Greensky Bluegrass performs at Salmonstock 2012. The three-day festival starts Friday at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik.-Photo by Tim Steinberg for Salmonstock

Greensky Bluegrass performs at Salmonstock 2012. The three-day festival starts Friday at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik.-Photo by Tim Steinberg for Salmonstock

Homer’s Best Bets

It might seem like a distant memory, but remember in May when it snowed? Remember how miserable we were, shivering during the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival, and worrying that once again we would be skunked by a wretched summer? Yeah, the Betster forgot about that, too. 

The Betster has lived in Alaska long enough to be eligible for the Pioneers of Alaska, and has spent summers here from Barrow to Funny River. On the B’s list, this summer is in the top-5 of The All Time Best Summer in Alaska, if not Absolutely the Best Summer in Alaska (So Far).

How can this summer possibly be improved? One more extra day of straight sunshine? Two days instead of three where it rained? The Betster has a master of fine arts degree in Highly Imaginative Thinking, but pondering ways to improve on this summer has yours truly stumped.

We’re talking weather here. In life events and tragedies this town has gone through, well, the less said the better. It hasn’t been easy for a lot of you, which might make the summer worse. It’s hard to notice sunshine when your tears make rain. The Betster has no easy answers. The Betster is just a smart aleck social advisor and not a preacher. 

But there’s this. We do remember that snowfall in May. We do remember suffering endless nights of shoveling snow. We do remember summers thicker with rain than sunshine. It’s not so much that sunshine makes rain more bearable, but that rain makes sunshine all that much more remarkable. 

So seize that sun again and again as if it might end tomorrow, perhaps with these Best Bets:


BEST SUMMER RESPITE: Too hot to go out in the middle of the day? Check out some of the Ranger Talks, held indoors in the cool auditorium at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center. Talks are at 3 p.m. Thursday, Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.


BEST KEEP IT COOL BET: This might be the only summer where you don’t need a sweater at Pier One Theatre on the Spit. It’s another cool weekend with two plays, “Swimming in the Shallows,” continuing in its second run at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Sunday, and the Youth Theatre production, “Rumors,” at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.


BEST AROUND TOWN BET: Our evenings are pleasant, though, so for First Friday, stroll around Old Town and Downtown from 5 to 7:30 p.m. for art openings at the usual galleries — and a few new venues. Catch “Debris Dangles” at the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies at Lake Street and Smokey Bay Way and “Beneath the Surface,” opening at the Pratt Museum. See First Friday event schedule.


BEST HIT THE ROAD BET: What? Another awesome music festival on the lower Kenai Peninsula? Yup, it’s Salmonstock, a three-day event with big international musical acts like Si Kahn. The fest runs Friday-Saturday at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik, with the gate opening Friday at noon and Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m. Advance tickets at the special price of $115 for all three days end today. See related story and music lineup.


BEST MELLOW OUT BET: If you just need a quiet evening of classical music, don’t miss the Madison String Quarter and Kenai Peninsula Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Faith Lutheran Church.


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