Homer Man Putting Together First-Ever Solstice Festival

Aaron Selbig

     Summer Solstice is this Saturday and all over Alaska, people will be celebrating the longest day of the year with music, food, dancing and more. A new solstice celebration is planned for Homer.

     Homer has never really had an organized solstice event where the whole town comes out to celebrate the longest day of the year. This year, one man aims to change all that.

     "I'd like to invite Homer to come down and be Homer," says Dax Radke. "Homer is the Cosmic Hamlet by the Sea (but) we don't celebrate Solstice. There's something wrong with that so we're going to fix it."

     Radke is the host of a popular karaoke show that’s made its way around the local bars over the last few years. He's also the guy who resuscitated the tradition of outhouse racing at this year’s Homer Winter Carnival. His goal is to bring the same brand of fun to summer solstice with a one-night event Saturday, June 21st.

    The event promises all sorts of wacky fun, featuring events like a basketball free-throw contest, pie-in-the-face-off and even pillow fights.

     Radke anticipates the highlight of the evening will probably be bed racing. There are practically no rules to bed racing, other than it has to be an actual bed that you are racing. 

     The solstice party will also feature an event called “Cosmic Rides,” which is sort of like an out-there cosmic car show. Radke says the crowd will be judging the Cosmic Rides contest with the level of their own enthusiasm. A $500 prize will be given out for the Cosmic Rides and for the winner of the bed races.

     Radke sees the event as a way to help local non-profits groups, too. He has invited many of them to set up booths at the Solstice celebration. Someday, he hopes the event might become one of the community’s mainstays, like the annual Nutcracker Ballet or KBBI’s Concert On the Lawn.

     The first annual Homer Solstice Celebration takes place Saturday, June 21st at 7 p.m. in the parking lot of Ulmer’s Drug and Hardware on Lake Street.