Homer’s Best Bets

Here in Betsterland we run into a contradiction every summer: The more stuff that happens, the less space we have to write about it. Galleries, restaurants and bars have so much happening they of course want bigger and better ads on the primo Best Bets page. More ads, less Betster. Hey, it pays the bills.

Add some awesome weather, long daylight hours and more and more cool annual events created each year and, whew, our sleepy little town starts to feel like Anchorage. OK, Fairbanks. Well, maybe Juneau. The time has come where you have to make choices. Spit Run? Strut Your Mutt?

Too much to do? As they say, that’s a good problem. Our goal here at Latitude 59 degrees and some change is to help our citizens recover from a long winter while at the same time entertaining our visitors. We’re not like Dizzyland, where only tourists enjoy the action. This is a working, real life tourist town where at any event you can expect to see locals and visitors alike.

That’s how we roll here: keeping it real, keeping it fun and keeping it awesome, which pretty much describes these Best Bets:


BEST IT’S ALL DOWNHILL BET: Thirty-eight years. As traditions go in town, that’s a good stretch for the Homer Spit Run. What other race in Alaska finishes at the ocean? From Homer High to the End of the Road Park, it’s one of the sweetest, most scenic runs in the state. Online registration is over, so sign up Saturday, the day of the race, from 8-9:30 a.m. at the high school. The fee is $10 youth, $15 adults and $25 families, with a big barbecue following at the deck at Land’s End Resort.


BEST FOUR-FOOT DRIVE BET: Want to walk a slower, more sedate pace on Saturday? Try the 14th annual Strut Your Mutt, a walk around town with your canine pals. Registration starts at 10 a.m. with the walk at 10:45 a.m. Saturday at the Homer Recreation and Education Complex Park. The event also includes demonstrations from dogs and their buddies at Homer Dog Trainers. Use the Woodside Avenue entrance off Pioneer Avenue. Proceeds benefit Homer Animal Friends.


BEST FLIP OUT BET: Along with tourists and summer residents, another group of returning visitors we’re seeing are our buddies the humpback whales. Learn about the social bonding of whales from local experts Shelley Gill and Olga von Ziegesar in their talk, “Insight into the Social Life of Humpback Whales,” at 5 p.m. Friday at the Pratt Museum. They’ve been doing a whale census study for 32 years and have learned a few things during that time.


BEST WHAT DO YA KNOW? BET: So you’ve robbed a bank in the Old West and now you’re lost in the desert. What next? That’s the basic plot of “The More You Know,” this summer’s Pier One Youth Theatre production. The theater campers have put together a fun play showing off skills learned this summer. The play shows 7:30 p.m. Friday and 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the theater on the Homer Spit. Admission is $10 at the door.