At the closing ceremonies of the 2014 Homer Winter Carnival on Saturday, Cathy Essex holds cue cards with the lyrics of Alaska’s Flag Song. Nichole Essex, right, displays her collection of  HWC buttons.-Photo by McKibben Jackinsky, Homer News

At the closing ceremonies of the 2014 Homer Winter Carnival on Saturday, Cathy Essex holds cue cards with the lyrics of Alaska’s Flag Song. Nichole Essex, right, displays her collection of HWC buttons.-Photo by McKibben Jackinsky, Homer News

Homer’s Best Bets

If anyone doubted winter had finally returned to Homer, all you had to do was dance in the snow on Valentine’s Day last week or sing in the cold last Saturday. In warmer states less used to winter, the slightest snowflake might cause people to race back to the comfort of their suburban homes. Uh, that’s assuming they didn’t get caught in 45-mile traffic jam as Sunbelt drivers spin their wheels on an inch of snow.

Not here. If we schedule an outdoor event, by gum, we hold it — usually. Exceptions will be made a) if the snow flies sideways, b) the power goes out and c) we just got so dang tired of fighting a howling blizzard we gave up. Other than that, we’re good. Whether the Homer Winter Carnival, or the Anchor Point Snow Rondi, winter doesn’t matter. 

That’s why if you drove down Pioneer Avenue last Friday afternoon, you might have seen about 75 people dressed in red and black speechifying and stuff. Big, gloppy wet snowflakes the size of Eisenhower dollars just added to the excitement. Homer Rising, the local version of One Billion Rising, was a somber occasion with poems and spoken word pieces about sexual violence, but at the end, everybody hugged and then shook off the snowflakes and danced.

Which is sort of the point of living in a land of
adversity. Tough things happen. We change what we can. We keep trying to change the things that should be changed. We speak out. And we dance. 

So get out and celebrate life, maybe with these Best Bets:


BEST LIVING LARGE BET: Have you seen that 17,000-square-foot mansion on Kachemak Drive? Take a tour of Second Star —  you know, as in “second star on the right, straight on until morning,” from Peter Pan — at the Homer Chamber of Commerce After Hours Event from
5 to 7 p.m. today.


BEST AP STYLE BET: Homer sure put on a good winter carnival, but if you want to see how Anchor Point does it, check out Snow Rondi, starting today. For a full list of events and its history, see the story, page 2.


BEST FULL SPECTRUM BET: Want to see what Homer’s young creative geniuses are up to? Check out Colors of Homer, a free-form, youth-directed megavariety talent show from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at K-Bay Caffe. If you can get up on a stage and show off your creative work, be there. There are raffle prizes, a trivia contest and awesome entertainment.


BEST GO BIG BLUE BET: Blues and winter just go together, don’t they? If you’ve got the blues so bad your face is in a permanent frown, cheer up with Hawkeye Herman’s concert at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Homer Council on the Arts. He’s HCOA’s visiting artist for Black History Month, and he’s been singing the blues all over town and the bay. 


BEST SPEAK POET BET: What with Hawkeye, the African musicians and now Sean Hill, the Betster has lost track of visiting artists in town. Hill, a poet and professor from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, has come to the banana belt to warm up and share his craft with us. He does a three-day workshop Friday-Sunday and then a public reading at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Kachemak Bay Campus.


BEST PHAT PHUN BET: Riding big-tire bikes through snow and sand — oh yeah, that’s another way we get through the winter. Once again it’s the annual Big Fat Bike Fest, with beach rides, an obstacle course and the Big Fat Burger and Brew fest running Saturday and Sunday. See story and schedule, page 7.

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