Alaska has sure seen its fair share of celebrities of late. Former President Barack Obama graced the state with a visit to highlight global climate change, Mark Zuckerberg hung out in Halibut Cove, and most recently the almighty Oprah Winfrey detailed every moment of her Alaskaventure in the Southeast via excited social media posts.
Even actor Shia Labeouf — who those of you who watched copious amounts of Disney Channel in the 90s, or had children who did, will remember as the lovable lead in “Even Stevens” turned confusing performance artist — deigned to touch down on Alaska soil. He ended an installation art project trip called #TAKEMEANYWHERE, in which fans could pick him off and drop him off wherever they wanted, in Kasilof.
The Betster has noticed something fishy about this trend. Where is the love for the great city of Homer?
Is our status as Halibut Capital of the World not enough to peak the faintest interest of the well to do? Surely Mark would have liked to have flown home with pounds of fresh fish in his bags?
As if that weren’t enough, Homer was just recently proclaimed “City of Peonies” as well. The Betster is sure Oprah’s trip suffered, if nothing else, from a lack of the state’s most beautiful blooms.
So many people view Alaska as the ultimate summer destination. (Forget winter, what kind of vacation is that? Maybe people from Michigan wouldn’t mind it so much. The airfare is cheaper, at any rate)
Yet Juneau, Denali and the Kenai River on the central peninsula seem to get all the (misplaced, in the Betster’s opinion) attention.
If high-caliber visitors looked south to Homer, they’d see just what they’re missing out on. Then again, perhaps it’s for the best that Homerites don’t have to deal with any more tourists than currently flood our beaches and shanghai our shops.
Obama’s visit caused panic, planning and profuse spending on Alaska’s infrastructure side throughout the duration of his stay. Without the extra headache of high-powered guests, Homerites are free to enjoy the treasures they know are not to be taken for granted, sans threat of overcrowding, selling out or cancellation.
Still, if any more A-list guests decide to see what the Last Frontier’s all about, perhaps these Best Bets will lead them in the right direction:
BEST BENEVOLENT BET: There’s no better bet than the one that leaves someone else better off. Helping others also tends to make one feel better about oneself in the process. The Alaska State Parks staff needs volunteers to help work on the Saddle Trail. Each Saturday in August, helpers can get their hands messy moving dirt and helping to grub. The best part? No skills necessary. Call 435-7969 for more information.
BEST DRAMATIC BET: A true Homerite knows the value in good local theatre. What well-to-dos pay an arm and a leg to see on Broadway has also made its way to local theaters on the peninsula sooner or later over the decades. To get a taste of talent for not that much dough (admission is free with a suggested donation), head out to see “The Head That Wouldn’t Die,” starting at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Pier One Theatre on Homer Spit Road.
BEST RELAXING BET: Isn’t meditation something celebrities are always going on about these days? Well, the Betster’s pretty sure it was going on in Homer long before A-listers of today seized the idea as a great way to pass the time. If the summer tourists have been getting your goat as of late, cool down and clear your mind with Floating Leaf Sangha Meditation from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Many Rivers Cedar House.