Best Bets

Keep your calendars close and your schedule reminders closer — Homer has a lot in store for folks in the coming weeks! Time is almost up to submit art for the HCOA and Homer Public Library’s “Where we live” exhibition — hurry and get those submissions in! Check out other free events like the library’s plant swap, the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies’ weekly presentations and the next Wellness Wednesday talk at the college, sponsored by South Peninsula Hospital! And of course, start planning for the big milestone — Homer’s 70th annual Winter Carnival and Parade! For information on these and more, take a look at this week’s Best Bets.

BEST CALL FOR ART BET: Homer Council on the Arts is partnering with Friends of the Homer Library to put together a show inspired by Jess Walter’s novel, “The Cold Millions,” and based on the 2022-2023 NEA Big Read theme, “Where we live.” This exhibition asks creatives, “What does home mean to you?” and, more specifically, “How do you make the Homer area your home?” Submissions are open to all ages and abilities through Jan. 20, 2024. For more information, visit

BEST ICE CRAFTING BET: Join the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge on the last Friday, Jan. 19 at 12:30 p.m. in helping to make ice lanterns! Meet at the AMNWR Visitor Center, and be prepared to work inside and outside. If you would like to donate containers to help those making the lanterns, they can be dropped off at the Visitor Center desk during regular operating hours. Ice lantern making will lead up to the Ice Lantern Walk on the Beluga Slough Trail on Saturday, Jan. 20, sponsored by AMNWR. For more information, visit 95 Sterling Highway.

BEST WINTER WALK BET: Bring your ice cleats and join the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge for a walk on the Beluga Slough Trail enjoying ice lanterns, on Saturday, Jan. 20 from 5-7:30 p.m.! This event is open to everyone; free hot chocolate and s’mores will be available. Open to everyone! 95 Sterling Highway.

BEST PLANT SWAP BET: The Friends of the Homer Library call all plant enthusiasts for a Plant Swap and Q&A on Saturday, Jan. 20 at 10:30 a.m. Bring starts or cuttings to the Homer Public Library to share/swap with other plant enthusiasts and learn basic tips about how to care for your house plants! This event is a great opportunity to share tips on how not to kill your house plants. For more information, contact Friends of the Homer Library at 907-435-3195 or 500 Hazel Ave.

BEST WRITERS CONTEST BET: The 26th Kenai Peninsula Writer’s Contest is here! Submissions are open for three writing categories and five age groups ranging from K-3rd grade to Adult/Open. Participants may submit unlimited entries in poetry, fiction and nonfiction. Submissions to the Adult/Open age group are $10 each. Submissions to age groups within K-12th grade are $3 each. For more information, call Homer Council on the Arts at 907-235-4288. 355 W Pioneer Ave.

BEST WEEKLY SPEAKERS BET: The Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies’ hosts a winter weeknight program, Tuesday Night Lights, in January! This free rotating event series at CACS headquarters will feature a new special guest giving a talk or hosting an activity every week. On Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 6 p.m., check out a special presentation by Homer’s own Boneman, Lee Post. There are at least a dozen things that a mammal skull can tell us that help lead to the identity of the original owner, besides that it’s deceased. Come explore the features of these bony, portable hard-cases. Make sure to check out the full schedule for other amazing speakers at 708 Smoky Bay Way.

BEST WEEKLY WELLNESS BET: SPH Health & Wellness invites you to a free weekly gathering every Wednesday from 5-7 p.m. at Kachemak Bay Campus! Participants can enjoy warm soup, bread and a dose of health education from a rotating presenter, all followed by an hour of gentle, Hatha-based yoga led by certified instructor Britt Huffman. On Jan. 24, explore diversity in wellness as speaker Ted Carter shares about inclusivity and cultural understanding in wellness practices. He will discuss recognizing cultural differences, adapting wellness practices to be more inclusive, understanding privilege, and fostering inclusivity through active listening, empathy, and curiosity. Community members of all ages and abilities are welcome. Come for part of it or all of it! 533 E. Pioneer Ave.

BEST WINTER PARADE BET: Mark your calendars for the 70th annual Winter Carnival Parade, happening on Saturday, Feb. 10 at noon on Pioneer Avenue! This year’s theme is “What’s Old Is New.” Organizers are looking for volunteers to help with traffic, including Homer High School students. If you would like to participate in the parade itself, fill out the entry form for your float! Participants can also register a walking entry, cars or bikes. For more information and to access the form, visit