worms slithering about that they made a chirping noise as they moved.

The Ice Worm story was a huge hit, and sales of the Klondike Nugget soared. "Stroller" continued to write about them; people set out on expeditions to find them; and bartenders served a drink called "Ice Worm Cocktails". The drink was prepared by pulling a long, skinny worm out of a piece of ice and dropping it into the customer's drinks. (Some skeptics suggested it was actually spaghetti in the ice chunks, rather than actual worms).

The Ice Worm discovery finally reached Washington, D.C. and London, where scientists eagerly sent expeditions to confirm the story. Eventually, a writer from the Philadelphia Ledger reprinted the original story, adding his own choice editorial comments. This caused even more people to converge in the town, and sightings of the ice worm increased.

Years passed, the excitement faded, and the ice worms finally retreated back into their homes in the glacier. The Ice Worms simply became a legend to be depicted on local postcards.
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