Eight bags. Two platforms. Two six-inch holes. One distinctly American game. The origins of cornhole are shrouded in mystery. Some say it derives from a German game, while others claim it is a descendant of a similar sport played by Native Americans. But one thing is certain?it's serious business. That's why the American Cornhole Organization was formed in 2005. By setting the rules, establishing annual tournaments and competitions, and firmly banning the practice of using trained birds to dunk bags, these referees have codified the sport and elevate it to a professional level.
Back in 1972, Pat Koelker and Nancy Wilds founded Aiken Center for the Arts in the hopes that it would become a haven for creatives of all stripes. Far exceeding their expectations, these days the center and studio offers a wide assortment of classes, a juried exhibition for artists of all ages, lectures, and even concerts. Kids' classes foster creativity in a variety of media, ranging from weeklong camps for children aged 4?13, to intensive study for high-school students, to six-week guitar classes for kids as young as 6. Meanwhile, adults can enroll in painting classes or drop in for a wine and canvas class, wherein they're challenged to not drink from the paint-water cup.
For the men in Robert Dutcher's family, nearly everything comes back to bowling. Robert's father, Barry, spent 30 years as a pinsetter mechanic and avid league bowler in Reno, Nevada. Following his father's path, Robert acted as pinsetter mechanic for the comedy classic Kingpin and won three consecutive Reno City Masters tournaments, once with a record 299.
Even after Robert moved to South Carolina for college, bowling still held him in its thrall. In March 2013, he decided to revitalize the more-than-50-year-old previously named Aiken Bowl, named for the American Idol?winning singer who famously lived inside its ball-return system for most of his teens. Now renamed StrikeHouse Bowl, the historic bowling center now hosts classic alley festivities, from Thursday league nights to cosmic bowling every Friday and Saturday, when blacklights cast a neon glow over the lanes until 1 a.m. Until 9 p.m., patrons can reenergize at the in-house snack bar, whose treats run the gamut from macaroni bites to pepperoni pizza, and concessions are available until close.
At CrossFit Aiken, the medicine balls come in several spherical sizes. Their diversity, which allows guests of all fitness levels to heft and throw their weight, reflects the gym's two major goals: customization and variety. Each CrossFit workout conducted in the space can be scaled to suit a total newcomer as well as a seasoned athlete. Certified trainer Brent Eno leads his students through barbell lifts, gymnastics movements, and a host of calisthenics during the Workout of the Day, or WOD, remaining mindful of everyone's limitations and prioritizing safe form. In fact, he requires new patrons to attend an introductory assessment class, which illustrates the proper techniques for CrossFit's repertoire of moves.
When CrossFit Aiken's staff members aren't leading guests through pull-ups, kettlebell swings, or rowing-machine piloting. Additionally, the staff teaches yoga classes that keep physiques limber in between the one-hour Workouts of the Day.
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s menu boasts a beefy bounty of classic American fare prepared hot, steaming, and packed with enough beefy flavors to stampede even the most ravenous appetite. Start out with a combo appetizer ($9.99), finding an edible equilibrium with three hand-breaded chicken tenders, three mozzarella planks, onion rings, and a cheese quesadilla with four dipping sauces, or dive into the beef end with the restaurant’s signature ‘O’ Brady Burger ($7.99), seasoned in a slumber bag of herbs and spices and topped with melted provolone cheese. Other eats include a half rack of St. Louis ribs ($10.99), available in Sweet Baby Ray’s, Sweet and Tangy, or Kickin’ Bayou BBQ sauce, and Beef ‘O’ Brady’s sandwich staple, the Dubliner ($8.99), containing thinly sliced roast beef, sautéed mushrooms, and swiss cheese. Fallen angels can attempt to reclaim the power of flight through consumption of a dozen boneless chicken wings ($9.59), available in nearly a dozen flavorful sauces.