Beneath the looming curve of a balloon rippling from the heat of a 12-million BTU propane burner, FAA-certified Lighter Than Air pilot and mechanic Layne Wolters takes hot air balloons soaring into the Missouri skies with the skills only years of experience can build. Possessing more than three decades of involvement with the larger-than-life balloons, Wolters mans daily flights at Hard Times Ballooning, ascending at sunrise and 2 1/2 hours before sunset for the best views of superheroes flying to and from home in their street clothes.
In its nine years as a professional theater company, the Maples Repertory Theatre has expanded its production schedule from three to six full-scale shows, as well as staging occasional cabaret concerts. "No one really expects a town the size of Macon to support professional theatre," says Artistic Director Todd Davison. "We are proving that great theatre is valued by people even if they don't live in a metropolitan area." The company produces its shows at the historic Royal Theatre, named because of the moat that once encircled the VIP seats. Built in 1889, the intimate, 400-seat venue was originally an opera house and underwent an extensive renovation in the 1990s.
Battle Creek Paintball's six fields see prismatic warfare in the form of recreational woodsball to fast-paced speedball year-round, rain or shine. On any of the five outdoor woodland fields, squads of players mimic firefights with flanking maneuvers and extended periods of playing dead. An indoor urban-assault course captures the adrenaline rush of room-to-room fighting, and the speedball course matches competitive-level excitement with mirrored bunker layouts and closely refereed games. With normal admission, the staff provides Tippmann 98 markers and all the protective equipment needed to survive a mural to the face.:m]
With close to 1,000 jumps packed beneath its collective parachute, Skydive Mid America grants humans the gift of temporary flight during jumps that place safety above all else. More than six years worth of experience backs the company's airborne adventures, which reach heights of up to 9,500 feet and include supersonic free falls that last 30 to 40 seconds. Skydive Mid-America remains open seven days per week until 7 p.m., leaving open a nightly window for sunset jumps.
Meta-Health Weightloss Management, Inc.'s nutritional counselors don't just design weight-management programs to help their clients lose weight—they also want to help them keep it off. In each custom program, these counselors introduce healthy meal plans and provide tips for general healthy living. Meta-Health also encourages pound-shedding with nine supplements, including Metabolic Activation Formula, which accelerates the body's metabolism, and Meta-B, a pharmaceutical-grade combination of B vitamins and folic acid.