Weekend Picks: Summer Solstice, Mayor's Marathon


Downtown Summer Solstice Festival

Celebrate the longest day of the year downtown, where there will be food, games, art, live music and more.

Watch firefighters, police officers and military personnel go head-to-head in various challenges for the Hero Games -- including a water-balloon toss, different obstacle courses, a donut-eating contest and a scooter race. Between Fourth Avenue and E Street from noon to 4 p.m. Just a block away, Rage City Roller Girls will play a bout on a flat track in Town Square throughout the afternoon. There will also be a pro skateboarding demo, break-dancing showdown and chainsaw carving contest. Children can keep entertained with Stevens Puppets, a petting zoo, giant sandbox, kayak pool, arts and crafts. Noon-6 p.m. Saturday, June 21, downtown. Free. See anchoragedowntown.org for a map of events and more details.

Spin Doctors

After the Solstice Festival winds down, head to the bluffs above the Alaska Railroad's historic depot for a free, all-ages outdoor concert featuring headliners Spin Doctors ("Little Miss Can't Be Wrong," "Two Princes"). Openers Solvent Green and Ken Peltier Band will start at 6:15 p.m., Spin Doctors go on at 8:30 p.m. There will be a beer and wine garden and food trucks for the thirsty and peckish.

Mayor's Marathon

Runners in Saturday's Mayor's Midnight Sun Marathon will find a reward at the finish line Saturday -- a beer garden will spice up the festivities at the west end of the Delaney Park Strip, where the 26.2-mile marathon concludes. Anchorage's oldest and biggest marathon starts at 8 a.m. at Bartlett High, and the first finishers should reach the Park Strip by 10:30 a.m.. Also on the menu are a half-marathon, a four-miler and a 1.6-mile youth race, all of which begin and end at the Park Strip. About 4,400 people are signed up, about 1,000 in the marathon. For more information, visit mayorsmarathon.com.


Juneteenth is a holiday that commemorates the abolition of slavery in the United States. The local celebration started on Friday, but will continue through the weekend. Saturday will include live performances, speakers, games, music, a talk by Sen. Lisa Murkowski at 3 p.m., a boxing exhibition by the Alaska Boxing Academy at 4 p.m., and more; 1-8 p.m. Saturday at the Boys & Girls Club in Mountain View, 315 Price St. On Sunday, there will be preaching, teaching, live gospel music and performances and prayer; 5-9 p.m. Sunday at First CME Church, 3600 MacInnes Street. See juneteenthak.com for a detailed schedule.

Memorial Park Solstice Tour

Learn the history of Anchorage through the lives of 10 Alaskans buried in the city's historic downtown cemetery. This tour will feature graveside presentations about the pioneers, merchants, legislators, activists and other people who helped shape our city and state; 7 p.m. Saturday, Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery, Cordova Street and East Seventh Avenue. Free. (274-7122, cookinlethistory.org)

Anchorage Daily News / Alaska Dispatch