Peonies used at Alaska Perfect Peony Farm to create bouquets for the tour group on July 9. Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News
The second annual Homer Peony Celebration continues through July 24 with peony farm tours, art workshops, parties and peony bouquet sales! The Rotary Club of Homer-Kachemak Bay and Alaska Beauty Peony Co-op are also extending the peony bouquet sale at the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center for an additional weekend, including July 29-31. The bouquets are $20 and can be purchased from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 22-24 and 29-31. For more information or to view the full schedule events, visit www.homeralaska.org/homer-peony-celebration/.

Peonies used at Alaska Perfect Peony Farm to create bouquets for the tour group on July 9. Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News The second annual Homer Peony Celebration continues through July 24 with peony farm tours, art workshops, parties and peony bouquet sales! The Rotary Club of Homer-Kachemak Bay and Alaska Beauty Peony Co-op are also extending the peony bouquet sale at the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center for an additional weekend, including July 29-31. The bouquets are $20 and can be purchased from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 22-24 and 29-31. For more information or to view the full schedule events, visit www.homeralaska.org/homer-peony-celebration/.

Best Bets

Admit it, Betster persons. You’re kinda glad it rained this week. We Alaskans just can’t take hot temperatures. Last week left many of us gasping like blood hounds too dumb to get back in the shade when the sun moved around that big old live oak out in the back 40.

Holy Daniel Fahrenheit! We had so many sunny days we ran out of excuses to mow the lawn. Kids glued to their electronic devices couldn’t use an impending rain forecast to blow off their parents’ suggestion that they go outside and play. They actually did go outside and play, and discovered the fun of not staring at a screen in which every click made Mr. Zuckerberg 5 cents richer.

We enjoyed weather so gosh darn wonderful that we had to dig into our vintage collection of Aloha shirts to have something to wear. Roofs were patched. Houses were painted. Camping adventures were made and dang the leaky tent.

In short, for almost a week we lived just like … like Californians. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but here in the Last Frontier, “California” gets used as a verb for something seen as antithetical to our precious Alaska values. If we only could agree on those values, we could then agree on how being too much like California corrupted them. And then which California is bad? Los Angeles? San Francisco? San Diego? Lancaster?

And why is so California so evil? Does anyone ever think we’re going to Rhode Islandize Alaska? What would that mean? Shrink it?

Anyhow, the point is: Alaska did feel like California last week — maybe northern California. You know how it goes. Once the temps rise above 65, we’re in agony. That rain sure has felt good, and best yet — you now how an excuse not to mow the lawn. So take that time to enjoy life, maybe with these Best Bets:

BEST PATSY CLINE & PEONIES BET: The Betster is going “Crazy” thinking “Sweet Dreams” of the Pratt Museum and Park Ritz Garden Party this Friday, July 23 at 5 p.m. Themed “Peonies and Patsy Cline,” the party will feature music, dancing, heavy hors d’oeuvres, themed hats and the Pier One Theatre’s live performance of “Always… Patsy Cline.” Rain or shine, the show will go on! Tickets are on sale now for $125 per person. Peony bouquets will be available for purchase at the event for $25 as well. All proceeds will benefit the Pratt Museum and Park. Visit www.eventbrite.com/e/the-ritz-garden-party-at-the-pratt-museum-park-tickets-155886204835 to purchase your tickets.

BEST FARMERS MARKET BET: Need fresh summer fruits and vegetables that are home grown? Need your knives sharpened or a beautiful handmade necklace? Need a centralized location full of crafts, food and home goods to spend your Saturday and a little bit of money? The Homer Farmers Market is the place to be! Full of a variety of services, shopping at the farmers market ensures the local community stays connected and supported. Check out the Homer Farmers Market this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for all your local needs.

BEST CHRISTMAS IN JULY BET: “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…” Well, technically there is still snow on the mountain tops across the bay, so catch the Betster singing Christmas carols all of the way to the Anchor Point Senior Center this Saturday, July 24, for crafts, baked goods, art work, painted rocks and more! From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., all ages are welcome to come shop and enjoy the Christmas cheer.

BEST MAKE IT GLOW BET: Speaking of peonies, you can make your own pressed-flower luminary in an art worksop on Saturday. Artist Sharlene Cline leads the class from 1-3 p.m. Saturday at the Homer Council on the Arts. Create luminary usings pressed local peonies and other natural materials and enjoy peonies all year long. The fee is $40 general and $30 for HCOA members. Register online at www.homerart.org or call 907-235-4288.

BEST KEEP READING BET: Readers, you still have time to participate in Summer@HPL, the free reading and learning program for all ages. It runs through July 31. Summer@HPL supports reading and learning for kids, teens and their adults. Visit the Homer Public Library online to find out about free activities to go, virtual programs and outdoor activities to enjoy all summer long. For more information, visit the Homer Public Library online at www.cityofhomer-ak.gov/library

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