Anthony DiCosola, winner of the 2019 Mr. Homer Pageant, blows a kiss to the crowd Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019 at the Winter Carnival Parade in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Anthony DiCosola, winner of the 2019 Mr. Homer Pageant, blows a kiss to the crowd Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019 at the Winter Carnival Parade in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Best Bets

Good morning, lovebirds!

Did you take a peek at the date on the calendar today? That’s right: It’s Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day, also known as The Day That Strikes Fear into the Heart of Men. The Betster isn’t being sexist here and writing “men” when we mean “humans.” We’re talking men-men, the male of the species, those of you who carry Y chromosomes in your DNA, or identify as such.

Holy Heartburn, Betsteroids! What is a guy to do?

If you’re just now realizing that today is the day in which people in loving relationships honor the sweeties in their lives, oh boy, have we got trouble.

Do you think you’ll be able to find that special bar of salted-caramel red pepper dark chocolate? Do you think you’ll find any roses that don’t look like they’ve been run over by a side-by-side four-wheeler with studded tires? Bonne chance, as they say in Paris.

Oh yeah: That’s the other thing. If you truly loved that special one, you’d be in Paris with them right now, perhaps on a Seine River cruise at night eating bad pate, watching Parisian couples necking.

Nope. You’re not in Paris. You’re in Homer, Alaska, the end of the road. That means improvise and get to the heart of the day. Never mind the roses. Tell ’em “I love you” and then have fun, maybe with these Best Bets:

BEST BUNNELL BET: It’s that time of year again! Head over to Bunnell Street Arts Center for Paint an Art Plate and contribute to the well of creativity that nourishes this community. Art Plates are hand made by Homer potters and painted by you: artists, community members and Bunnell supporters. The beautiful, collectable and functional Art Plates are available as premiums for memberships of $125 and above. Bunnell provides the supplies, you provide the time. First time plate painters are welcome to participate after a brief introduction of the project and painting process by staff. The painting starts today and runs through April 1.

BEST BOOGIE BET: There will be a square and contra dance at 7:30 p.m. Friday at West Homer Elementary School. Rich Kleinleder and Laura Patty will call to music by the Spit City Slickers. Please bring clean soft-soled shoes to dance in. Beginners welcome. Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for youth. Kids 16 and younger get in free. If you are willing to be a door-sitter for a short shift and get in free, please e-mail PeggyEllen at These dances are sponsored by the Homer Community Recreation Program.

BEST BETTER COMMUNITY BET: Want to help make a difference in your community? Check out the “Your Voice, Your Community: Addiction and Recovery” discussion this weekend. Hosted by the Southern Kenai Peninsula Opioid Task Force and MAPP, this is an open space forum where all voices will be heard. All are welcome and encouraged to bring your ideas to share. Lunch is provided. The solution does not lie within the agencies, healthcare providers or the state, it lies within all of you amazing, passionate people. Rally together and be the change you want to see in the world.

BEST BENEVOLENT BET: Feel like helping out while also enjoying some talented musicians? Head over to Bunnell Street Arts Center to hear Daniel Perry (violin), Susan Wingrove-Reed (piano), and Mannfried Funk (cello), collaborate for a chamber music to benefit the new youth string initiative named OPUS, Orchestral Programs Unified Steering. OPUS was designed to create a unified youth string music organization that will integrate programs including Fireweed Frescoes, Paul Banks Preludes, and Homer Youth String Orchestra. People can still donate to a specific program but can also donate to OPUS, which will allocate funds to the individual groups as is most needed. The concert is a fundraiser is an opportunity for family and community members to hear in concert at a much lower cost and support youth string programs here in general. The concert starts at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets range in price from $10-$40 and are available on Bunnell’s website.

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