Pick away the end of summer blues

Whether students want to acknowledge it or not, the countdown is close to ending as the new semester of school quickly approaches. But after a fun-filled summer, what is left to do that will be fun and able to delay those end of summer blues?

How about going on a short road trip, either alone, with a significant other, or with a bunch of friends where everyone can frolf, hike, pick berries, bake pies, eat pies, and view concerts all in one weekend and all in one place?

This is possible at the popular Alyeska resort, located in the heart of Girdwood. Alyeska is hosting its fifth annual Blueberry Festival, scheduled for August 13 and 14 running from 12pm until 6pm each day. To make it even better, admission is free.

This festival is host to various booths with arts, crafts, food, and more. There will also be live music from local bands such as Cherry Jam, The Stringfellows, River People Band, Your average Amazons, among many others.

“The festival has tons of different activities, and many of them are great for keeping the kids busy while we adults go visit the beer garden,” said Leslie Tomack.

Outside the festival, patrons can go on blueberry picking jaunts, guided for the beginners, and solo for more seasoned outdoorsmen and women. It is a nice hike up the mountain and the blueberries make a great late afternoon snack. But be sure to save enough to make a blueberry pie later at the culinary demonstrations.

For those who do not want to go through the daunting task of picking and then baking, there is the option of just eating pie, and lots of it. The only catch is that whoever wants this vast quantity of pie slices must be on stage, and eat as much as they can in five minutes.

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John Greyson enjoys watching the competitive consumption of pie, “One of my friends did it last year and I think his hands were tinted purple for days.”

There are also booths with pies that people can take and eat at their leisure if they aren’t in a competitive eating mood.

The festival ends at 6pm each day, but the fun doesn’t stop there in the land of the midnight sun. Alyeska offers a wide variety of other activities that people can partake in after hours. Alyeska just opened a nine-hole frolf course, which is rising in popularity in Alaska, and a great way to waste time away. Alyeska is also home to miles of mountain biking trails and even offers list assisted downhill mountain biking. For those who want the more automatic mode of transporting around the wilderness, ATVs are available for rent.

Afterwards, attendees can spend a night in one of Alyeska’s many suites, or ruff it outdoors in a tent or even under the open sky and do everything again the next day.

Whatever variety of activities a person chooses to partake in, it is guaranteed that it will be a fun and exciting adventure and a great way to spend some of the last days of summer before it’s time to head back to school.