Senators, governors and distinguished congresspeople have visited Homer. Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, came here once. There have been unconfirmed rumors that Sean Penn and Lady Gaga once graced our town. But royalty?
Holy bow and curtsy! For the first time ever, a European monarch comes to town when His Majesty King Harald V, the king of Norway, visits Homer Tuesday for a tour of Kachemak Bay. Mayor Beth Wythe will accompany him to the Spit and they arrive at the Homer Harbor, Ramp 2, at about 11:40 a.m.
People wishing to greet him can wave flags, cheer and yell “Uff da!” (That’s a Norwegian expression that loosely translates “I am overwhelmed!”) His Majesty then takes a tour boat, where some of our way-smart scientists will talk about local effects of climate change. He stops at Tutka Bay Lodge for lunch. It is unknown if King Harald V will dine on the Norwegian delicacy of smalahove, or smoked sheep head.
On his trip to the Pacific Northwest, His Majesty also visits Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, where he delivers the commencement address at graduation ceremonies and dedicates a rune stone commemorating his visit. How cool is that?
Anyway, that’s the capstone on the Memorial Day Weekend which, oh my goodness, is this weekend. Memorial Day is the somber occasion when we honor America’s war dead, so take time out on Monday to think of the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. See page 2 for all the events. Meanwhile, enjoy this marvelous town with some of these Best Bets:
BEST MIX IT UP BET: It’s always a good time at the Sourdough, one of Homer’s oldest restaurants, and when the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center sponsors its After Hours Mixer? Hang on to your crowns. The mixer starts at 5 p.m. today.
BEST SHE SURE CAN BET: You know the old saying, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach?” Eva Saulitis pretty much shreds that lame falsehood. Not only is she one of our town’s best poets, she has inspired and taught writers for years at the Kachemak Bay Campus and the Kachemak Bay Writers Conference. At 7:30 p.m. today she reads from her latest collection, “Prayer in Wind,” at Bunnell Street Arts Center. Saulitis also signs her book and discusses it afterward.
BEST OCHEN HOROSHO BET: That’s Russian for “very good,” which you’ll be saying a lot if you order a Russian meal on Saturday for pickup on Memorial Day. The menu includes all the classic dishes. Pre-order meals from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at Safeway or Save-U-More and then pick them up from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday in the Homer High School Commons. A $20 donation supports Cougar athletics in the head of the bay schools of Razdolna, Voznesenka and Kachemak Selo.
BEST SPRING CHORUS BET: Get up early enough and you’ll hear the amazing chorus that comes with spring: sparrows, warblers, robins and — the Betser’s favorite — the hermit thrush. Learn about songbirds from 1-5 p.m. Saturday with A Songbird Celebration at Seaside Farm. Better yet, camp out on Friday night for $5 and wake up to the birds.