With Christmas and New Year’s Day both happening on Wednesday and in the middle of the week, holiday plans might be a bit off-kilter. It will be hard for working-stiffs to take a long weekend off, but that won’t stop Homer from celebrating the end of 2013.
Homer’s bars will offer dancing, live or DJ music and champagne toasts at midnight. One of the bigger events is really a private party, the annual contra dance at Renn Tolman’s boat barn. For Homer’s contra dance community, though, it’s a longtime tradition. The public is welcome. This year, world renowned, award winning Troy MacGillivray, a fiddler and step dancer from Nova Scotia, returns. He performs with local musicians Tom Kizzia and Renn Tolman. Most dancing will be contra dancing, but there also will be some step dancing, too.
Start the new year off right with a good ski or snowshoe. As part of a national First Day Hike initiative to unite people and their state parks in all 50 United States, Alaska State Parks offers three First Day hikes around the state in Hatcher Pass, Delta Junction and Homer. Meet at 2 p.m. New Year’s Day at the McNeil Canyon Fire Hall, Mile 12 East End Road, to ski or snowshoe the Eveline State Recreation Site. Also explore the Kachemak Nordic Ski Club trails. Hot drinks and snacks will be provided. Bonus: Catch a sneak preview of the Backcountry Film Festival.
The Alaska State Troopers cautions holiday drivers to be careful after celebrating. Through New Year’s Day, troopers and local law enforcement will have increased patrols with its “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” initiative. Troopers also will be looking for speeding, reckless and aggressive driving and driver inattention. The public can help keep the highways safe by calling in “report every dangerous driver immediately” complaints by dialing 911.
To help keep Homer roads safe on New Year’s, both local taxi cab companies offer free rides in the Homer area — a geographic area loosely defined.
“Pretty much we take care of everybody,” said Josh Cooper of Kostas Cab.
“The whole point is to get people home,” said Chris Fischer of Kachecab.
Kostas offers free rides from 8 p.m. New Year’s Eve to 6 a.m. New Year’s Day while Kachecab offers free rides 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Both companies encourage riders to tip cab drivers.
453 Pioneer Ave.
DJ laser show with dj laser show, Jim Hatfield and Dustin Davis,
10 p.m., champagne at midnight
Renn Tolman’s big brown shop building, ocean side of the street,
4884 Kachemak Drive.
World renowned, award winning Troy MacGillivray, fiddler and step dancer from Nova Scotia, performs with local musicians Tom Kizzia and Renn Tolman. For more about MacGillivray, visit www.troymacgillivray.com. Public is invited, no admission, but bring snacks and suitable beverages. 8 p.m.
Down East Saloon
Mile 3 East End Road
Troubadour North plays starting at 9 p.m. Dance party with midnight champagne toast.
197 E. Pioneer Ave.
Yellow Cabin Extravaganza starts at 10 p.m. with party favors and a champagne toast at midnight.
Salty Dawg Saloon
Ramp 1, Homer Harbor, Homer Spit
Food at 6 p.m., free jukebox and champagne toast at midnight.
Kostas Cab offers free rides in the Homer area from 8 p.m. New Year’s Eve to 6 a.m. New Year’s Day. For rides, call 399-8008, 399-8888, 399-8115, 399-7267, 299-7268 or 399-1733.
Kachecab also offers free rides in the Homer area from 7 p.m. New Year’s Eve to 7 a.m. New Year’s Day. Call 235-1950.
First Day Hike
McNeil Canyon Fire Hall, Mile 12 East End Road
Alaska State Parks sponsors First Day Hikes around Alaska, including in Homer. Meet at 2 p.m. at the McNeil Canyon Fire Hall to ski or snowshoe the Eveline State Recreation Site and explore the Kachemak Nordic Ski Club trails. Enjoy hot drinks, snacks and a very special sneak preview of the Backcountry Film Festival (which will occur Feb. 20 in Homer). No pets, please.
Michael Armstrong can be reached at