Hot picks for the weekend: Solstice festival, cemetery tour, Michelle McAfee and more

Hundreds of people lounge and play in the sand and water at Goose Lake on Friday afternoon, June 17, 2011. The city's Parks and Recreation Department and the Anchorage Library hosted the Sand Castle Beach Party event there on Friday, which included various contests and activities for kids. Five photographs were digitally merged to create this panoramic image.
Marc Lester
The solstice sun is obscured by high clouds in this view of downtown from the Sheraton Anchorage Hotel & Spa on the official first day of summer, Tuesday, June 21, 2011.
Bill Roth

Downtown Summer Solstice Festival

Celebrate the longest weekend of the year with the annual Hero Games, Ice Road Truckers star Lisa Kelly, professional skateboarder Ceejay Walker, Rage City Roller Girls, art, jazz, food court and an Alaskan Kids Zone with a petting zoo, giant sandbox, kayak pool, bubble machine and more. It happens noon-6 p.m. Saturday on Fourth Avenue between C and L streets and it's free. (

Walk with the dead

Over the past 19 years, the annual John Bagoy Memorial Cemetery Tour of the downtown graveyard has become a summer solstice tradition. Audrey and Bruce Kelly will lead visitors to the final resting spots of some of Alaska's most famous and infamous departed and fill you in on some of the intriguing bits and pieces of the long ago as part of the Cook Inlet Historical Society's monthly lecture series. It's free, just show up at the entrance to the cemetery at Cordova St. and Seventh Ave. at 7 p.m. Friday.

Michelle McAfee

A folk/pop singer who spends a lot of time in McCarthy, Michelle McAfee is traveling the state to promote her new CD, "Float," along with Frankie Hernandez. Hernandez, of Austin, Texas, has his own new release, "I Live Here," a live recording of his opening for Ziggy Marley. The two perform at the Yukon Bar in Seward and Moose Pass Solstice Music Festival this weekend, then at the Anchorage Music Co-Op, 2505 McRae Rd. (aka Fiori D'Italia, aka the old Garden of Eatin') at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 27. (

Jessica Singleton

Former Service High Homecoming Queen turned stand-up comedian Jessica Singleton will give her first Anchorage show since turning professional at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Chilkoot Charlie's. A veteran of several major comedy festivals, she has previously performed on Comedy Central and Sirius XM's Raw Dog Comedy station. Admission, $10.

Melissa Block

The Alaska Public Media Speaker Series will present Melissa Block, host of "All Things Considered" and a 28-year veteran of National Public Radio at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Anchorage Museum, 625 C St. Cost is $15 for museum members and $20 non-members.

Beach Party

Bring your beach gear (even super soakers) for fun in the sun and sand, games and entertainment for all ages, 1-3 p.m. Friday, Goose Lake Park, East Northern Lights Blvd. Free. (