Hot Picks: Bear Paw Festival, Flag Day Barbecue, more

The sun was out for carnival riders during the Bear Paw Festival Saturday night July 11, 2009. The Bear Paw Festival provided rides, food and fun for many in Eagle River July 8 - 12, 2009.
Anne Raup
Under grey skies and a pouring rain, runner Robert Scoggin approaches the end of the second annual Hatcher Pass Marathon on Willow Fishhook Road on July 7, 2012.
Matthew Ellis/Anchorage Daily News The Alaskan state flag. July 3, 2006`

Bear Paw Festival

Head for downtown Eagle River to join 35,000 of your closest friends for the annual blast that includes outdoor dancing, a car show and motorcycle exhibit, food, talent contest, parade, rubber ducky race and more. It starts at 10 a.m. on Wednesday and runs for four days. Best of all, it's free!

Alaska Flag Day Barbecue

Alaska Children's Services presents the annual celebration of our beloved Eight Stars of Gold on a Field of Blue, 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at 4600 Abbott Rd. Enjoy barbecue and hot dogs, live music, ice cream, face painting and fames. Organizers promise "a special announcement" at 6:15 p.m. Overflow parking and shuttle service is available at Service High School. Admission is $5, $20 for a family.

Hatcher Pass Marathon & Relay

With all due respect to Mt. Marathon, this may be the toughest race in Alaska -- about 24 miles rising 4,000 feet of up, up, up! A hundred or more dedicated solo runners and three-person relay team members will start near Willow at 9 a.m. on Saturday and finish near the old Independence Mine. Those who think they can cut it can still sign up at or at the starting line at 7 a.m. Saturday. Those who just want to catch the finish should head up to the mine from the Palmer side.

Steven Bacon and Kendra Kinsey

Steven Bacon -- of Bacon Brothers fame -- is back in Alaska for a summer tour with Kendra Kinsey. Catch their intimate and "uniquely Alaskana" show at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Anchorage Music Co-op program at Fiori D'Italia, 2502 McRae Rd.