Weekend picks: Get your summer started off right

Anchorage Daily NewsJune 22, 2013 

Cooperative Extension ServicePURPLE CAMPANULA (Campanula rapunculoides, also known as rampion bellflower, chimney bells, rover bellflower or, by Alaska wildflower expert Verna Pratt, \u201CPurple Monster\u201D) \u2014 This bad boy seeds prolifically and runs underground with rhizomes; wherever a tiny piece lands, a new plant sprouts. When it gets into a lawn, mowing won\u2019t destroy it, and digging won\u2019t work, either. The herbicide Roundup will kill it but the plant must be carefully spot-treated . Purple monster is pretty as a picture but wildly invasive, especially in wetlands where it shoulders aside plants beneficial to birds and wildlife.

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It's the first weekend of summer -- and the most daylight we'll have for any weekend this year. Here are ways to take advantage of it.

Downtown Summer Solstice Festival

Noon-6 p.m. today on Fourth Avenue between C and L streets. A party for the whole city including events for kids (kayak pool, giant sandbox), teens (a pro skateboarding demo) and grown-ups (Hero Games as competition between local emergency personnel).

Mayor's Midnight Sun Marathon and other races

The longest-running marathon in the state starts at 8 a.m. today at Bartlett High School and concludes with the course down Chester Creek. The half-marathon starts at 9 a.m. at the west end of Delaney Park Strip and heads down the Coastal Trail and back. Everything ends on the Park Strip. Pick your viewing spots from the course map at mayorsmarathon.com and click on "Events."

Summer Solstice Showdown

10 tonight at Mulcahy Field. The Anchorage Glacier Pilots and Bucs face off in a baseball game under the midnight sun.

Alaska Kennel Club Dog Show

9 a.m. today and Sunday at South Anchorage High School. Around 100 purebred dogs will compete in show rings. If your pet isn't entered in the judging, leave it at home.

A short drive out of town:

Alaska Dogs Gone Wild Summer Solstice Flyball Tourneys

10 a.m.-4 p.m. today and Sunday at the Alaska State Fairgrounds in Palmer. Teams of four dogs compete in head-to-head relay races and an obstacle course that includes hurdles and catching a ball from a spring-loaded box. Enter by the Purple Gate.

Wildflowers with Verna Pratt

2 p.m. Sunday at the Eagle River Nature Center. Alaska's pre-eminent wildflower expert will show you how to identify some of the spectacular plants native to our area.

 

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