Hot picks: Wine for a cause, dance festival and a cappella

Dance fans fly as the Alaska Native Heritage Center Dance Group rehearses for Echoes Tuesday October 14, 2008 at the center.
Erik Hill
Marathon runners make their way to the turnaround point on the marathon course at Goose Lake parking lot.The third annual Anchorage Running Club zombie marathon and half marathon and kids 2K happened on a cool, sometimes raining day, Saturday, October 15, 2011.
Anne Raup

A Cappella Festivella, with Pentatonix

A cappella is music meant to be performed without instruments. It's been around for as long as people have been making songs but lately it's caught new life as a way to retool pop songs with intricate vocal arrangements. (Think "Glee," but instead of a pianist and string orchestra suddenly appearing as if by magic, the singers make all the instrumental sounds with their voices. Oh, and there's no auto-tune). For this year's A Cappella Festivella, the University of Alaska Anchorage will feature Pentatonix, the winners of the 2012 season of NBC's talent contest "The Sing-Off." If you're on the fence, check out Pentatonix's cover of Lorde's song "Royals"; you won't regret it. Thursday, 7:30 p.m. at the Williamson Auditorium; visit for tickets and more information.

Zombie Half Marathon

Take a running start at the Halloween season. This is the fifth year city dwellers have donned bloody makeup and adapted the shambling gait of the undead to the brisker pace of a half marathon (more "28 Days Later," less "Night of the Living Dead"). The route is from Goose Lake along the Chester Creek Trail to Westchester Lagoon, then out the Coastal Trail to Kincaid. Runners begin at 10 a.m., walkers at 9 a.m. A children's zombie 2-K begins at 2 p.m. (Need pointers on zombie-fying your look? The Muldoon Library will be offering zombie makeovers Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m.; see for details.) To find out where to pick up a bib and other details, see

Circumpolar Music and Dance Festival

Disappointed about missing the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention this year because it's in Fairbanks? Head over to the Alaska Native Heritage Center to get your cultural fix at the Circumpolar Music and Dance Festival, a gathering of musicians performing styles from the Arctic regions. Featured performers will be Alaska group Pamyua, as well as Nanook, a Greenlandic Inuit rock band, and the band Nukarik, two sisters from Northern Canada who perform traditional and contemporary throat singing. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at 8800 Heritage Center Drive. Admission is free. See for more.

Wine for a cause

At some point, a clever person discovered it was easier to get people to donate to a worthy cause if they got to do something they enjoy along the way -- hence, the wine fundraiser. This week there will be two opportunities to do good while imbibing. This Saturday is Corks 4 Kids, a fundraiser that supports Alaska children's charities. It includes 21 wines, six craft beers, food, music and a Halloween costume contest. Tickets are $45-$55. 6:30-9 p.m. Saturday at O'Malleys on the Green (see for more). On Thursday is the Harvest of Wines, which will feature a stemware class, wine tastings and a showdown of "Old World Wines Versus New World Wines." It costs $85-$150 and proceeds benefit Alaska Public Media. 7 p.m. Thursday at the Dena'ina Center.