Weekend picks: State Fair, recycling and national parks

Lights on the ferris wheel streak in a long-exposure photograph. Concerts, food and glowing rides drew crowds to the Alaska State Fair on Wednesday evening, August 29, 2012.
Marc Lester
Good news! Once again Alaskans for Litter Prevention and Recycling (ALPAR) and the Alaska Botanical Garden are holding a garden plant pot recycling event at the ABG. Make a big red circle on your calendar on Saturday, September 20th, 2008. The event will run from 10 am to 5 pm at the ABG off Tudor Rd. Only pots that are numbered 2, 5 and 7 will be taken. (Look for the chasing arrow symbol with the number on the bottom of the pot.)
Fran Durner
Contestant David Salmon's banjo rests on the stage before the banjo contest began Saturday.The Anchorage Folk Festival held its first ever banjo contest Saturday morning January 23, 2010.
Anne Raup
AP Photo/National Park Servce, Denali National Park and Preserve Museum Collection** ADVANCE FOR SUNDAY JUNE 18 AND THEREAFTER ** This photo released by the Denali National Park and Preserve Museum Collection shows the entrance to Mt. McKinley National Park, June 24, 1939, now Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska. The current Glitter Gultch entrance did not exist until the late 1970s. Previously tourists arrived at the park via railroad and the depot served as the actual entrance to the park. The Alaska Railroad actually installed this arch in 1926 to mark the entrance to Mt.McKinley National Park. (AP Photo/National Park Servce, Denali National Park and Preserve Museum Collection)

After days of wet weather, the weekend is looking pretty good, and that should make for big crowds at the Alaska State Fair in Palmer. You know the deal: Monster vegetables, carnival rides, livestock competition, fair food. Among this weekend's highlights: the fair parade through downtown Palmer on Saturday at 11 a.m., the 6th Annual Alaska Supercross Saturday at 5 p.m. and Bill Cosby Sunday at 3 p.m. More at adn.com/statefair or alaskastatefair.org.

If the Alaska State Fair isn't on your agenda this weekend, here are a few things happening in town.


Drop off a pot

The annual Plastic Nursery Pot Recycling event takes place at the Alaska Botanical Garden, 4601 Campbell Airstrip Road, for one day only, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. All plastic pots, cell packs and trays are accepted. Sort into two groups: #2 HDPE plastic pots in one and all the rest in another. Stack like pots, rinse or remove all dirt and remove metal hangers. Free.


Celebrate National Parks

The Alaska Public Lands Information Center, 605 W. Fourth Ave., celebrates Founder's Day, the day when President Woodrow Wilson signed the "Organic Act" creating the National Park Service. Join the rangers and volunteers at the center for a daylong party with free cake and refreshments, 9 a.m-5 p.m. Sunday.

Get smarter

Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist Brian P. Schmidt, a graduate or Bartlett High School, will give a free talk at 4 p.m. Sunday in the Main Stage Theater of the UAA Fine Arts Building. He'll explain how astronomers are uncovering the life history of the cosmos, learning about how the first stars in the universe transformed cold lifeless space into the universe we all know and love.