What says summer more than the lupine blooms racing upward along the Homer Spit Road, Fourth of July festivities, and the numerous peony celebrations that kick off and run throughout July? Embrace the beauty of the flowers, cooler weather and all the fun things to do, like these Best Bets.
BEST COMMUNITY POTLUCK BET: SVT Health & Wellness hosts a community potluck and film on Thursday, June 29. Share a meal and watch the documentary, “May I Be Frank,” a true story about a man’s journey from drugs and alcohol to wellness. Soup and gluten-free crackers will be provided. Please bring a summer side dish if you like. For more information, 907-226-2228. 880 East End Road.
BEST KILT SPOTTING BET: The 11th annual Kachemak Bay Highland Games take place Saturday, July 1, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Karen Hornaday Park, 475 Fairview Avenue. Enjoy traditional Scottish athletic events, music, vendors and fun for the entire family. Afterparty begins 7 p.m. at Alice’s Champagne Palace, 195 E Pioneer Avenue. For more information on the Highland Games, including schedule and fees as well as the Kachemak Bay Scottish Club, visit kachemakbayscottishclub.org.
BEST BEACH HORSE RACES BET: Ninilchik Rodeo and Beach Horse Races take place Saturday, July 1 at 11 a.m. with the rodeo to follow at 2 p.m. Watch from your vehicle or bring the family and some lawn chairs and join in cheering on from the beach. Free parking near the public boat launch. 15925 Airport Lane.
BEST WILD PLANTS CULTIVATION BET: Pratt Museum & Park hosts a workshop with Shawn Jackinsky, museum’s head gardener and Kenai Peninsula homesteader. Jackinsky will share fun and creative ways to bring native plants into your garden, including exploring soil types and settings for coastal, alpine, bog, and other biomes. Learn how to make cuttings and divisions to propagate plants in the field and share plants. Participants will take home a small potted plant from the museum’s garden. Workshop is Saturday, July 1, 1 to 3 p.m. Space is limited and there is a fee. Need-based scholarships are available for local community members at email@example.com. For more information and to register, 907-235-8635, prattmuseum.org, 3779 Bartlett Street.
BEST ORCHESTRA CONCERT BET: Kenai Peninsula Orchestra presents “Music We Know and Love” featuring Film Scores, Pops, Classical Classics and small ensemble pieces. Saturday, July 1, 7 to 9 p.m. at Christian Community Church. 3838 Bartlett Street. For more information, 206-484-1804 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
BEST BOOKS ON PARADE BET: Friends of the Homer Library and BOB the Bookmobile will be participating in the Fourth of July “Seas the Day” themed parade. Follow BOB along the Pioneer Avenue parade route and help FHL volunteers and Library staff hand out books to children. Participants are encouraged to wear theme-based costumes — fisherman, boat captain, sailor or favorite sea animal — sea stars, fish, sea otters, octopus or jellyfish. A Parade Prep Party will be held on Monday, July 3, 3-5 p.m. at the library. Please arrive at the Homer High School by 2:30 p.m. on July 4 for 3 p.m. parade start time. For more information, email@example.com or call 907-235-3180.
BEST FOURTH OF JULY PARADE BET: The Homer Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center hosts the annual Fourth of July parade with the theme “Seas the Day.” The parade will run from the Homer High School parking lot and along Pioneer Avenue. Volunteers and floats wanted. Contact Jessica at firstname.lastname@example.org or 907-235-2327. More information online at homeralaska.org.
BEST CALL FOR ART: Bunnell Street Arts Center and Homer Art & Frame are seeking artists to participate in Bunnell’s Annual 10-by-10-inch member exhibit, this year themed “Taking Care.” How do artists picture resilience, innovation, and healing? Through their creations, artists can lead as healers and in times of tension, crisis or distress, artists surface truth and create images of energy, vibrancy and hope. “Taking Care” aims to foster hope, spark joy and nurture self- and community resilience. Join or renew your membership at Bunnell to participate. Register artwork by August 18. Artwork due by August 28. Exhibit will be on display for the month of September. Work must be 10 inches in any direction and ready to hang. Members may submit up to three works and be available for sale for $100, $200 or $300. 10-by-10-inch wooden panels will be available at Bunnell by mid-July, while supplies last. Membership and exhibit information at 907-235-2662, bunnellarts.org, 106 W Bunnell Avenue.
BEST PEONY CELEBRATION BET: Homer’s fourth Annual Peony Celebrations take place through the month of July and include peony farm tours, meadery and greenhouse tours, self-guided Pioneer Avenue walking tour, peony-themed artwork and art classes at local galleries, peony sales, wine tastings, and more. Stop by the Homer Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center for a copy of the walking map and find the full schedule of events and activities at homeralaska.org/events, 907-235-7740, 201 Sterling Highway.
BEST COMMUNITY ROCK ART BET: Meet Stretch the snake, made of individually painted rocks created by Homer community members and hanging out in the gardens in front of WKFL Park, beside Homer Jeans. Help Stretch grow in and around the gardens all summer long by placing your own rocks, ones you’ve painted or ones you’ve found.