Tomato plants are imperfect, yielding just as many inedible fruits as the healthy, tasty ones. The organizers of The Tomato Bash devised an alternative employment for the unworthy bounty, transforming the leftover tomatoes into ammunition for a massive ketchup making party. Participants are encouraged to sport silly costumes for the big event, as they are inevitably going to get utterly filthy.
To kick off the festivities, revelers are entertained with a cadre of food trucks, beverage vendors, and DJ playing tunes, including rebellious anthems encouraging the tomatoes to throw themselves. At 3 p.m., the tomato foam machine outside of the tomato arena powers up, pumping the stage area full of bubbly, pink fruit foam. Then the hordes of goggle-clad contestants descend upon a large arena and lose themselves in a sea of red goo.
The state- and NRA-certified instructors at MMTA Firearms Training Academy put safety above all else. In accommodating students, they facilitate both mobile and onsite training in classes and private lessons. These gatherings take place at locales such as nearby ranges and hotel conference rooms, where the instructors lead courses such as the NRA FIRST Steps Pistol Orientation along with lessons in specialized topics such as rifle shooting, personal protection, and training to become a range safety officer.
During 60-minute private lessons, one of Tennis in Urbana’s certified pros helps racket wielders acquire and develop proficiency in every aspect of the game, including ball striking, serving, and winking at umpires. The pros will drive up to 30 minutes from the Tennis in Urbana facility to meet students at a court of their choice. Six-week clinics challenge a minimum of four individuals with intensive workouts that focus on a particular skill set or aspect of the game. Junior clinics are divvied up by age group: Tiny Tots clinics teach youngsters aged 4–7, Big Shots clinics focus on kids ages 7–10, and Academy clinics prepare 13- to 17-year-olds for competition with intense stroke drills, rigorous conditioning exercises, and trophy-kissing practice. Adult clinics offer men and women choices between clinics designed for their skill levels and clinics designed for cardiovascular exercise.
Over her 15 years as a fitness instructor, Ananda Shala's owner, Aimee Firor McBride developed a special passion for yoga and Pilates. Her love of the practice led her to India, and into the studios of renowned teachers such as Shiva Rea during her more than 500 hours of teacher studies. She draws upon this experience as she helms a coterie of certified instructors who lead groups through classes and workshops. On hardwood floors flooded with natural sunlight, instructors guide students through Prana Flow Vinyasa yoga for all levels, hot yoga in an 80- to 90-degree room, and meditation classes.
In addition to yoga, instructors also teach Pilates, including mat classes, sessions that integrate weights and strength training, and machines that help lengthen and strengthen muscles. During private sessions they help students work on individual needs or master a specific technique such as folding laundry with their feet. Corporate workshops help business people soothe their minds during stressful situation, and special events such as yoga parties and classes for kids and teens explore yoga in a fun environment.
CEO Peter Harvey believes that a quality gym staff must demonstrate more than technical expertise. "Service doesn't only mean showing someone how to do an arm curl," he says. Certified personal trainers develop workouts that zero in on each person’s specific goals, giving clients the skills to pole-vault over impassable plateaus. By steadfastly refusing to hand out fish in favor of putting on master classes in fishing, they help clients become self-sufficient, educating them on fundamentals.
During these one-on-one sessions, and in solo workouts, guests set calories ablaze atop rows of continually updated equipment. Treadmills, recumbent bikes, and strength-training tools line the walls.
Members can also drop in for as many group classes as they can muster. Inside a separate studio, stationary cycles whir in time with galvanizing music, kickboxing strikes arc through the air, and barbells rise with each BodyPump rep. For more meditative practices, Pilates sessions and several types of yoga enhance flexibility and focus.
Pump It Up's indoor inflatable arena rockets socked striplings high above a pair of inflatable party arenas chock-full of kid-friendly bounce pads. For a quintet of fun-filled visits, young whippersnappers can skip down air-filled slides and defy gravity in gargantuan bounce houses with five pop-in play passes. Enjoying free entry, parents can observe their young's playtime—taking thorough notes on techniques that can use improvement—or opt for a Parents Night Out evening, relinquishing children 5 and older to Pump It Up’s dedicated supervision 6 p.m.–9 p.m. on select evenings.