Homer Alaska - Announcements

Story last updated at 10:59 PM on Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Homer's Best Bets

Motorhomes on the Spit. Boho bums with great teeth hitching in town. Cafes reopening. These are all signs that the tourist season is upon us, Betsteroids.

If you thought you could sneak through a quiet summer with the usual soggy weather, just leave town this weekend and your fantasy won't be dashed. Already the Betster has seen people with optics that cost more than their Toyota trucks peering at little dots on Mud Bay. One lady even had a clean Jeep with Texas plates. See? It's the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival, Homeristas. We'll have to share our cool little town with friends from Fairbanks, family from Anchorage and the momster from K-Town. It's OK: they're not the usual tourists who ask stupid questions like, "Is your town really named after Homer Simpson?"

Besides, the Betster —whose bird life list remains in the low 200s — really appreciates a person with a 1,000-yard stare who can glance at a little blob of brown and say, "Baird's sandpiper. You can tell by the checked markings on its back." We can learn a lot from our visitors to this town. If you're the mercenary type, think of it this way: Someone who can afford a $4,000 Leica spotting scope probably is willing to plunk down $6 on a good slice of pizza.

Welcome, Shorebirders. Enjoy a great weekend of fun with some of these Best Bets:

BEST BIG BASH BET: There's tons to do with the festival. See page 1 for ideas, or plan your own big bird weekend by checking out the schedule. Pick up copies at the Homer Chamber of Commerce or go online at www.homeralaska.org/shorebird.htm.

BEST FIRST FIRST FRIDAY BET: With so much talent at local schools, a couple of them decided to hold their own art shows. See shows at Kachemak Kids, West Homer Elementary School, Paul Banks Elementary School and Flex School. Don't miss other art openings. See the full schedule on pages 14-15.

BEST OOM-PA-PA BET: Former Alaskan Jason Heald, now music director at Umpqua Community College, Roseburg, Ore., comes home with the Umpqua Singers for a tour of the state. Catch them at 7 p.m. today at Faith Lutheran Church. The Homer Swing Choir opens.

BEST ON TOP OF OLD SMOKEY BET: The Independent Living Center starts what it hopes to be an annual tradition: the Smokey Bay Music Festival. It's one of several music shows this weekend for shorebird. The family friendly event is 3-8 p.m. Saturday at Alice's Champagne Palace At 8 p.m., it's adults only. Tickets are $10 in advance at the ILC on Bartlett Street, Alice's and the Homer Bookstore.