Best Bets

This Betster hopes the rain will let up soon, for the sake of my strawberry bed — and more importantly, for the sake of everyone living in the flood zones out East End Road and Kachemak Drive. Flooding is no joke — the Betster hopes everyone is staying safe and as dry as possible. In the meantime, if you’re looking for things to do and ways to get out of the weather, there’s a bunch of looked-forward-to community events starting this week. Just check out these Best Bets.

BEST ARTS FESTIVAL GALA BET: The 2023 Alaska World Arts Festival is here! Running 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. The Opening Gala is on Thursday, Sept. 7 from 4-6 p.m. at the Homer Chamber of Commerce. This event is free, no registration is required. Gather with other art lovers and celebrate the beginning of the two-week Alaska World Arts Festival. For more information, tickets and the full Festival schedule, visit 201 Sterling Highway.

BEST RECOVERY DOCUMENTARY BET: Join All Things Recovery for a screening of “Tipping the Pain Scale,” a documentary that chronicles the journey of individuals navigating the recovery process amidst systemic challenges in addiction response efforts. The film will be shown at the Homer Theatre on Thursday, Sept. 7 at 6 p.m., followed by a brief Narcan training session and a community discussion. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. This is a free community event. To learn more about the film visit More information about the event is available at 106 W. Pioneer Ave.

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 5 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 BURNING BASKET BET: This month features the 20th annual Homer Burning Basket, a community interactive impermanent art experience! This year’s theme is “Create: Basket of Remembrance and Unburdening.” Organizers are asking for your help during the Build Week, which runs noon to 5 p.m. daily until Sept. 9. On Sunday, Sept. 10 at sundown, join your community members at Mariner Park at the base of the Homer Spit for the torch lighting and subsequent basket burning. For more information, call Mavis Muller at 907-299-1478 or visit

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 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

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 PUBLIC FEEDBACK BET: Homer Harbor Expansion project staff want your ideas and feedback! The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has completed the design alternatives milestone as part of the harbor expansion study, and five designs will move into the design alternative formulation and analysis phase. You’re invited to a public meeting, facilitated by project staff from the City of Homer, USACE and HDR Engineering, on Saturday, Sept. 23 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Kachemak Bay Campus to hear an update on the study and share your ideas. For more information, visit 533 E. Pioneer Ave.

“Stretch” the rock snake has grown the length of a planter box at the entrance of WKFL Park as of Friday, Sept. 1, 2023 in Homer, Alaska. (Delcenia Cosman/Homer News)

“Stretch” the rock snake has grown the length of a planter box at the entrance of WKFL Park as of Friday, Sept. 1, 2023 in Homer, Alaska. (Delcenia Cosman/Homer News)

Adventurous kitesurfers brave the cold waters of Kachemak Bay next to the Spit on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023 in Homer, Alaska. (Delcenia Cosman/Homer News)

Adventurous kitesurfers brave the cold waters of Kachemak Bay next to the Spit on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023 in Homer, Alaska. (Delcenia Cosman/Homer News)