In June, the Nenana Ice Classic has a new Tripod, that sits 26 feet high, built from spruce trees. This Tripod is put on display throughout it's season, from June through March. However, tickets are sold in Nenana starting in the summer, at a few local businesses, other tickets are sold at vendor locations throughout the state starting February of that season.
Come mid-January, tickets for the new season are hand delivered to over 140 ticket agents along the road system, and over 60 cans are shipped to the remote villages all around Alaska. Within the first few days of March, the Tripod built the previous summer is disassembled from display to be raised on the Tanana River. The first weekend of March, Nenana celebrates Tripod Days Weekend, when the community comes together to celebrate the long running tradition of raising the Tripod on the Tanana River, there, the Tripod is reassembled by the community to sit on the ice until the river takes it away.
The Tripod is setup with a unique pulley and clock system that stops the clock once the tripod has moved downstream by 100 ft. After April 5th, cans are retrieved, sealed, and opened on site at the Nenana Ice Classic Office, where the tickets are sorted, organized, and then digitally logged into a secure database. Once the Tripod clock has been tripped, and all tickets have been accounted for, the time of the clock is searched in the database, giving us a list of winning tickets.The winning tickets are verified and then the winners are contacted. Only after the winners have been contacted will there names be displayed on the website or listed at local news papers. At the Nenana Ice Classic Office, it is quiet and calm for a few months, and upon a new summer, a new Tripod is built and put on display for the following season. In Novemeber, the Nenana Ice Classic Office begins preparation for another amazing year.