Skip to main Content
Alaska Life

Happenings through the weekend: Bear Paw Festival is open, and free outdoor concerts return

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: July 16
  • Published July 15

Golden Wheel Amusements employee Dan Erickson operates the Eli Ferris Wheel on opening day of the Bear Paw Festival in Chugiak-Eagle River on Thursday, July 15, 2021. (Bill Roth / ADN)

Bear Paw Festival

The return of summer festival season continues with Eagle River’s signature community event this week. The locations are somewhat spread out this year — you’ll want to check the schedule before you go — but events like the Xtratuf competition, Slippery Salmon Olympics, car show, Lego contest and 5K run are back. The festival kicked off Wednesday, but vendor court and carnival rides start Thursday. The parade is at 11 a.m. Saturday and there’s an associated three-day music showcase at Matanuska Brewing’s Eagle River location, Friday-Sunday, July 16-18 (tickets $25 per day).

The Bear Paw Festival runs through Sunday, July 18. (

Twenty-month-old Salome Lewis leads her mother Wiola, left, and Wendel Lewis, center, through the vendor booths at the Bear Paw Festival in Chugiak-Eagle River on Thursday, July 15, 2021. (Bill Roth / ADN)

Listen live; listen for free

In the landscape of live entertainment this summer, outdoor concerts hit the sweet spot: Easy to attend for those hesitant to be an indoor crowd, and easy on the wallet because, well, they are free — at least, the ones on this list are. Plus, it looks like Anchorage might catch a break and get some sun this weekend.

People listen to Anchorage musician Ava Earl as she performs on the front lawn of the Anchorage Museum downtown on Friday, June 4, 2021. (Emily Mesner / ADN)

Thursday, July 15: The Millennials Falcons will rock emo and pop-punk hits from the early 2000s in Town Square Park for the weekly concert series Live After 5. If My Chemical Romance and Blink 182 are your jam, this is your show. Starts at 5:30 p.m.

Over in Mountain View, Polynesian reggae band H3 will be playing at William B. Lyons Park starting at 7 p.m. The Papaya Tree food truck will be on site serving up Southeast Asian street food. (335 Price St.)

Friday, July 16: Kick back on the Anchorage Museum lawn for a performance from singer-songwriter Emma Hill at 5:30 p.m. Parlor in the Round, the concert series in which musicians respond to prompts and riff off one another, will play Town Square Park at 7 p.m. (featuring Dawn McClain, Emily Anderson and AG Two Tone). (

Saturday, July 17: The Anchorage Symphony Orchestra will perform on the Anchorage Museum lawn at 5:30 p.m. Arctic Entries —they’re back! — will present 45 minutes of stories told by youths in Town Square Park starting at 7 p.m. (

Wednesday, July 21: Alt-rock band Photonak will play Peratrovich Park as part of a weekly lunch hour concert series continuing through Aug. 4 (see the full lineup on Facebook). Starts at noon. (500 W. Fourth Ave.)