Funny River revelry [+slideshow]

When the dust finally settled Saturday night, after hours of dancing left a haze of dirt, smoke and the bittersweet smell of sweat in the air, Sara Rogers was still dancing with fire.


St. Animal, the last band of the night and one of more than 30 that played over the weekend, seemed to know exactly what she needed as they launched into a tango that sent the Anchorage woman jumping, spinning and twisting into the air, flames just barely licking her skin.

The audience, more than 100 revelers, watched as she and another Anchorage-by-way-of-Kasilof man, Max Walton took turns playing with fire as the night wound to a close.

Eric Fischer, festival organizer, said the Fourth Annual Funny River Bluegrass festival came together after a friend and fellow musician Jacob "Deuce" Larson died during a festival in Talkeetna in 2009.

Each year a few hundred people camp along the shores of Browns Lake to take in bluegrass acts from around the state during a summer weekend.

The shows stretch into the early hours of the morning, although Fischer said organizers try to keep the festival to fewer than 500 people so it doesn't "get too crazy."

While the shows cater to bluegrass musicians, Fischer said there's a little bit of everything for everyone and one of the few music festivals on the Kenai Peninsula.

"It's one of the only music events besides Salmonstock," he said.

Festival slideshow