Interested in learning how to smoke fish, make rugs, or carve spoons—from a teacher who’s a local Alaskan? At the Homer Folk School, those locals pass along their unique skills, which come from a variety of traditions. Topics vary, but every class allows travelers and locals to get a deeper understanding of Alaska.
The Homer Highland Games are dedicated to the education of the general public about the Celtic Culture through athletics, music and information about one of the most ancient athletic events in history starting back in 1057 A.D. when King Malcolm Canmore, who called upon the Clans to send their best runners, for he needed messengers, send their best fighters, for he needed a private army, and send the strongest, for he needed personal guards. Everyone is welcome to come out and compete.
The Kachemak Bay Wooden Boat Society holds an annual festival in September. Features include a tour of the waters includes a WWII era wooden tug converted for charter use, kids boat building, marine demonstrations (including knot tying, net mending, and bronze casting. For entertainment, listen to tall tales and poets.
All races are on courses that make them easy to watch from the end of the Spit. Frequently they race around the 'green can' marker on a shoal west of the Spit, and Gull Island, a few miles across Kachemak Bay from end of the Spit. Sometimes there are only four boats racing and other times up to 20. They are very open-minded sailors and whether or not you have had any More...
Every September since 2004, an interesting tradition has taken place: locals create a giant woven basket with birch, fireweed, and grass, set it out on the beach, decorate it, throw notes into it, and then, at sundown, burn it up in spectacular fashion. Artist Mavis Muller began this unique event, and today, it makes for a vibrant evening, filled with music and dancing, that showcases a strong community spirit and respect for the local environment.
The summer outdoor Farmer's Market, on the right side of Ocean Drive en route to the Spit, offers not only fresh produce and art, but also performing artists on stage. It’s a very pleasant aspect of Homer life. The entertainment ranges from singer/songwriter guitarists, quartets, elaborate dance performances to marimba bands to mention a few. In a town so full of talent, one can always expect an added treat at the Farmer’s Market, not only in the performing arts but also the wide variety of visual arts.
The first Sunday of August brings a special event to Homer: the opportunity to step into private gardens that showcase the uniqueness of Alaskan gardening and get some real insight into what it’s like to work the land in a place where the growing season is short and the days long. Some 400 people come to Homer from all over, some of them gardeners from other parts of Alaska, and others from outside the state who simply have an interest in gardens.
Located on the shores of Kachemak Bay, Homer is one of the most accessible and beautiful places for shorebird viewing in Alaska. Many visitors fly in (with the birds) while others drive the scenic road, about four hours south from Anchorage. Over 100,000 shorebirds migrate through this area, some staying to make their homes here. Many travel thousands of miles resting and feeding at a few critical stop-over points such as the base of the Homer Spit on their journey to the breeding grounds in the Alaska tundra.