Arts and Entertainment

This weekend in Anchorage: A best beard contest, First Friday shows, Iditarod kickoff and more

Humans, sled dogs and reindeer will take to the streets of Anchorage this weekend with Fur Rondy festivities, First Friday art shows and the kickoff of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Mr. Fur Face competition: 7 p.m. Friday, Williwaw Social, 609 F St.

This contest — featuring categories like brown bear (brown beards only), polar bear (highlighting white beards) and soup strainer (mustaches only), among others — showcases some of the most epic beards and mustaches sported by Alaskans. The winner of the Mr. Fur Face category will be deemed the state beard champion and “the grandest beard of the ball.” Doors open at 6 p.m. Admission is $20 at the door, and proceeds go to local Lions Clubs.

Fur Rondy Carnival: 3 to 7 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, Third Avenue and E Street

With a selection of snacks, attractions and rides, the Rondy Carnival is a favorite of kids and adults alike.

Fur Rondy Blizzard Bash: 6 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Sixth Avenue and F Street

This free outdoor concert downtown features blues-rock band Woodrow along with an outdoor beer garden. For more information about this and other Fur Rondy events, visit


Any Mountain benefit concert: 6 p.m. Friday, Bear Tooth Theatrepub, 1230 W. 27th Ave.

This benefit concert features songs from Kat Moore, Melissa Mitchell, Joanie Mayer Hope and Misha Baskerville, along with performances by the Momentum Dance Collective and Sankofa Dance Theatre. Funds raised will support a group of ovarian cancer survivors, caregivers and medical providers from Alaska who will trek to Everest base camp to raise awareness of ovarian cancer and funds for prevention and research. (Two survivors will climb on in an attempt to summit the 29,029-foot mountain.) Tickets start at $29. More information about their fundraising effort is available at

Finals — Great Alaska Talent Competition: 7 p.m. Friday, Alaska Center for the Performing Arts

Finalists in the statewide talent competition will perform Friday evening. Celebrity judges will decide the winner, but attendees will be able to vote on a People’s Choice award for $1 per vote. Tickets are available through CenterTix and start at $32.75.

Iditarod ceremonial start: 10 a.m. Saturday, Fourth Avenue and D Street

Watch as Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race mushers and their dog teams cruise from downtown to Cordova Street, following a route that takes them along the Chester Creek Trail past Goose Lake and ends at Campbell Airstrip. Downtown will be where most of the buzz is, but there are plenty of prime viewing spots and outdoor watch parties along the route.

Charlotte Jensen Native Arts Market: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dimond Center, 800 E. Dimond Blvd.

The market features Alaska Native artisans selling their works and giving demonstrations. It’s named after former Fur Rondy president and Lady Trapper Charlotte Jensen.

Banff Mountain Film Festival: 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Wendy Williamson Auditorium, 2533 Providence Drive

The annual festival showcases some of the world’s best mountain films. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door, with discounts available for UAA students and youths 12 and under.

Running of the Reindeer: 4 p.m. Saturday, Fourth Avenue in downtown Anchorage

Nothing at Fur Rondy is wilder than Alaska’s Wackiest Race. Runners will scamper down Fourth Avenue between H and D streets alongside reindeer in this fundraiser for Toys for Tots. The cost to run is $35 per person. Register online through EventBrite.

Violinist Eileen Ivers: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Atwood Concert Hall, 621 W. Sixth Ave.

Grammy winner and nine-time All-Ireland Fiddle Champion Eileen Ivers will perform a lively show featuring music rooted in Celtic tradition with world influences. There’s also a pre-show talk at 6:30 p.m. Tickets start at $35.

Alaska Cornhole Championships: 10 a.m. Sunday, Dimond Center, 800 E. Dimond Blvd. Suite 199

The first team to 21 points wins. The top cash prize is $200 in the singles competition and $350 for the doubles division. Registration is $25 to enter the singles competition and $50 per doubles team.

