Jan. 18—For more than three decades, the Anchorage Folk Festival has been a staple of the local music scene and a constant on the January calendar. The 2024 festival kicks off this weekend and runs through next weekend with plenty of live performances, dances and workshops. And there is more to do in Anchorage this weekend, including a gathering of guitar superstars and plenty of opportunities to get in some chuckles, with multiple comedy shows in town. Here is a look at some of the highlights.
Anchorage Folk Festival
All weekend, locations around Anchorage
The Anchorage Folk Festival returns for two full weekends of music plus Folk Week in between. The first weekend kicks off Thursday with a free edition of Parlor in the Round at 7 p.m. at the Wendy Williamson Auditorium. The Wendy will also host mainstage performances on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Folk Week runs from Monday through Wednesday with performances at Hearth Artisan Pizza, Middle Way Cafe, Reilly's Irish Pub, Sleepy Dog Coffee Co. and more. The UAA Professional Studies Building is the host for workshops Saturday and Sunday. First-weekend headliner Frog Holler performs at Bear Tooth Theatrepub on Saturday at 7 p.m. with local supergroup She's With Me opening.
Visit www.anchoragefolkfestival.org for a full schedule, links to tickets to shows and dances, volunteer opportunities and the Folk Fest raffle.
International Guitar Night
7:30 p.m. Friday/Saturday; Discovery Theatre, 621 W 6th Ave.
Now in its 24th year, International Guitar Night brings together renowned players for a variety of songs, styles and collaborations. Luca Stricagnoli of Italy is an acoustic rocker who will join nylon string expert Thu Le from Vietnam, Brazilian Marco Pereira and Australian Minnie Marks. Tickets start at $47.50.
9:30 a.m. Saturday; Kincaid Park, 9401 Raspberry Road
In the mood for some outdoor activity this weekend? The Frosty Bottom is Anchorage's annual bike marathon on city trails. The short version goes from the Kincaid Chalet to Goose Lake and back, or extend to Hilltop Ski Area and back to Kincaid for the long version. There are awards in a number of classes, and registration fee for the short is $90 and the long $110.
7:30 p.m. Saturday; Atwood Concert Hall, 621 W 6th Ave.
This Second City production is a new revue featuring the best sketch comedy and songs from the history of the famed Chicago-based improv troupe. Dozens of great performers have been alums of Second City including Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Chris Farley and Keegan-Michael Key. Tickets start at $35.
Stand Up to the Power ... of Laughter
7 p.m. Saturday; Odd Man Rush Brewing, 10930 Mausel St. in Eagle River
Local comedians Ben Farleigh, Paco Leshan, Matt Burgoon, Matti Ray and Justin Sands take the stage at Odd Man Rush. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.