After a day plowing the fields, the young Dan Andrews would jump from the tractor, feel his boots sink into the freshly turned earth, and then grab his rifle for an evening of hunting on his family's farm. Once he graduated college, Andrews found himself wanting to share his passion for the outdoors, forged by experiences such as hunting trophy buck and stalking duck along the farmland's creek beds. He returned to the land that had sustained his family for five generations and founded Drake Landing.
Today, Andrews and his team—which includes staff claiming accreditation by the National Sporting Clays Association—oversee a preserve that spans separate ranges for shooting sporting clays, pistols, and rifles. In addition to maintaining rigorous safety standards at the ranges, crews also supervise a 3-D archery course out in the forest. For outdoorsmen desiring live field experience, Drake Landing's team leads guided upland hunting for pheasant and quail as well as hunting trips for dove, deer, and Red October.
Stars Theater & Arts Center fosters self-confidence and life skills through arts education and dramatic performance. Theatrical director Cindy Verian writes and directs, making each show a family affair by having her husband and children share the responsibilities of set construction, choreography, and sound design. Along with staging performances of musicals and original shows, Stars Theater & Arts Center also holds youth classes and camps to develop performance and personal skills. Through positive self-expression, young thespians hone creative thinking, speaking skills, and self-confidence to boost their academic performance and prepare them for upcoming congressional speeches.
Classes and performances take full advantage of Stars Theater & Arts Center's facility, which includes a 1,600-square-foot ballroom, a dance studio, and a 120-seat theater. First-time visitors take in the exterior's castle-like design and faux drawbridge flanked by archers on the lookout for acid-penned critics.
As a medic in the war in Afghanistan, owner Aaron Murray became known as 91 Whiskey. After suffering health complications when his vehicle was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade, he was honorably discharged from the army with a Purple Heart. Upon getting home, he missed the camaraderie found in the army, but not necessarily the danger of war. In paintball he discovered a similar sense of brotherhood that provided a safe and carefree means of team spirit found through tactical planning while looking out for one another. Teams find that bond while trekking the woodsball field’s 3 acres of hills and ravines, or the tight quarters of the 100’x200’ speedball field. In the coming months, Aaron plans to open four more fields, expanding the playing field and number of gaming styles.
The Adams family has farmed the land of Adams Vineyards for eight generations. Years ago, though, they replaced the leafy tobacco plants they'd grown for decades with fruit trees and twining muscadine grapevines. Quincy Adams uses blueberries, peaches, apples, pears, and blackberries to make wine. Visitors can pair sips of those varietals with hors d'oeuvres such as Boar's Head cheese or chocolates handcrafted by Quincy's mother, Joyce. At the end of each summer, the family hosts a Grape Stomp Festival, where guests of all ages can participate in the timeless juicing method.
The Ninja Challenge pushes past mere human obstacles with a race that tests athleticism, stamina, and the ninja spirit. Competitors will need to complete a 5K race with more than 15 obstacles—leaping over rooftops, running across a swamp bridge, throwing ninja stars, and defeating an enemy ambush. Awards will be handed out for first-place finishers, best costume, and best ninja costume, and runners who beat the Super Ninja will earn a spot in the hall of fame. Participants also receive a Ninja Challenge T-shirt and headband, a race bib, and a free-beer-ticket wristband.
Olive walls flank White Rabbit Brewing Company's taproom, a simple space with a polished wooden bar and a tabletop supported by kegs instead of traditional human legs. On Friday and Saturday evenings, bartenders pour pints and four-ounce samples of the brewery's ales and lagers, which borrow their titles and labels from Alice in Wonderland characters. There's the Double Trouble Belgian Dubbel, a malty, medium-bodied brew, and the Cheshire's Pumpkin Ale, a spiced, light-bodied brew with an "almost cidery" mouthfeel, according to the brewers.