If you had taken a three-week vacation recently and just gotten back in town, you might wonder if you missed a plane somewhere. Where is all the snow? Why are all the people wearing shorts? And what is all that green stuff?
Yup, that’s Alaska in spring time. Remember May 18 when it snowed 3 inches in the hills? Remember when we were wondering if the studded tire deadline would get extended another week? Here it is 21 days later and danged if spring didn’t come after all.
Admit it: for a moment there you thought we would be stuck in winter, or at least winter-lite, with temperatures never rising above 55 and that big patch of snow on the north side of the house lingering until freeze up. You know what you call snow that never thaws? A glacier. You know what you call glaciers that never thaw and keep growing? An ice age.
Whew, we dodged that bullet. Spring has come and the grass is growing as high as a moose calf’s eye. Best of all, the Betster will finally shut up about that danged “Signs of Spring” list. Speaking of which, you know another sign of spring — OK, I’ll stop now.
Why did we ever doubt spring would come? Why did we think it possible that we could go through The Summer That Never Was? Because it happens, that’s why. Because we’re Alaskans, which is to say, seasoned optimists always looking over our shoulders when times are good because we just know that’s when things will get bad. We’ll cheer up, knuckle down, work hard and make the best of things. This week, this month, that means celebrating the real, honest to goodness, genuine arrival of green everywhere and not a lick of frost in sight — uh, hopefully. What better way to do that than with these Best Bets?
BEST SHARE THE ART BET: It’s a First Friday in tourist season, but that’s OK, because a tourist on the art crawl obviously has some taste. Visiting town? Check out the list of art openings from Old Town to downtown, including special shows at the Pratt Museum.
BEST ALASKA CLASSIC BET: If you want the real thing, if you want hard rocking, rowdy women who have been touring Alaska since Gov. Sean Parnell was in high school, are you in for a treat. That’s right, Lulu Small and Trish Ham grace our little burg with a special appearance at 9 p.m. Saturday at the Down East Saloon.
BEST BIG LEGS BET: There’s a reason Highland Games athletes wear kilts: it’s so we can see those awesome gams the dudes need to have to toss around big sticks and stones. Think you have the muscles to compete in the Highland Games on July 6? Check out the throwing clinic from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Karen Hornaday Park. Learn about the caber toss and other manly (and womanly, too) events.
BEST PAINT THE TOWN PURPLE BET: The big party this weekend starts at 6 p.m. Friday and goes all night at Homer High School and into the afternoon on Saturday. Walk a lap at Relay for Life, light a luminary, get your face painted and check out the 1970s prom at midnight. It’s all for a good cause, raising funds for the American Cancer Society so our friends will keep having birthdays.