Best Bets

Across the Peninsula, and beyond, parents are in all stages of creating, mending, and/or shopping for their kid’s Halloween costumes.

Cute, spooky, and often somewhere in between, this Betster recalls my childhood costumes, handmade by my mom. A favorite memory is the year my best friend and I dressed as a pair, me a tube of Colgate toothpaste made from a white bed sheet and holding a tall cardboard toothbrush, and them, a tooth with a cavity, also made from cardboard with my Grandpa’s suspenders holding up her costume, and her britches.

Needless to say, we won our school’s morning costume contest, proudly wearing our first-place sashes throughout the school day. Another friend, who dressed as a pregnant Cinderella, continued to wear her own sign, “I should have danced all night,” despite not winning in the contest, and the strong objection of our sixth grade teacher.

I’m sure you have your own tale to tell of favorite and/or not-so-favorite childhood Halloween attire. These Best Bets include pre- and post-Halloween Day activities for all ages, and other local happenings.

Best Strong Seniors Bet: Brittle bones are definitely scary. Head on over to the Homer Senior Center Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. for free Strong Seniors fitness classes that combine slow-motion weight lifting and stretching that promotes strength and mobility. A physician’s authorization to participate is required. For more information and to register, call Bonny at 907-235-4555 or email 3935 Svedlund Street.

Best Halloween Candy Drive Bet: Story Real Estate’s annual Halloween Candy Drive provides candy to the Bayview and Mountain View neighborhood and is in full swing. With a goal of filling 100 reusable canvas shopping bags that will be delivered to participating homes in the area, you can help these generous community members who pass out candy to more than 500 kids every year, with Story Real Estate matching the amount donated. Donations are being accepted at Story Real Estate through Saturday, Oct. 29, 1005 Carriage Court. For more information, call 907-226-3933.

Best New Live Music Bet: Enjoy and support the local live music scene with the Homer Senior Center’s new Last Friday Live Music Series in their Silver Linings Café. Kicking off this month with Homer’s very own Ukulele group, reservations are encouraged for the Friday, Oct. 28 event, which begins at 12 p.m. Call 907-235-4555 to save your seat. 3935 Svedlund Street.

Best Bean Bag Fundraiser Bet: Love Cornhole? Never played? Curious what the game is? The Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies presents their first Cornhole Tournament fundraiser on Friday, Oct. 28 at 4 p.m. at Grace Ridge Brewing. This family-friendly event includes a little something for all ages — prizes, s’mores, and a Halloween costume contest. $25 fee per team of two people. Don’t have a teammate? Stop by and find one on site. Information and registration at or call 907-235-6667.

Best Fire Station Open House Bet: Stop by the Homer Fire station for an Open House, tour, fire demonstrations, hot cocoa, cookies and raffle prizes. Friday, Oct. 28, 6-7:30 p.m and 7:30-9 p.m.

Best Fall Carnival Bet: McNeil Canyon Elementary School holds its annual Fall Carnival. Join in at this fun-for-all-ages event on Saturday, Oct. 29, 3-6 p.m. in the school gym. Festivities include games, a costume competition with prizes, hot food, and a cupcake walk.

Best Fall Festival Bet: The Homer Chamber of Commerce is hosting a free Homer Fall Festival, which includes a Zombie 5K Run, animal costume contest, Scarecrow decorating contest, a haunted house and walk through the woods, face painting, scary stories around a campfire, food trucks, vendors, prizes, and more, supported by local sponsors. Sunday, Oct. 30, 12 p.m.-8:30 p.m. in the chamber parking lot and on the lawn. For more detailed information, call 907-235-7740.

Best Spooky Strings Bet: Spooky Strings is a Halloween string concert featuring Homer OPUS students where you’ll hear string players make spooky sounds you never thought possible from a violin or cello, with some Halloween storytelling too. Costumes are encouraged for this event on Sunday, Oct. 30, 4-5 p.m. at the Islands and Ocean Visitor Center, with light refreshments to follow.

Best Keep the Halloween Fun Going Bet: Pier One Theatre presents the Mud Bay Bards Fundraiser, a showing of Shakespeare’s witchy The Tragedy of Macbeth, starring Frances McDormand and Denzel Washington. Happening Tuesday, Nov. 1 at the Homer Theatre, doors open at 6 p.m. Dress as your best Witch/Weird Sister for a chance to win prizes for Best Costume during the costume contest at 6:30 p.m. The movie begins at 7 p.m. No unaccompanied minors. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Pier One office above the Homer Bookstore, online at, and at the Homer Theatre day of, with a suggested donation of $10/ticket.

A festive doorway includes a pumpkin, broom and painted rocks by Homer Rocks and Anchorage rocks members, photo by Christina Whiting

A festive doorway includes a pumpkin, broom and painted rocks by Homer Rocks and Anchorage rocks members, photo by Christina Whiting