Named after Augustus Caesar, the first Roman emperor, August refers to the eighth month of the year and is used to describe something or inspiring, imposing and magnificent. Locally, for example, one might say, “the Devil’s Club in my yard are so August!” While this month signals autumn’s approach just around the corner which none of us want to think about, there are many things to celebrate – National Watermelon Day on Aug. 3, National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day is Aug. 8, Aug. 10 is National S’mores Day, and Aug. 25 is Kiss-and-Make-Up Day. Write those dates on your calendar along with these Best Bets events and activities that will keep you soaking up all the fun still to come.
BEST PEONY PERSEVERANCE BET: Homer’s fourth annual Peony Celebration has been extended through Aug. 13 due to the cooler weather, with farm tours, meadery and greenhouse tours, a self-guided walking tour along Pioneer Avenue, peony sales, wine and mead tastings and more. Peony bouquet sales on the Homer Chamber of Commerce lawn are Thursday, Aug. 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday, Aug. 4 from 2-6 p.m., and Saturday, Aug. 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Find more information on the various events and activities at homeralaska.org/events or stop by the Homer Chamber of Commerce, 201 Sterling Highway.
BEST CHICKEN FIELD DAY BET: If you’re struggling with invasive Orange Hawkweed on your property, Homer Soil & Water Conservation District is hosting a Chicken Tractor Field Day to share how chickens may serve as an alternate weed control tool over mowing, digging, burning and other methods commonly used on this aggressive spreader. Visit their experiment site on Friday, Aug. 4 from 4-6 p.m. at Hickerson Memorial Cemetery on Diamond Ridge Road.
BEST MARICULTURE MEETUP BET: Alaska’s mariculture industry, cultivating fish or other marine life for food, is emerging and Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District is hosting a group of participants, contributors and innovators within the industry who will be discussing, engaging and learning from one another. Join in the conversation on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Kachemak Bay Campus.
BEST AUTHOR ADVENTURE TALK BET: Friends of the Homer Public Library host author Corky Parker, former Alaskan and award-winning author of “La Finca: Love, Loss, and Laundry on a Puerto Rican Island” in conversation with her childhood friend, Homer’s own Charlotte Adamson Kilcher. For more than 20 years, Parker ran an eco-lodge in Puerto Rico, enjoyed by guests from around the world. “La Finca” is a graphic memoir about a woman creating a new life amid countless challenges and a story about trusting oneself, self-discovery, accepting disappointment and loss and falling in love with a place. Copies of the book are available at the Homer Bookstore and will be on sale at the event or check out the book from the library. Talk takes place in the library’s fireplace lounge and via Zoom on Tuesday, Aug. 8, 6:30-7:30 p.m. More information and Zoom link at: https://www.cityofhomer-ak.gov/library/author-talk-corky-parker-la-finca-love-loss-and-laundry-tiny-puerto-rican-island.
BEST KIDS MARKET VENDING BET: Know a youth aged 18 and under who loves to bake, make art or garden? Upcoming Kids Vending Days at the Homer Farmers Market are Wednesdays, Aug. 9 and 16, 1:30-5 p.m. Providing an opportunity for youth to engage in agricultural and entrepreneurial activities and education while developing social and math skills, all produce/eggs/crafts sold must be produced/cared for/harvested by the kid selling it, with minimal adult assistance. Space is first-come, first-served — check in at the information booth at 1:30 p.m. to be assigned a space. For more information ahead of time, visit homerfarmersmarket.org or stop by the market Information Booth on Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or Wednesdays, 2-5 p.m.
BEST KNEE HIGH NATURALIST BET: The Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies hosts Knee High Naturalists at the Wynn Nature Center Tuesdays, 10:30-11:30 a.m. all summer long. Naturalists will provide fun programs for parents and toddlers to explore the outdoors, including stories, walks and crafts, with a new theme each week. Activities are free and a parent/caregiver must be present. For more information, 907-235-6667, akcoastalstudies.org.
BEST COMMUNITY WALK BET: Homer’s Independent Living Center presents “Walk with Pat” Wednesdays, 1:30-3:30 p.m. through August. Meet behind ILC building’s parking lot for an inclusive walk in central Homer. Discover how to better connect and experience the community on foot, with discussions about walkability in Homer, pedestrian safety concerns and addressing hazards often overseen. Open to everybody and routes change weekly. For more information, call 907-235-7911. 265 E Pioneer Avenue.
BEST HARBOR WALKING TOUR BET: Pratt Museum & Park host Historic Homer Harbor walking tours all summer long on Fridays and Saturdays, from 3-4:30 p.m., $10 per person. Meet at the wheelhouse in front of the Salty Dawg Saloon at 3 p.m. to join the guide and walk the harbor docks and learn about local history, a variety of boats, and characters who shaped Kachemak Bay’s maritime and fishing industries. For more information, 907-235-8635.
BEST CALL FOR ART BET: Bunnell Street Arts Center and Homer Art & Frame are seeking artists to participate in Bunnell’s Annual 10” x 10” member exhibit, this year themed “Taking Care”. 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 Aug. 18. Artwork due by Aug. 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 available at Bunnell while supplies last. Membership and exhibit information at 907-235-2662, bunnellarts.org, 106 W Bunnell Avenue.