Oh noooo! It's the penultimate weekend before school resumes -- at least for most Anchorage School District students. Here are some ideas on how to spend it, starting with:
Back At It
The Anchorage 5th Avenue mall sponsors a fashion event, style guide quiz, trend guide and other activities to crank up the back-to-school buzz. Pick up free swag 3-5 p.m. Saturday.
Beer and Bacon Festival
Pig out at the Millennium Alaskan Hotel on Spenard Lake as 15 local restaurants prepare bacon dishes and Alaska Brewing Company supplies the beer. Live music accompanies the festivities, 1-11 p.m. Saturday, with special bacon-themed cocktails available. Tickets, if any are still available, are $20. (beerandbacon.ticketleap.com)
Alaska Renewable Energy Fair
Learn about clean energy at workshops and demonstrations at the Delaney Park Strip, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday. Children's activities, local food and craft vendors and live music are featured at the free event. (realaska.org)
Harvest Day and Scarecrow Contest
Family fun, educational demos, games, contests, food and vendors come to the Alaska Botanical Garden, Campbell Airstrip and Tudor roads, starting at 10 a.m. Saturday. Admission is $7, or $5 if you donate at least three cans of food or three bags of garden produce. Kids 5 and younger are free.
Walk To Remember
A free, stroller-friendly memorial walk and balloon release for families who have experienced the death of a child at any age, from pregnancy to adult, takes place on Saturday. Meet at the emergency entrance of Providence Alaska Medical Center at 9 a.m. The walk starts at 10 a.m., rain or shine.
Catch the cowboy action at the William Clark Chamberlin Equestrian Center, 3900 Abbott Road, 6 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Gates open two hours earlier. General admission is $12, $10 for military, free for kids age 6 or younger. The Cadence Equestrian Drill Team and Rough Riders Trick Team will show off fancy moves on Sunday.
Stories at the Cemetery
It's the last time this year for the popular event that puts costumed actors portraying some of the colorful characters from Alaska's past in the Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery. Meet at Seventh Avenue and Cordova Street at 6 p.m. on Sunday. The event is free but donations for the actors are appreciated.
Port of Anchorage Tour
Free one-hour tours of the port, with hot dogs and refreshments, depart by bus from the Alaska Railroad Headquarters Building on Ship Creek, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. Free parking is available at 327 W. Ship Creek Ave. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult, and all adults must show a valid government ID.
Get free mulch
The Anchorage Woodlot, C Street and Klatt Road, has ground up some smaller mulch that's been a hit with homeowners in previous years. All mulch and firewood from the lot is free. They're open 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday -- in fact, they're open Thursdays-Sundays through the end of September. (aswcd.org/woodlot.html)
A drive out of town
The 58th Seward Silver Salmon Derby starts at 6 a.m. Saturday and runs through Aug. 18. The five biggest fish caught earn prize money, up to $10,000, and one tagged fish is worth $50,000. (sewardchamber.org)
Watch the race
Kenai's Twin City Raceway presents circle track races with stock cars, trucks, sprint cars -- "depending on participants." Gates open at 3 p.m. Saturday, with qualifying rounds at 4 p.m. and races at 6 p.m., Mile 6.5 Kenai Spur Highway at Shotgun Road across from Beaver Loop Road. (twincityraceway.info)
Reach Mike Dunham at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4332