Since banding together in 1979, the historians at Atlanta Preservation Center have helped ward off packs of angry bulldozers from more than 175 endangered buildings. Working alongside local government, businesses, and community leaders, the preservation team has saved elaborate structures including the Peters House and Winecoff Hotel. In addition, its headquarters—the 1856 Grant Mansion in Grant Park—is one of just three antebellum houses left in Atlanta and the team is currently working to restore the building to its architecturally accurate origins. When it isn’t keeping delicate treasures from crumbling, the Atlanta Preservation Center leads walking tours of historic areas and tells embarrassing stories from the days when the city’s buildings were just a bunch of baby bricks.
The 35th annual Savannah Scottish Games celebrates the sounds, tastes, and sporting events of the Highlanders. Long before tatties-and-neeps-eating contests became popular, Highland competitions built up the endurance and celebrated the victories of Scottish regiments. Watch Scots hone their warrior skills by competing in amateur Heavy Athletics events, including caber toss and hammer throw. Dancers from all age groups compete in the Highland Dancing Southern Regional Championship with four traditional dances, including the fling, a complex, multistep jig that involves two participants tossing a lukewarm rutabaga back and forth. The bagpipe band and individual piper competition opens the games' ceremonies with a parade of pipers, and live music continues throughout the day with Scottish balladeer Alex Beaton along with Cynergy, featuring master fiddler Moira Nelligan.
Headed by tae kwon duo Steve and Kathy Carter, Athens Tae Kwon Do Center has instilled generations of technicolor-dreambelted high-kickers with the tenets of their discipline. An introductory course includes a complimentary uniform, private lesson, and one month of unlimited classes. Check out the schedule online for your age group and specific class times. All ages can move up the belt line, from Little Ninjas ages 4–5 to adult classes for novices and veteran ninjas. The Carters trace their martial heritage back to Grand Master Chung, who founded the American Taekwondo Foundation and helped introduce the sport to the United States.
Atlanta Pet Rescue & Adoption (APRA) rescues and rehabilitates cats and dogs that have been neglected or abandoned. Since its inception, the volunteer-based, no-kill shelter has rescued more than 15,200 animals, providing them with essential care and affection. Staff members test the animals for temperament and treat any curable medical conditions; animals with special needs are sent to foster homes where they can receive ongoing treatment. Through APRA’s enrichment program, the staff provides positive reinforcement as cat and dogs socialize in communal spaces with outdoor access—helping make transitions to forever homes as seamless as possible.
AirSoft Depot lets gun toters loose on an expansive, tree-lined field to challenge their reflexes and ignite their adrenaline glands in free-form shooting games. Plywood forts, rusty barrels, and bright orange traffic cones act as safe cover during shootouts as players duck and roll through each blockade to achieve their missions. AirSoft Depot's home base stocks an assortment of imitation firearms ready to be rented, loaded with ammo, and cocked with a punny catch phrase, or airsoft gun owners can bestow their armaments on the center's seasoned techs, who repair and upgrade most brands.