Homer’s Best Bets

Should you stroll down Pioneer Avenue on Friday night, don’t be surprised if the streets look empty. Unless you’re at the airport or driving north, Homer magically slips into its mid-March slumber. Old men in suspenders sitting on the bench by the Poopdeck Trail will look around and say, “Seems quiet. Too quiet, Hoss.”

Holy Hanapepe! If you don’t have children in public schools, work in schools or are married to someone who works in school, you might not know that spring break starts Monday. This is the vacation when school takes off because people are too impatient for summer break, only 10 weeks away.

Except who wants to leave town right when the weather has turned from its usual “You call this winter?” to “I guess we’re not getting winter after all, eh?” Well, apparently quite a few people. The Betster doesn’t get this. A break in late January or mid-February? We are so out of here.

But March? Except for a freak blizzard that could blow in and destroy civilization as we know it, March usually turns out to be a decent month. The days get longer. The swans return. Sunglasses become common. Heck, this week the Betster even saw a guy riding a Harley on Ocean Drive.

If you’re off on vacation, have a great time and don’t forget the sunscreen. If you stayed in town like the Betster, you can count on short lines at the movie theater, quick service at cafes and not a lot of elbows to bump — and lots to do this weekend, like these Best Bets: 


BEST LOW PRESSURE BET: Here’s one reason to stay in town: the annual Big Fat Bike Festival, a celebration of those cool bikes with big tires that can go on snow and sand. The festival starts at 6 p.m. Friday at Bishop’s Beach with a bonfire and tiki-torch lit obstacle course. The weekend continues with a beach bike ride on Saturday from Anchor Point starting at 7 a.m. for shuttle pickup at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center. Celebrate with other big-tire buddies with a bike wash at 3 p.m. at Alice’s Champagne Palace and drinks and food at 6 p.m. For more information, see homercyclingclub.com.


BEST HECK YEAH THERE’S SNOW BET: With more snow than last year, the Kachemak Nordic Ski Marathon is back. The course won’t go downhill to Baycrest Hill, but up on Lookout Mountain it’s pretty awesome. The event starts at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Lookout. Register online by today and save $10 at www.kachemaknordicskiclub.org.



BEST SAME OLD GRIND BET: Usually when Mary Langham gets involved in a performance, things turn out pretty wacky and fun. Expect the usual craziness with her new show, “Every Story Has An End, But A Sausage Has Two,” playing at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Homer Council on the Arts. Join them for evening of original works of drama, comedy, stories, poems and circus. Admission is $10 for the 7 p.m. show and “pass the hat” for a 9 p.m. show. The performance includes adult themes; parental discretion is encouraged.


BEST YOU CAN ALWAYS DANCE BET: The Betster understands some people aren’t flying to Hawaii until Sunday just so they can stay for the monthly Square and Contra Dance at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at West Homer Elementary School. David Stutzer calls to music by Fat Weasel. Beginners are welcome. As usual, remember to wear clean, soft-soled shoes to dance in. Admission is  $7 adults and kids 16 and younger get in free.