Town Square tree lighting Saturday kicks off holiday season in Anchorage

The annual tree lighting in downtown Anchorage is scheduled for Saturday evening, kicking off a weekend of activities as the holiday season ramps up.

Downtown Anchorage businesses and groups are also hosting Small Business Saturday and other activities as a way to support the local economy this weekend.

A Saturday event spearheaded by the Anchorage Downtown Partnership, Light Up Downtown, will include photos with Santa, live reindeer visits, dance and musical performances, food trucks and free hot chocolate. Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson will light the tree in Town Square Park at 5 p.m.

More than three dozen Anchorage businesses are participating in Small Business Saturday downtown, offering discounts or specials, event organizers say. Purchases made at the businesses will give customers a chance to win two round-trip tickets from Alaska Airlines.

Participating businesses include Polar Bear Gifts, Skinny Raven Sports, Once in a Blue Moose, Kobuk and many others, according to an online map from the Anchorage Downtown Partnership.

Information about Light Up Downtown and Small Business Saturday can be found at

Two pop-up markets will coincide with Saturday’s festivities downtown: An outdoor holiday market in the the 49th State Brewing parking lot will open at noon Saturday, with a visit from Santa from 2-4 p.m. Williwaw Social will host a “sip-and-shop,” featuring artists, crafters and others, starting at 11 a.m.