Relax before school starts with a citywide artwalk and party

The start of fall semester 2009 is fast approaching. With students scrambling to sign up for last minute classes and scrounge up money for tuition and textbooks, it might be a wise ideas to take a night to slow down and take a stroll about the town.

The First Friday Art Walk has been a long running tradition with Anchorage, and the First Friday of Aug. 7 will have plenty to enjoy. All sorts of musical venues will have free shows and gallery postings for everyone to view. With dozens of stops and locations to choose from and each one offering a different experience, there is no shortage of entertainment.

One place that is always offering a large supply of art and entertainment is MTS Gallery, located on Mountain View Drive. This time there will be a special performance at 7 p.m. and art will be up for show from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Taproot Café, located on the of south side of town, always has art and music available on the First Friday openings. There will be photographs of outdoor scenes from several artists on display in the café. Another eatery to check out on First Friday is Middle Way Café. This place always has art hung up from local talent in Anchorage as well. It is located right next to Title Wave Books as well, another major stop on First Friday. Since it is located in the heart of the midtown’s First Friday events, either the café or Title Wave is a good place to stop by.

Across from Title Wave, make your way over to Dos Manos, the spiral staircase that was turned into an exquisite art gallery. Dos Manos always has a wide selection of art to gawk over, and if something really strikes your fancy, it is all for sale. But if several -hundred dollars is too steep of a price tag for your First Friday souvenir, smaller prints are available to stylize anyone’s new college pad or dorm room.

For those looking strictly for a concert, head to the downtown park for a musical performance by Top Cover, a local Alaska band. The show is free and runs from noon to 1 p.m.

A person does not need to be told exactly where to go on First Friday, however. The event is huge, and features over 80 locations hosting art shows and performances.

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That number is constantly growing. This tradition started back in 1994 as a small art walk, now it is a citywide event. Major artistic players like the Anchorage Museum and the Alaska Performing Arts Center have come aboard along with dozens of small local businesses. A simple stroll down 5th Avenue or Northern Lights Boulevard will take you through many dazzling art displays.

First Friday is definitely an enjoyable, all day experience. Before school starts up again students should take advantage of the free entertainment one last time before Friday night has to be designated to study time.