The cracks of baseball bats, the slaps of softballs meeting mitts, and the advice of an experienced team of instructors resound within Thunder Stix Baseball & Softball Academy's cavernous 11,000-square-foot facility. Baseball and softball players alike hone their cuts inside eight pitching machines that can be adjusted from 40 miles per hour to 70 miles per hour, and brush up on their fielding technique inside four netted astroturf tunnels. Robert Banner—the academy's owner and the head softball coach at Alexis I. DuPont High School—and his instructors use the well-appointed digs to help players of all abilities develop their skills in every facet of the game, including batting, fielding, base running, and agility.
The Zone Fitness and Wellness Center divides its fitness space into private rooms for personal training, group aerobics, and sipping on smoothies. The workout area is lined with strength and cardio machines from notable manufacturers such as Hammer Strength and Life Fitness, which whir to life as guests embark on self-guided fitness regimens. Trainers conduct over 15 group classes in the aerobics room and provide individualized attention during private training sessions. As patrons exercise, the daycare-room staff keeps a watchful eye on tykes, and team members at the juice bar hand out post-workout refreshments.
The Newark Film Festival hosts a wide collection of Oscar-nominated, independent, foreign, and limited-release films. Cinema darlings such as Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris and Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life share theater space with indie fare including the gospel music documentary Rejoice and Shout. The fest provides a valuable outlet for local filmmakers’ shorts and features, and hosts a 30-second commercial contest for members of Delaware Independent Filmmakers to out-advertise each other for cash prizes and World’s Greatest Grandpa mugs. This year, the Newark Film Festival introduces OUTflix, a fest-within-a-fest that exhibits LGBT films, ranging from Peru’s Undertow to A Marine Story’s gritty take on true events. Groupon holders can snag a quintet of friends for a single showing and post-film hide-and-seek game, or hoard the set for solo enjoyment of six different films.
It’s not uncommon to see large, sweaty men pulling trucks across the asphalt of The Training Center Gym’s parking lot. The gym is not only the training facility for many aspiring strongmen, but also the host of occasional competitions. To prepare athletes of every variety for big events, the staff offers powerlifting, bodybuilding, and sports-training services, plus boxing and boot-camp classes. For exercisers who want to go it alone, the facility stocks a plentitude of free weights and fitness machines from Life Fitness, Precor, Cybex, and Hammer Strength.
St. Anthony's Italian Festival, a weeklong, Renaissance-style party, celebrates the rich cultural heritage of Italy. Each year, the streets that surround St. Anthony of Padua Parish teem with events ranging from concerts and wine competitions to church tours and a full midway of rides and games. Participants include local merchants such as DiSabatino Landscaping, which has created a garden that evokes the Italian countryside. Vending booths supply food prepared by volunteers and some of the area's Italian restaurants. All proceeds from the festival benefit the St. Anthony of Padua Grade School.