Hot Picks: Solstice Festival, Juneteenth, biker barbecue

Mike Dunham

Downtown Summer Solstice Festival

No one appreciates the lengthening hours of daylight as keenly as us northerners, and there's a big party downtown this weekend to ring in the longest day of the year. Check out the Hero Games, skateboarders, the Rage City Roller Girls, an art fair, live chain-saw art carving, break dancing, street hockey tournaments, live music and beer gardens. There will also be children's activities including Stevens Puppets, a petting zoo, a giant sandbox, a kayak pool, arts and crafts and more. The Hero Games will take place on Fourth Avenue and E Street from noon to 4 p.m. Alaska's first responders will go head to head in various challenges, like the water balloon toss, obstacle courses, a donut eating contest and a scooter race. The winning team will be announced at 4 p.m. The Rage City Roller Girls will play a Solstice Showdown bout on a flat track in Town Square throughout the afternoon. Noon-4 p.m. Saturday, June 21, downtown from C to L streets. Free. See for a map of events and more details. 

Bike Night Barbecue

Join the House of Harley Davidson for live music and good grub from Smokehouse Barbecue. All groups, clubs, makes and models are welcome. Beer garden provided by the Pioneer Bar. Music by the SpeNerds and Jerry's Situation, 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 25, House of Harley-Davidson and Buell, 4334 Spenard Road. (248-5300) 


Juneteenth is a holiday that commemorates the abolition of slavery in the United States. The local celebration will include live performances, speakers, games, music, a boxing exhibition by the Alaska Boxing Academy, a talk by Lisa Murkowski and more. The three-day event starts 5-9 p.m. Friday, June 20, with dinner at the VFW Post 10252. It continues 1-6 p.m. Saturday at the Boys & Girls Club in Mountain View and finishes up beginning at 5 p.m. Sunday with church services and music at First CME Church, 3600 MacInnes Street. (

Tommy Davidson and David Alan Grier

These two comedians will have a one-time performance in Anchorage. Davidson got his break as one of the original cast members of "In Living Color" and went on to appear on Comedy Central and in movies, including "Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls." Grier was on Comedy Central's list of the 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time. 8-10:30 p.m. Friday, June 20, UAA Wendy Williamson Auditorium, 2533 Providence Drive. $35-$55. (263-2767,

Summer Brew Series: Wine

Join Denali Winery at Loussac Library to learn the science behind a perfect glass of wine. Note that wine will not be served at this workshop (the librarians, we're informed, are also very sad about that). 7 p.m. Thursday, June 26, 3600 Denali St. (Stacia, or 343-2909)


Mike Dunham