Best Bets

Fall doesn’t seem like it can hold back much longer — the temperatures are already cooling down, the fireweed has just about bloomed out, and pumpkin spice season has officially launched. Not to worry — there’s plenty of upcoming events and attractions to keep warm and stay active, from community potlucks to new First Friday exhibits to book sales and blueberry picking! Just take a look through these Best Bets.

BEST COMMUNITY POTLUCK BET: Join SVT for a potluck with a focus on sobriety to kick off the Labor Day holiday weekend! Willy Dunn with Kachemak Bay Recovery Connection, a new nonprofit on the peninsula, will be available during the event. September is National Recovery Month — step into September together with SVT and friends! This event is part of SVT’s program of Thrive! class hosted by health and wellness coach Jenifer Dickson. For more information, call 907-226-2228 or visit 880 East End Road.

BEST CERAMICS SHOWCASE BET: Homer Council on the Arts will be hosting a Ceramics Showcase featuring works by community members who have taken classes in HCOA’s ceramics studio since its opening in November 2022. The community group show will be held in the HCOA gallery through the month of September, with a First Friday opening reception on Sept. 1 from 5-7 p.m. From kindergartners to retirees, this exhibit represents the beginning of a beautiful friendship between HCOA, clay, and our community. For more information, 355 W Pioneer Ave.

BEST CITIZEN SCIENTIST CRANE SIGHTING BET: Kachemak Crane Watch is looking to Citizen Scientists for help in a special sandhill crane population survey. The final count day is on Saturday, Sept. 2. Please report the number of adults, colts, or banded cranes seen by location, time, and day, and your name and contact information for the final count day to or by calling 907-235-6262. Craniacs will also gather for Count Day Fly-ins at Beluga Slough from 6 p.m. till sundown at the picnic table. For more information, call 907-235-6262.

BEST WORLD ARTS FESTIVAL BET: Mark your calendars for the Alaska World Arts Festival coming Sept. 7-21. Enjoy free and ticketed music, dance, theater, film, visual arts, storytelling, literature and comedy events and activities by local, national and international artists. Opening Gala at the Homer Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, Sept. 7. For more information, tickets and the full Festival schedule, visit

BEST BOOK AND PLANT SALE BET: The Friends of the Homer Public Library will hold their Fall Book and Plant Sale on Saturday, Sept. 9 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the library. An FHL members-only presale will be held Friday, Sept. 8 from 6-8 p.m. If you’re not already an FHL member, you can register online or join at the door. If you have books you’d like to donate, the library is accepting fiction titles in excellent condition. Plant donations may be dropped off at the library starting Thursday, Sept. 7 at 10 a.m. For more information, or 907-435-3195. 500 Hazel Ave.

BEST OKTOBERFEST BET: Break out your lederhosen, plait your hair and enjoy live music, merriment and dancing at Oktoberfest with Alaska Blaskapelle for the 2023 Oktoberfest on Sept. 9 from 6-9 p.m. at the Best Western Bidarka Inn. This is a ticketed event: tickets are $12 per individual or $40 for family admission. Attendants five years and under are free. Help fundraise for Homer Council on the Arts by purchasing your tickets online or in the HCOA office. Local food and beer will also be available for purchase — minors must be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian or a spouse 21 years of age or older. For more information, 575 Sterling Highway.

BEST LIVE READING BET: Join Kachemak Bay Campus for a live reading presented by Tutka Bay Writers Retreat featured instructor, Amy E. Butcher. This event, co-sponsored by KBC and the Homer Bookstore, is free and open to the public. The reading will be held the evening before the 2023 retreat begins, on Thursday, Sept. 14 from 6-7:30 p.m. Butcher is an award-winning essayist and author of “Mothertrucker,” published in 2021. For more information, visit 533 E Pioneer Ave.

BEST GUIDED FORAGING AND BIRDING BET: Join Kachemak Heritage Land Trust and naturalist Dale Chorman for a guided foraging and birding experience on Saturday, Sept. 16. Plan to meet at 9 a.m. to take Mako’s water taxi across the bay. Partake in a moderately strenuous hike to pick blueberries, bird-watch, and learn about other local flora and fauna on Grace Ridge. Stock up for those long winter months and connect with land trust friends while supporting KHLT. This all-day trip will be limited to 10 attendees. For more information, visit 315 Klondike Ave.

BEST LIVE HEALTH TALK BET: Join South Peninsula Hospital on Thursday, Sept. 14 at 5 p.m. for a monthly “Down with Downey: Live at Five” talk on fighting fatigue. Uncover fatigue’s root causes beyond conventional medicine, learn about lifestyle, emotional and environmental factors that impact energy levels, and explore integrative approaches for effective healing. Dr. Rob Downey, MD is an IFM-certified practitioner at Seaworthy Functional Medicine Clinic. “Down with Downey” is a monthly series held on Facebook Live where participants can hear Dr. Downey’s insights on health, wellness and functional medicine, followed by a live Q&A. For more information, 907-435-3070 or

A bald eagle alights on a tall spruce tree on Friday, Aug. 25, 2023 in Anchor Point, Alaska. (Delcenia Cosman/Homer News)

A bald eagle alights on a tall spruce tree on Friday, Aug. 25, 2023 in Anchor Point, Alaska. (Delcenia Cosman/Homer News)

Wild strawberries are ripening on Friday, Aug. 25 in Anchor Point. (Delcenia Cosman/Homer News)

Wild strawberries are ripening on Friday, Aug. 25 in Anchor Point. (Delcenia Cosman/Homer News)