Once again we get the great gift of a day off in the middle of the week, thanks to the Fourth of July falling on a Tuesday. If you’re a foreign visitor who happens to be in town next week, welcome to the quintessential American holiday. Like Bastille Day in France or May 17 in Norway, it’s a day we celebrate our roots as a nation.
Holy Betsy Ross! You won’t ever see as much red, white and blue as on the Fourth, especially in Alaska. According to a recent study by WalletHub, based on the factors of military and civic engagement, we’re the second-most patriotic state in the USA, just a few points behind Virginia. Alaska ranks number 1 in most military veterans per capita, no doubt due to all those Coasties who retired in Homer.
As we saw when USS Hopper swung by for a visit, people here support the troops. The study also looked at civic engagement and considered things like how many people served on juries. It also looked at Americorps and Peace Corps volunteers. Alaska aced that category, too, ranking fourth in Peace Corps volunteers per capita. The Betster leaves it as an exercise to the reader for why Alaska has so many military veterans and Peace Corps volunteers.
So get out your flags and Uncle Sam hats and clip the schedule from this week’s Homer News to plan a great day off. Rain or shine, we’ll be out fishing, hiking, boating and barbecuing, honoring our nation’s great experiment in representative democracy. Happy 241th birthday, America.
There’s plenty to do in this great little town, like these Best Bets:
BEST RAZZLE DAZZLE BET: As we slouch toward the 2020s, consider how America enjoyed life 100 years ago. If you believe the story of “Chicago,” wayward women murdered their lovers, shyster lawyers exploited their clients and the press ate it up. The Broadway musical with great dancing, fun songs and memorable characters opens 7:30 p.m. Friday at Pier One Theatre. Shows continue through July.
BEST FLING IT BET: The weather forecast calls for rain and temperatures in the low 60s. Aye, laddy, that’s perfect for the Kachemak Bay Highland Games from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday at Karen Hornaday Park. Watch amazing athletes all dressed in kilts throw big rocks and poles.
BEST UP AND MOLECULE BET: The Betster knew this woman who had so many kids, instead of saying, “Up and at ’em,” she’d say, “Up and molecule.” At ’em, atom, get it? If you want to see the best birds, rise and shine on Saturday for the Early Morning Bird Walk from 8-9:30 a.m. Saturday at the Wynn Nature Center on Skyline Drive.
BEST ALL ABOUT TOWN BET: If you can’t get enough of the music from “Chicago,” fear not: this town has tons of other shows this weekend, too. Johnny B plays at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Homer Council on the Arts, Sunrise plays dinner music 6 p.m. Friday at AJ’s Old Town Steakhouse, Lindiann plays 6 p.m. Monday at AJ’s and the Salmonfest Music Series features Superfrequency at 9 p.m. Saturday and the Last Revel at 9 p.m. Monday, both at Alice’s Champagne Palace.