Twelve years ago I missed an exit in Seattle and found myself in Prince George, Canada, faced with a life-changing decision: “Is it worth driving over 1,500 miles to visit Homer?”
So, I Googled it, and one of the first things I found out about Homer was that every winter there was a big community event that, among other things, featured outhouse racing. In the picture everyone was smiling and laughing, and I figured any town crazy enough to race outhouses must be a pretty fun place to be.
Although when I got here there were no outhouse races, I’ve made this little hamlet my home and I’ve never regretted it. However in the ensuing 12 years, I have still never seen an outhouse race.
Then a month ago I responded to a Facebook post inviting people to help plan this year’s Homer Winter Carnival. In doing so I met Genny Lyda and discovered she, too, wanted to make the outhouse race happen — among other things. Together with her and several others, we’re working hard to revive the mid-winter traditions that helped Homer earn its reputation as a fun, and OK, unusual, place.
I think you know where this is going.
The HWC used to be a great big deal, and people, it’s time to bring it back. This year there will be all kinds of activities starting with a “Mr. Homer Pageant” on Thursday, Feb. 6, kicking off a three-day weekend full of fun including an incredible opening ceremonies event, a “colorful” parade with floats and more — followed by (you guessed it) outhouse racing. Then, add a two-day arts and crafts trade show, snowshoe softball games, a snowshoe outdoor dance contest, a human hookiebob competition, several late-night social events, several other activities, and at the end, an awards banquet.
It should be known that the HWC will help a lot of Homer nonprofits raise money, and for that reason we’re encouraging all Homer groups and businesses to get involved. Anything contributes, from building a float for the parade, or entering a racing outhouse, to sponsoring events, to donating prizes, to advertising in the HWC Program 20,000 of which will be published in Coast Magazine and distributed statewide.
We’re planning to draw a big crowd for this event, so please get involved. To watch it all come together please “Like” the “Homer Winter Carnival” on Facebook, and if you’d like to get involved call 299-0397 — and help the Homer Chamber of Commerce, Genny, and we, the planning committee, organize the best HWC ever.
If you’re a Homer business, organization or just a crazy person with a bunch of friends who want to have some fun, you can start by contacting me at 299-0319 about racing an outhouse.
Thanks, Homer. Let’s do this.