A big party is in the works for the community of Homer. Plans are being made to host Governor Sean Parnell in a few weeks, when he and other state leaders arrive for the annual Governor’s Picnic.
The dates have been set for this year's Governor's picnics, which have been held for more than a decade and are put on with donations and volunteer help. The picnics feature the governor and first lady helping to serve up the food.
Traditionally the governor hosts picnics in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. Parnell last year asked other communities to submit applications on how they would plan and host a picnic.
At last year’s picnic in Glenallen, Governor Parnell was joined by his wife, Sandy, and a handful of commissioners and state leaders who helped serve food to a large crowd.
This year, the party is in Homer, where city leaders have been planning for weeks.
Katie Koester is the City of Homer’s Economic Development Coordinator. She’s been spearheading the effort to plan the picnic, which will be held July 25th at Karen Hornaday Park.
"We're anticipating anywhere from 1,000 to 1,200 people," said Koester. "And so we're going to be prepared to feed a lot of people and the food pantry will benefit from any of the food that doesn't get used."
Koester says that, in addition to normal picnic fare like hamburgers and hot dogs, plenty of fish will also be served at the Homer picnic.
"There have been a lot of generous donations of salmon fillets and salmon patties," she said. "And then we'll have some nice, high quality beef franks ... and potato salad, cookies and Hi-C."
As you might imagine, it takes quite a bit of work to plan for a party that features 500 pounds of potato salad. Luckily for Koester, she’s aided by a Picnic Committee, which has been securing help and donations from around the community.
But Koester says she could use your help, too. Volunteers will be needed to help with parking, set-up, clean-up, refreshments and more.
If you’re interested you can contact Katie Koester at the Homer City Manager’s office.