June jam-packed with festivals for all ages
June is a big month for special events in Anchorage. From sunup to sundown and the first to the 31st, our city is packed with good times and great events. So what exactly do the longest days of summer hold for Anchorage? Almost everything under the sun. Here are five big ways to get in on the fun:
Three Barons Renaissance Fair
Anchorage is, not surprisingly, woefully short on European castles. But Three Barons Renaissance Fair has been injecting a little bit of medieval mojo into the city for more than 20 years. Whether you prefer to wield a broadsword or a roasted turkey leg, this is the place for you. Catch all the swordplay and sorcery at the Tozier Track off Tudor Road on one of two consecutive weekends: June 1-2 or June 8-9. (3barons.org)
The city’s LGBT community hosts PrideFest, a weeklong celebration that starts June 8. The biggest day, June 15, kicks off in front of Snow City Cafe with music before the party marches down K Street to the Delaney Park Strip for more music and food. For more, go to alaskapride.org.
Bring a blanket and picnic lunch and stretch out on the Park Strip for the annual Juneteenth celebration June 18-20. Juneteenth is celebrated across the country as a commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States. Here in Anchorage, the multicultural event educates about Alaska’s African-American history. Try traditional games, enjoy live entertainment and even free food for kids.
Alaska Scottish Highland Games
“Caber” and “piobaireachd” are both Scottish words for “fun.” OK, not really – they’re really the words for a long log used in a Scottish throwing competition and a traditional form of piping, respectively. But both mean fun at the Alaska Scottish Highland games June 29 in Eagle River. If you have never watched the strength competitions, you’ll be astonished to see masters throw logs the length of telephone poles end over end. Listen to traditional music, or why not don a kilt and go for a run? The Kilted Mile is surely one of the few races with a dress code that requires the traditional tartan Scottish menswear. (alaskascottish.org)
Perhaps the best-known June event of them all, the Solstice Festival, takes over downtown on June 22. A big skateboard demonstration, kids’ activities, live music and the Hero Games fill up Fourth Avenue between C and L streets. The Hero Games is a friendly competition between Alaska’s first responders featuring obstacle course challenges, bucket brigades and relays races geared to police, fire and military skills.
The author Henry James called “summer afternoon” the two most beautiful words in our language. Spend a little time out celebrating with your friends and neighbors this month, and I’m sure you’ll agree with him.
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