Dinner in the Street dazzles

Dinner in the Street returns to Homer this Sunday with an evening of food, family and fun. Old Town will come alive with friends, artists, and the cooking of some of Homer’s finest restaurants.

Hosted by the Bunnell Street Arts Center, Dinner in the Street will be a four-course helping of culture and socializing. The festivities will begin at 4 p.m. with music by the Howlin’ Whales and a silent auction in the Bunnell Street Arts Center. Parking will be available at the Homer Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center or the Islands and Ocean Visitor Center.

Walking will be encouraged, and guests can expect to be escorted to the dinner itself by circus artists. The wild spectacle not only sets the tone for the night, but also encourages the healthy, walking-out-in-the-streets atmosphere, reminiscent of old Italy.

“We really want to get people out and walking… taking the time to see the town and the people and the culture,” Asia Freeman said. Freeman is the executive director at the Bunnell Street Arts Center.

“The idea for Dinner in the Street came from us wanting to do as many things as we can to promote community wide engagements, improvement to walkability,” Freeman said.

The goal of community engagement will be readily apparent to all who come on Sunday. Multiple courses will be offered throughout the night, a gourmet symphony prepared by neighborhood restaurants.

Appetizers, in the form of Mediterranean tortas, will be provided by Fat Olive’s Restaurant. Vida’s Thai will provide spring rolls, appearing alongside garden salads by local farmers and growers.

Dinner in the Street offers a venue for a lively exchange for both businesses and artists. “All of this is really a means to engage the community in a positive, social, artistic and economic exchange.” Freeman said.

Guests will receive commemorative napkins, printed and sewn by local artists and talents, including resident artist Abigail Kokai.

Kokai, 32, spent her April residency at the Bunnell Street Arts Center holding a quilting workshop. The quilt banners produced by Homer residents will be unveiled on Sunday, and are meant to capture images of the town and its people.

Kokai isn’t the only artist whose work will be on display. The silent auction will include work from many artists, including Steve Godfrey and Judy Winn. The circus arts and acrobatics will continue throughout the evening and, after the Howlin’ Whales finish for the night, Johnny B will host a special concert inside the Bunnell Street Arts Center.

As the main courses near, guests who opt for special tickets will receive bowls handmade by artists Lisa Wood and Ahna Iredale. These beautiful commemorative bowls will be perfect for enjoying Maura’s bouillabaisse, the breakout hit at last year’s Dinner in the Streets. There will also be a choice of a vegetarian ratatouille.

“I just feel so awed by the community’s response to this,” Freeman said. “We want people to gather and eat together, enjoy the culture that can only be found here, amongst all of us. You know… what makes Homer special.”

Dinner in the Street will begin at 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 31, and go on till 8 pm. The dinner will be hosted rain or shine in Old Town, in front of the Bunnell Street Arts Center. Tickets are available at $60 ($100 for two), which includes a handmade bowl, or $35 ($60 for two) without the bowl.

Fermin Martinez is a freelance writer living in Homer..

Dinner in the Street dazzles
Dinner in the Street dazzles
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