Carnival taps into sunny side of a Homer winter

Homer’s Winter Carnival last weekend combined the wacky and inventive with some wishful thinking. Despite the dreary, and periodically wet, weather, the Sunny-Side Up theme took over Homer for some light-hearted fun. 

Parade goers saw a creative turnout for the floats this year, which used the bright and sunny theme in a myriad of ways. The Pratt Museum’s “Catch of the Day” float took the Best Use of theme prize, while the Homer Senior Citizens were awarded Best of Show for their “Surfin’ Sunnyside Up” float. 

In the new storefront decoration category, Homer Jeans picked up a K Bay Caffe gift certificate for their “Create Your Own Sunshine” display, featuring a yellow bicycle with a basket filled with yellow crepe paper flowers and a window display featuring Winter Carnival boots. 

Mr. Homer 2016, Eric Schreier, waved from a truck during the parade. Schreier took the Mr. Homer crown during the Friday, Feb. 12 competition, where he bared his backside during the swim competition with a pair of creatively cut pants. 

“Homer got to see a little more of me than they probably thought they would,” Schreier said. “The reason I bared my rear end was to add a little levity to the town. There’s a lot going on, so I wanted to see as many smiles as I could.”

Alex Folio, Sean Fitzgerald, Charles Aguilar and Daniel George Gallagher, the 2015 Mr. Homer, also competed in the pageant. Aguilar took second place.

Homer Events, which organized the Mr. Homer competition, also put on the outhouse races directly after the parade, providing the chance for crowds to cheer on participants as they ran down the streets with their outhouses and unrolled toilet paper at the Lazer Print sponsored turn-around point. Teams had to unravel a roll of toilet paper and replace it before they could race back to the finish line. Northern Enterprises’ outhouse racers took the champion trophy, while the Elks — powered by a handful of Mariner football players — were the crowd favorites. Equal Scratch for Chicks, a team of two women and a stuffed chicken passenger, took the “mostest awesomest” trophy.

Other events around town included the Special Olympics floor hockey game prior to the parade, a chili cook-off at the Wild Berry Emporium market, the annual brew tasting, and Paul Banks Elementary School’s Wild West themed kids’ carnival. 

Parade Winners

Best Use of Theme: Pratt Museum, “Catch of the Day” Float  

Best of Show: Homer Senior Citizens, “Surfin’ Sunnyside Up” Float 

Best Children’s Group: Homer Head Start “Doing the Chicken Dance” Float 

Judges’ Sentimental Favorite: Scott Adams, “Olaf Enjoying the Sunshine” in a hot tub  on wheels 

Best of Antique Cars, Trucks or Machinery: U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Hickory, “Buoys Winking and Blinking” 

Best of Bikes & Trikes:  Homer Ice Association, “Dirt Racing to Ice Skating” 

Best Performing Arts: Homer Council on the Arts, “Wizard of Odds” for upcoming performances on Friday and Saturday 

Best Animals, Birds or Sea Creatures:  Pratt Museum “Catch of the Day” Float

Eric Schreier

Eric Schreier