Ben: Well Katie, another weekend is fast approaching, which means it's time to wrassle up some events for the folks who aren't out hiking, camping or fishing now that spring -- or maybe summer? -- is finally upon us.
If you're in search of a less physically demanding way to spend an evening outdoors, why not head to Soldotna on Saturday and check out folk trio The Wailin' Jennys playing at the Soldotna Creek Park? It's an all-ages show. I may have grown up in the age of Nirvana and Pearl Jam, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy a few gentle folk-songstress harmonies from time to time, does it? I can even overlook that their official page repeatedly refers to the community of Soldotna as "Soldatna."
The group also plays in Anchorage on Friday at the Wendy Williamson Auditorium, though then you miss out on some time in the great Alaska outdoors.
But Katie, I suspect you've got First Friday on the brain, and I can see you're getting anxious to tell me all about it, so why don't I just shut up?
Katie: Thank you Ben. Finally.
Yes. First Friday is upon us and in it's shaping up to be a good one with all kinds of special events. I'll highlight a few from around the state, but a longer list of our Anchorage short picks is available here.
So, that's a quick first Friday blip, but I have a few more things to kick your way before you get to jibber jabbing about boring stuff, Ben. Let's talk music real quick.
You covered the Wailin' Jennys, yes, and that's all well and fine, but there's more. So. Much. More.
Speaking of festivals (and on top of all of that) there's also Colony Days in Palmer, a festival to commemorate the Colonists who founded the farming community, way back in 1935. Colony Days runs Friday through Sunday.
Alright Ben ... wrap this bad boy up so we can go home.
Ben: Wow, why do I even bother showing up? Looks like you've covered everything. On the first tap, I'm going to take this moment and ask why Broken Tooth brewing (née Moose's Tooth) doesn't just go ahead and make the Pono coconut porter -- May's featured first tap -- a permanent fixture in their brewing lineup already. It's that awesome.
Speaking of beer, reporter Suzanna Caldwell and I managed to finish last week's Skinny Raven 12k and get that free beer I was hoping for. Was it worth it? Well, I certainly didn't feel guilty about all those empty calories after the run, so there's that.
There's another popular running event taking place in Anchorage this weekend, this time the 5-mile Alaska Run for Women. This is always a big deal, with thousands of runners turning out -- last year drew more than 7,000 -- and raising hundreds of thousands for breast cancer awareness and prevention. Registration closes Thursday for timed racers and Friday for untimed entrants. There's also a 1-mile walk/run. The race course treks through downtown Anchorage and the Coastal Trail, so keep an eye out for possible road closures.
And I know I said "This Weekend" is for those not looking to go hiking, camping or fishing, but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the Ship Creek King Salmon Derby kicks off Friday, joining the ongoing Seward and Homer halibut derbies. So, if you love fishing anyway, why not go for the whopper and try to make some money to boot. Just make sure to buy a ticket.
Katie: One more thing, Ben! Sunday at Bear Tooth TheaterPub in Anchorage Four members of the original Wickersham Wall team -- David Roberts, John Graham, Peter Carman, and Rick Millikan -- will speak and share slides from their 1963 assent of Denali's direct North Face. If you're a climber, like climbing or just like climbers *wink* then this event will be fantastic. Doors open at 8 p.m. and it will only cost you $10 (plus whatever you spend on beer and snacks).