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Hot Picks: Beer and Bacon Fest; Mushroom Fair

Dan McElrath plays keyboard flanked by Nick Petumenos on bass, left, and Cameron Cartland on drums during a jazz set at SubZero Wednesday evening September 22, 2010 downtown.
Erik Hill
Mushrooms and leaves on the forest floor near Goose Lake on Wednesday, August 24, 2011.
Robert Hallinen
Albatross: (Left to right) Ryan Sollee, Amanda Lawrence, Joel Andrew, Cristina Cano, Paul Seeley

Beer and Bacon Festival

The first beer and bacon festival starts 1 p.m. Saturday at the Millennium Alaskan Hotel on Spenard Road at Spenard Lake. Over 15 restaurants will sizzle up their best bacon dish. Cold beers will be served by the Alaskan Brewing Co. and 10 hours of live entertainment will top off the celebration of suds and salty, smokey meat. Tickets are $20.

Dan McElrath and John Teamer Dual CD Release

Composer/keyboardist Dan McElrath will lead the Dan Mac Band featuring the vocals of John "Pypes" Teamer in a concert celebrating the release of McElrath's "907 Central" and Teamer's "Out of the Bleu." It's part of their "907 Central Tour" and takes place 7 p.m. Friday at the Snow Goose Restaurant and Brewery, 717 W. Third Ave. Admission is $20, which includes a CD. And there's more. Rick Zelinsky's Tribute to the Jazz Masters Series continues with a "best of" program (Sonny Rollins, Joe Henderson, Stan Getz, Duke Ellington, Cannonball & Nat Adderley, Gerry Mulligan, John Coltrane) at 7 p.m. Thursday at Tap Root Public House, 3300 Spenard Road. Cover charge, $10.


A Portland, Ore., band with deep Alaska roots, notably alumni of The Builders and The Butchers Ryan Sollee and Paul Seeley, performs at Tap Root, 3300 Spenard Road 10 p.m. Thursday. The new band got its start with songs for a production of the early expressionist play "Woyzeck," some of which will be on their upcoming album, due to be released this winter. Admission is $10. They will be back 9 p.m. Aug. 16, with guests Evan Phillips and Historian.

Mushroom Fair

What's that strange fungus that popped up in your yard after the last rain? Find out at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at the BLM Campbell Creek Science Center, 5600 Science Center Drive, off Elmore Road. Part of the Campbell Creek Science Center's Midsummer Night Science Series, local mushroom enthusiasts will share their knowledge about mushrooms through posters, discussion and specimens from all over Southcentral Alaska. Bring specimens to identify. The family friendly program is free.

Ukulele Jam

The Alaska Jumping Flea Society brings fun-loving people together 7-9 p.m. every Friday night at Guido's Pizza, 549 W. International Airport Road, to laugh, sing and play the stress of the work week away. This is not just Hawaiian music; singers are also welcome to join in. Don't have a uke? There always seem to be extras around for people who want to try it out.

Japanese Summer Festival

The Japanese Society of Alaska and the Consular Office of Japan in Anchorage invite everyone to celebrate the rich culture of Japan and the strong bonds of friendship shared between Alaska and Japan from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at UAA's Cuddy Hall and the adjacent Quad. The event will include live music, taiko drumming, martial arts demonstration, dancing, tea ceremony, oriental food, ikebana flower arrangements, a carnival for young folks and -- you don't want to miss this -- watermelon smashing. The event is free and so is the parking.