The 2023 John Beargrease opening ceremony

Saturday marked the opening Ceremony of the 2023 John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon. The ceremony was hosted at the Black Bear Casino in Carlton.

The sled dog marathon has been going on for over 40 years, bringing in thousands of worldwide spectators.

John Beargrease’s great-great-granddaughter Marcia Eiynck says, “This is going to be an epic race! The temperatures look perfect, everyone is in good spirits, the dogs are all trained up.”  

At the ceremony the race hosted a drum ceremony, a eulogy for John Beargrease, and a land acknowledgement.

Around 120 mushers were sworn in to the race, each one excited for the big day Sunday.

Marcia says that John Beargrease would be floored to see the support for the opening ceremony and the marathon.