Best Bets

Fire burning off the remnants of a summer eclipsed by the storming rain clouds. Will this burning break through the placid facade of our drifting-asleep fall?

If nothing else, the Burning Basket celebrations this year will be an opportunity to see faces lit up in ways which we are not usually accustom to in daily operations. The lighting of a flickering, warm flame which absorbs a structure created by community will bring a dimension to expression that is strange and magical.

Not only that, but this year’s theme, “BREATHE – Basket of Remembrance and Unburdening,” allows for expression of the most sacred sort. Ordinarily there is no easy place for grieving in the rigmarole of our duties. However, this year’s basket will serve as a safe venue for such outpouring. As Burning Basket organizer Mavis Muller said of the theme, life begins with a breath and ends with a breath and includes all the breaths in between.

Draped under the plenitude of darkness, the basket’s flame will shine all the brighter. Strangers, neighbors and friends will share observation and participation in the ceremony, united around the magnificence of secrets floating up in smoke.

Flames like these warm our bodies in ways which transcend the temperature gauge. The question is how can one keep the torch of genuine solicitude and safe spaces for disclosure burning beyond the night of Sept. 11?

What is perhaps crucial in event is the collaborative force of community. This is a coming-together which is not limited to any yearly gathering, nor any extraordinary action. Collaboratively we move through our community constantly, whether we are aware of the impacts of others or not. However, through the intention of a few individuals, this energy of collaboration can be amplified or directed in ways which serve our true needs.

The Burning Basket is an example of such intentional communal efforts, just as the Nutcracker with all its festivities in the winter and Concert on the Lawn in the summer are, though in different ways. There are many “staples” of Homer living which continue to serve as testimony to the power of our combined efforts, returning year after year with persevering well-effects.

Community is something which allows us to share ourselves in ways which are impossible in isolation. Our collaborative efforts found themselves on the vicissitudes of climate, politics, and economy and rise to something which we collectively choose to create.

The Burning Basket is yet another special community event, and there will be more to come as the year unfolds, staples and welcomed new arrivals alike.

For more ways to dive into the community, check out these Best Bets:

BEST ELECTRIC BET: Make that “electronic,” as the Kenai Peninsula holds its first-ever electronic dance music festival this weekend. Lasers will light up the sky at the ARCHES Amphitheater and Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik for the Sacred Acre music festival. It will run for three days, Sept. 9-11, and feature more than 20 acts, including both local and national talent. The roster ranges from headliners like French producer CloZee to Homer local DJ Fractal Theory, and plenty more. Sacred Acre, like Salmonfest, is dedicated to raising awareness about an issue. For this event, it’s ocean trawling. On the Sacred Acre website, the Sacred Acre mission is clearly stated as the regulation or banning of trawling — starting with bottom trawling.

BEST ALL THE WORLD BET: The fourth annual Annual Alaska World Arts Festival returns with a mixture of virtual and live events from Sept. 9-22. Friday, it kicks off with a gala celebration at 2 p.m. at the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center and then blasts through the next week with awesome music, poetry readings, workshops and more. See page B1 for more information or vist

BEST SHINY BET: It might be raining this weekend, but the Spit City Slickers will be heating up the house for a Second Friday concert at 6 p.m. Friday at the Homer Council on the Arts. Part of Recovery Month, they play in a family-friendly, alcohol-free setting. Admission is by donation at the door. Kombucha on tap will be available.

BEST GET READY BET: With the cold, dark months coming, what better way to ease into fall and winter by cozying up with a good book? Check out the Friends of the Library Fall Book and Plant Sale from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Homer Public Library. Want to get first pick? Friends members get in for a pre-sale from 6-8 p.m. Friday. Memberships start at $15. You can join at the door.

BEST AND ANOTHER THING BET: Want to learn more about the Homer City Council and city issues? Have something you need to speak up about? Join Homer City Councilmember Jason Davis for the first fall lunch at the library at noon Tuesday, Sept. 13, at the library. Sponsored by the Friends of the Homer Public Library, Lunch With a Councilmember offers a casual setting for community members to ask questions and share ideas with a different Homer City Councilmember each meeting. Feel free to bring your own bag lunch.

Burning Basket coordinator Mavis Muller, works on this this year’s Burning Basket, Breathe, on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022, at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Burning Basket coordinator Mavis Muller, works on this this year’s Burning Basket, Breathe, on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022, at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)