It seems like the complaints about the weather continue to get louder every day. It's cold. It's windy. Will summer ever get here?
Summer officially arrives on June 21, but Alaskans crave as much summer as they can get. And, quite honestly, it's been a bit slow arriving this year.
Not much you can do about that. So the best policy is to put on a jacket and enjoy everything you can about summer -- even if it's not summery. To help, here is a list of what's going on around Southcentral Alaska this weekend (and there’s lots):
Alaska Oceans Festival: This is the weekend's barn-door halibut of activities -- it's big. The free event is noon to 10 p.m. Saturday at the Delaney Park Strip in downtown Anchorage. The festival is part education, part entertainment. Highlights include an evening concert by Son Volt and keynote speaker Alexandra Cousteau's presentation. There also will be a kayak demo, a 5-K run, music by local performers, a marine treasure hunt for the kids, food and craft booths, and lots of other fun.
Skyhoundz Canine Frisbee Competition: The Delaney Park Strip will be a busy place this weekend. After the crowds clear out from the Oceans Fest, the dogs and Frisbees will invade on Sunday. Competition is 1 to 4 p.m., and it's free to watch.
Wild Salmon on Parade sneak preview: Every summer real salmon return to Ship Creek and artist-created salmon return to downtown Anchorage. See all the arty salmon in one place from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday at the Conoco Phillips building, 700 G St., in downtown Anchorage before they are distributed around downtown streets and buildings. It is free to attend.
First Friday: In keeping with the art theme, tomorrow is the first Friday of June and many galleries and other locations in town will have First Friday openings -- an opportunity to see new art, meet some artists and perhaps grab a bite or two of munchies. It's a great way to spend a couple hours. Most openings start at 5 or 5:30 p.m. and continue until 7:30 or so. Again, it's free -- unless you decide you need some artwork.
Three Barons Renaissance Fair: This is the first of two weekends of ye-olde fun in Anchorage. Activities include shows, a living chess game, puppets, dancing, sword fights, storytelling and such. Cost is $3 to $6. Enjoy all the Renaissance entertainment you can handle from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Tozier Track, 3400 Tudor Road.
Girdwood community mural: Put on your painting smock and bring a little creativity to Girdwood's Forest Fair Park starting at noon on Saturday. The community turns out to create a mural that will be on display for a couple years. Gina is the guest artist this year, so this will be my Saturday destination.
Of course, there are plenty of other activities going on around town. And the mountains and bike paths are always calling.
Enjoy! Even if the weather doesn't want to cooperate.