Homer’s Best Bets

Just to continue this bizarre spring, it snowed 3 inches in the hills last Thursday. For you flatlanders, that’s why you saw cars around town that looked like they had time tripped from March. Some of the cars might have still had studs on, even though it was a day past the May 15 deadline.
Holy Little Ice Age! When is this all going to end? Will we even have a summer? Have we entered another round of global weirding? Is anyone going to show up this weekend for Memorial Day, or are our northern friends too chilled and frozen to contemplate getting out the camping gear?
Well, consider this. We’re a few hundred miles south of Anchor Town, and it’s bound to be somewhat warmer. Plus, we have awesome beaches, great scenery and ginoromous halibut (some tagged with big prizes) to catch. This may not be your usual Memorial Day weekend, but that’s how we roll in the Greatland, where adventure abounds and there’s always something fun to do, like these Best Bets:

BEST COOL PROPS BET: Homer’s usual summer display of Bush planes gets some visitors from the past on Friday when vintage aircraft from the Alaska Aviation Centennial Celebration drop by the Homer Airport. Catch the air show at 1 p.m. and then stick around for a meet-and-greet from 2 to 3 p.m. at the Bald Mountain Air Service Hangar. From 5 to 7 p.m. is a reception at the Pratt Museum.

BEST PAY ATTENTION BET: “Pay attention” is the translation of “Niicugni,” Emily Johnson’s new way-cool performance piece. She’s a Kenai Peninsula local, born and raised in Sterling, now making it big Outside. “Niicugni” plays at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Pier One Theatre on the Spit. See story, page 16.

BEST FRESH FOOD BET: Yup, it’s summer when the Farmers’ Market officially opens. Thanks to all those high-tunnel greenhouses, we’re getting some locally grown, farm fresh vegetables already. Be there at 10 a.m. Saturday at the market on Ocean Drive.

BEST DON’T FORGET BET: Sure, the summer season has started, but don’t forget the reason for this weekend’s holiday: to honor those who have died in America’s wars. Memorial Day services are at 10 a.m. at Hickerson Memorial Cemetery in Homer, noon at the Anchor Point Cemetery and 2 p.m. at the Ninilchik Cemetery, all on Monday, of course.

BEST LONELY BATTLE BET: In World War II history, Alaska is unique as the only United States territory invaded by Japanese forces — invaded but not conquered. Seventy years ago, U.S. forces fought back and regained the islands of Kiska and Attu, also the only land in a national wildlife refuge invaded in war. This weekend, the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge holds talks, films and other events honoring the lives lost in those bloody battles. See schedule and story, page 1.