“Don’t like Alaska weather?” goes the old joke. “Just wait five minutes.” Yeah, they probably say that in Norway, too, and pretty much any place else on the planet with fickle seasons.
But Holy Permafrost, Betsteroids, did we ever get put in a pickle. Remember that nice, early spring that blew out the Nenana Ice Classic tripod even before tickets could be tallied? We had a good stretch of warm temperatrues that melted most of the snow in town and tricked us into believing we could take off our studded tires. Oops.
If you’re a procrastinator like the Betster, this time not getting around to swapping out tires worked in your favor. For those of you who slipped and slid coming down hills: well, dang.
All weekend it looked like winter had come back with a vengeance, sort of like in “Return of the Jedi,” when Darth Vader rebuilds the Death Star after Luke Skywalker and the rebels blew up the first one. Honest, it looked like winter had ended. As if.
But then just as we worked outselves into a good grump — and perhaps as serious case of denial — along spring came anyway. On Monday, April 22, Earth Day, the sandhil cranes swooped into town. A huge flock of white-fronted geese dropped by, too. And in a sure sign of spring, the first floatplane of the season took off from Beluga Lake.
See? There’s hope. That’s how we roll here at Latitude 59 degrees and some change. So celebrate spring, work on your 10,000 steps and enjoy the sun, maybe with these Best Bets:
BEST BUNNELL BET: Join the Bunnell Street Arts Center to celebrate the community installation created in collaboration with Artist in Residence Alicia Kelly. Bring a dish to share. This event is from 5-7 p.m. today, Thursday.
BEST BEFORE EVERYONE ELSE BET: It’s that time of year again! Time for the biannual Book and Plant Sale hosted by the Friends of the Homer Library. A pre-sale for members is happening from 6-8 p.m. this Friday at the library. Memberships start at $15 and you get first pick of the fabulous book and plant loot.
BEST BOOK BET: Now, for the rest of you. The Friends of the Homer Library biannual Book and Plant Sale will take place rom 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. this Saturday. Proceeds benefit library programs and services. Would you like to volunteer for this fundraiser? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please bring your plants to sell by today, Thursday.
BEST BOOGIE BET: Salmonfest Music Series Presents Rose’s Pawn Shop and the Kachemak Bay Conservation Society Earth Day Event/Celebration, taking place at 9 p.m. this Saturday at Alice’s Champagne Palace. After a performance at Salmonfest 2018, Alice’s welcomes back Rose’s Pawn Shop for an Alaska tour and the annual Kachemak Bay Conservation Society Earth Day event/celebration. With an arsenal of guitars, banjo, thumping upright bass, fiddle and drums, delivering neo-classic-sounding melodies and lyrics, their sound is a wholesome mishmash of creek mud, rusty nails and your mom’s cooking. It effortlessly combines such disparate musical styles as rock, country, bluegrass, and punk to create an incomprehensibly smooth and accessible sound for true believers and skeptics alike. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.
BEST BLUES BET: Join the Bunnell Street Arts Center for a concert by Kenny Williams and Ian McCullough at 7 p.m. this Saturday at the gallery in Old Town. Folk, Blues, and Soul, are just some of the genres that describe the music of Kenny Williams Jr. Originally from New Hampshire, Kenny started playing music professionally in Marburg, Germany, branching out to many corners of continent before returning to the California, Nevada and eventually settling in Homer. Multi-instrumentalist Ian McCullough has lived in Homer for the past 4 years, after being raised in SW Florida and spending some years in New York City. He has played with several local acts including Los Holy Santos Gang, The Barroom Roses, Johnny B’s Devil’s Club Orchestra/Trio, Yellow Cabin, Three Legged Mule, and was a co-developer of the “A Solitary Candle” David Bowie Tribute show. He has played the local circuit, as well as several shows at prominent music festivals in Alaska including Salmonfest, Trapper Creek, and the Seward Music and Arts Festival.