‘City of Peonies’ celebrates 2nd annual peony festival

The Homer Chamber of Commerce is hosting the second annual Homer Peony Celebration July 9-24.

The Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center is hosting the second annual Homer Peony Celebration from July 9-24, featuring peony farm tours, art classes, gallery exhibitions, workshops and self-guided tours.

Coined “The City of Peonies” in 2017, Homer offers optimum growing conditions for peonies to blossom, Jan Knutson, visitor center director, said.

“We have over 24 peonies farms around the Homer area. Our long Alaskan summer days of 22 hours of daylight, along with cool soils and glacier breezes provide ideal growing condition to produced larger than usual flowers and saturated colors,” Knutson said. “Maturing at a time when fresh cut peonies are not available anywhere else in the world, the area peonies are shipped to the Lower 48 States and around the world, especially Japan.”

Three peony farmers — Alaska Perfect Peonies, Joslyn Peonies and Scenic Place Peonies — and the Alaska Beauty Peony Cooperative are hosting guided peony farm tours and workshops on-site. Self-guided peony tours are also available in downtown Homer along Pioneer Avenue, with peony gardens marked with the official “Homer City of Peonies” signs.

The Homer Council on the Arts is offering six peony classes, including Plein Air Painting with artist David Pettibones and pressed peony luminaries crafting with artist Sharlene Cline. The Pratt Museum and Park is hosting a family fun day. The festival will wrap up with the Ritz Garden Party Peonies and Patsy Cline event.

In addition to the tours and art workshops, the peony celebration will also include the sale of peony bouquets. The Homer-Kachemak Bay Rotary Club has partnered with the Alaska Beauty Peony Co-op to sell bouquets of peonies for $20, beginning Friday, July 9 at the Homer Chamber of Commerce. The peonies will be sold from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 9-10, 15-17 and 22-24. Proceeds will go to the rotary club and the peony growers.

The official peony celebration bags by NOMAR are sold at the Homer Chamber of Commerce, Art Shop Gallery, Bunnell Arts, Diamond Ridge Art Gallery, as well as the Alaska Beauty Peony Co-op.

“A special thank you to the major sponsors of the celebration: Joslyn Peonies, Alaska Farm Bureau, Horizon Satellite and Berkshire Hathaway Home Service Alaska Realty and 20-plus other local chamber member businesses and individuals who provided financial sponsorships and in-kind services,” Knutson said.

Registration is available through participating Homer peony farms, nonprofits and businesses sponsoring the events or at the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center.

For more information or to view the full schedule events, visit www.homeralaska.org/homer-peony-celebration/ or call the chamber of commerce at 907-235-7740.

Reach Sarah Knapp at sarah.knapp@homernews.com.