Homer Alaska - Announcements

Story last updated at 5:07 PM on Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Homer's Best Bets

While a blizzard swept across dozens of Lower 48 states, here in Homer we got ... rain. Rain mixed with snow. Snow mixed with rain.

"Blinding snow hits Plains, Midwest," CNN blares, with a photo of what looks like Pioneer Avenue on a usual winter day. Even Chicago closed its schools. Some areas in Iowa and New Hampshire had a foot of snow. A foot! In Valdez, the Switzerland of the North, they call that "flurries."

Reportedly the last living marmot in the Homer hills did not see his shadow on Wednesday. No shadow means winter will end soon. Does "soon" mean before or after the Winter King Tournament? The Betster hasn't a clue. Your mileage may vary. Some would like winter to endure until April. For others, winter can end next week, or when they return from Kauai, whichever comes first.

It doesn't matter. Time whizzes by like a comet, and good luck catching that tail. Soon enough it will be Funk, Flannel and Fleece for the Winter Carnival, then Valentine's Day, then Men Whose Photos Are on Currency Day, and sooner than you can whistle "Play That Funky Music, Euro American Youngster," it will be the Fourth of July and we'll be wondering where all those tourists came from.

As our most excellent former gardening columnist Rosemary Fitzpatrick said, "There you go." Whither you may go, too, to all these fun happenings, like some of these Best Bets:


Modified race cars line up for the 15-lap main event of the mod ice races last Sunday at Beluga Lake. Car #72, in this race driven by Rod McLay, was the top mod car for the day. The Homer Racing Association will hold the third round of its annual series on Feb. 6.

BEST BIG WILD BET: Talk about precipitation. Hig Higman and Erin McKittrick saw Alaska's water in all its forms on their 4,000-mile trek from Seattle to the Aleutians. If you missed "Journey on the Wild Coast" last year, it shows again at 6 p.m. today at the Homer Theatre. Hig and Erin will be on hand to answer questions. Admission is $5 in advance at the Homer Bookstore.

BEST BIG BIKE BET: Getting up the gumption to bike this winter? Want to meet with like minded souls? Check out the meeting at 6:30 p.m. today of the Homer Cycling Club in room B-103 at the high school. Plan for the winter carnival and other events.

BEST ART STROLL BET: If this wet snow piles up, you may need snowshoes, but hey, that's part of the art scene in Homer. Check out First Friday shows at the Homer Council on the Arts, Bunnell Street Arts Center, Fireweed Gallery and Picture Alaska Gallery. Don't miss the show at a new stop on the art crawl at Midtown Café on Pioneer Avenue.

BEST OUT AND ABOUT BET: Sure, you know about the Shivering Gypsies, but did you know about the Farmers' Market lass who does stand-up comedy? See the hidden talents of people you've known for years with "Out of the Woodwork," starting at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Mariner Theatre. The Homer Council on the Arts winter talent show, it's wild, it's wacky and most of all, it's a lot of fun. Tickets are on sale at the HCOA offices or the Homer Bookstore.

BEST BIG DAY BET: It will take a little planning, but if you ski fast and drive safely you can do the Eighth Annual Ski for Women and catch the family bonfire at the Wynn Nature Center on Sunday. The big ski starts at 1 p.m. at Lookout Mountain. Register at noon. A $15 donation benefits South Peninsula Haven House. Head over at 2 p.m. to Wynn Nature Center on East Skyline Drive and catch the big bonfire. Or, OK, if you want to catch the Super Bowl, go to your favorite local bar and catch the kickoff at 2:30 p.m. local time. The Betster remains neutral on this, but here's a hint: Chief Robl is a cheesehead. Just sayin'.