Iditarod restart: 2 p.m. Sunday, Willow Lake


The restart in Willow, about a 1.5-hour drive north of Anchorage, is when racing in the Iditarod really begins. The first musher leaves the chute at 2 p.m., and dog teams will depart at two-minute intervals. There’s limited Iditarod parking available in Willow for $20 cash, but organizers are also recommending that spectators use the paid shuttle bus services available from Anchorage and Wasilla.

Tour of Anchorage: all day Sunday, races start at various locations and end at Kincaid Park

Racers in this point-to-point cross-country ski marathon will zip along trails in the city toward the finish line at the ski stadium in Kincaid Park. Race distances of 25, 40 and 50 kilometers are offered in both skate and classic techniques, with start locations on the Hillside for the longer distance and a 25K start at Alaska Pacific University. The Tour of Anchorage is also open to fat-bike racers, with 50K and 25K distances availble following the same route. Registration is $120 for adults, $90 for college students and $70 for youths under 18. For more information, visit the Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage’s website.

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First Friday

Stephan Fine Arts, 939 W. Fifth Ave.: Pastel illustrations by Teri Sloat, poured acrylic work by Melanie Burns and northern lights photographs by Amy Johnson will be on display, and artists on hand, during a reception from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Hotel Captain Cook, 939 W. Fifth Ave.: Visual artist — and former Fur Rendezvous queen — Rhonda Scott will present a collection of her work, prints and other items from 1 to 9 p.m. in the Captain Cook lobby.

Anchorage Museum, 625 C St.: Museum admission is free from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday. This First Friday features free presentations by Anchorage Opera at 6:30 p.m. on the third floor, in anticipation of the premiere of its production of “Missing” this month. Also featuring a choreographed showcase with Unangax designer Mary Kelsay and Unangax^ dance group Tanam Ang^ii. The museum will also present a night of all-ages drop-in art activities in the Discovery Center’s Art Lab from 6 to 8:30 p.m. as part of First Friday. Children need to be accompanied by an adult.

International Gallery of Contemporary Art, 427 D St.: The annual members exhibition showcases works by IGCA members and volunteers spanning across various media, including painting, sculpture, fiber art, drawing, photography and more. The First Friday opening runs from 5 to 8 p.m., with the exhibition on view through March.


Cyrano’s Art Gallery, 3800 DeBarr Road: The exhibit “Signposts into a floating world” by artist and UAA adjunct professor Graham Dane opens Friday with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. The exhibit runs through April 28.

Akela Space, 320 W. Sixth Ave., Suite 132F: The Alaska Center and Akela Space present “Fish First Friday” artist submissions inspired by salmon, the environment and conservation, in support of the Native Village of Eklutna. The event runs from 6 to 9 p.m. and will also include a screening of “Return to Us: Restoring Alaska’s Eklutna River.”

Turnagain Brewing, 7920 King St.: Featuring Scott Clendaniel’s artwork and the sled dog theme “Who Let the Dogs Out?” Splatter paintings of dogs will be available in a monthlong silent auction. 5 to 8 p.m.

Snow City Cafe, 1034 W. Fourth Ave.: Watercolor artist Max Romey will present his show “Trailbound Watercolor Winter” from 3 to 5 p.m. Also featuring a singer-songwriter showcase hosted by Shane Russell.

Turnagain Ceramics, 1343 G St.: Bean’s Cafe and Turnagain Ceramics are hosting a First Friday fundraiser for the Empty Bowl Project. Potters will be in the studio and bowls will be available for purchase, with proceeds donated to the Empty Bowl Project.

The Writer’s Block, 3956 Spenard Road: Artist Jared Breyer presents “Monstera Dad Fibers,” described as “a celebration of color, pattern and symmetry,” from 6 to 8 p.m.

Midnight Sun Brewing, 8111 Dimond Hook Drive: Work by Anchorage artist Erica Malouf, whose main medium is acrylic, will be on display for First Firkin Friday, with the event running from 5 to 8 p.m.

AK Cycle Chic, 908 W. Northern Lights Blvd: Artist Amy Vail presents her unique stained glass bike wheels starting at 5 p.m., with music from Dan Bailey.

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