Homer’s Best Bets

A national holiday on Thursday? That is like so Thanksgiving, but there you go. This year, we celebrate the Fourth of July on Thursday. You know what that means. Just like in November, a lot of people will be calling in sick Friday — if they even have to work at all. Thanks to the miracle of cell phones, your boss cannot possibly know you’ve come down with a nasty stomach flu while basking in the sun at a remote fishing lodge. That’s assuming you don’t put on Facebook a photo of you holding up a barn door halibut.

Not to go all CIA on ya, but in this day where information just wants to be accessible to anyone, if you’re going to stretch the truth, just accept that you’ll mess up and get caught. This might be a good idea to put in for vacation time and take an honest four-day weekend. Considering the mighty fine weather we’ve had this summer, the weekend could be golden. 

Or not. The forecast calls for a bit of moisture. Some funky low-pressure zones are hanging out, ready to inflict liquid sunshine upon us. The odds are 50-50 and worse that we’ll have rain.

But who cares? We’re Alaskans. We know how to roll with the weather. After the winter we endured, we can handle 45 degrees and some drizzle. As James McMurty sings, “Walk between the raindrops / don’t get wet.”

There you go. It’s high summer with our most awesome American holiday. Bring it on with these Best Bets:

BEST HAPPY BIRTHDAY BET: OK, it says “July 4” on the page, but we’re printing a day early and hitting the streets on July 3 to give you all the information you need to plan your busy Fourth of July holiday. From Seldovia to Homer to Anchor Point, great Tommy Jefferson’s ghost, there’s lots to do. See the full schedule on pages 6, 7 and 8. But hey — keep it safe.

BEST WELCOME BACK BET: Sen. Mark Begich already visited Homer last weekend, and now it’s Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s turn. You can see her in the Seldovia and Homer Fourth of July parades, but if you want to hear her speak, check out the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center luncheon at 11:45 a.m. Wednesday at the Best Western Bidarka. 

BEST HOLY KNEECAPS BET: The Kachemak Bay Celtic Club so loves the misty weather of Scotland they bribed the weather gods to bring a bit of the old country to Homer. It should be perfect for Saturday’s Scottish Highland Games, starting at 9:30 a.m. at Karen Hornaday Park. There will be big burly men in kilts — and some women, too — throwing around big logs and boulders. Admission is $10 adults, $5 for kids under age 16 and $25 for a family. If you want to participate in the games, the fee is $40, including a T-shirt, or $30 for the kilted mile. On Friday at 5:30 p.m. visiting bagpipers will march down Pioneer Avenue and perform at WKFL Park, with more music at 7 p.m. at the Down East Saloon. At 6 p.m. Saturday night is a Ceilidh, or dance, at the Homer Elks Lodge, with $13 admission.

BEST RIDE ON BET: Here’s a new twist to First Friday: You can ride the Homer Trolley from Old Town to downtown. Starting at 5:15 p.m. at Bunnell Street Arts Center, pick up the trolley at head up the hill. An evening pass is $8 to all the venues. There are some great exhibits, too. See story, page 14.

BEST FULL THROTTLE SILLINESS BET: The Old Songs actors and musicians can be counted on to put the pedal to the metal when it comes to being hysterically funny. They’re back this summer with more of their twisted humor — classic television shows meet Homer is how they describe it. The summer run opens at 7 p.m. next Wednesday, July 10, at Alice’s Champagne Palace. Admission is $28 and includes appetizers and champagne. Proceeds benefit local nonprofits.