Two-time Grammy Award–winner Rita Coolidge brandishes her dulcet tones and musical pedigree to celebrate the Wonderland of Lights Festival's 25th anniversary with a collaborative holiday-music performance. Under the direction of Stephen L. Hayes, Assistant Professor and Director of Music at Wiley College, the school's a cappella choir blends its melodious harmonies with Rita Coolidge's lead vocalizations as they collectively croon Christmas standards, holiday classics, and famous ballads penned by prodigious reindeer. Marshall Visual Art Center welcomes up to 350 concert-goers in the venue's large, open room with twinkle lights dotting the ceiling at night and unemployed flashlights during eclipses.
Clint Mace Sr.'s design of the The Challenge at Cypress Hills' golf course has earned its fair share of praise. Texas Outside called the 6,762-yard, par 71 course "clearly one of the best layouts in East Texas." The article highlights the designer's use of the local terrain to add additional difficulty to the holes. That's particularly true on the back nine, where each hole presents a unique challenge, be it up-hill blind shots, big ponds that bisect the fairway, or sharp dog legs that require precise drives.
The ridges and swales of Outlaw Golf Club’s recently renovated bentgrass greens get balls spinning and players cursing. These difficult patches of grass await golfers at the end of the nine-hole course’s bluegrass fairways, which undulate through the craggy terrain overlooking Jordanelle Lake. The course's bite doesn’t just come from elevation changes, though: three lakes and two streams tempt balls to take a dip, and the par 3 and 4 fairways demand frequent club changes by vacillating in length from 65 to 465 yards. Despite these challenges, novices can enjoy the course by choosing a more forgiving tee from the six that cluster in front of each fairway, including all-weather surface tees.
The club’s outdoor short-game-refining center invites players to practice their putting and chipping as they aim their balls up to 100 yards away. The center also serves as PGA Professional Dave DeSantis’s classroom, where he teaches players how to break free from sand traps without digging a hole they will eventually fall in.
Head Over Heels Fitness's owner, Julie, had a lifelong dream of being a dancer, but by the time she got around to taking lessons, the usual ballet, tap, and hip-hop techniques didn’t appeal to her anymore. She dove into pole-dancing fitness, and loved the adrenaline rush she got climbing and twirling around a pole. After a move left her without a nearby studio to practice in, Julie found herself missing the company of strong women during classes, so she opened her own studio. Now she spends her days teaching special pole classes that combine pole dancing, yoga, and other techniques to whip bodies into shape in a fun environment.
Oil Bowl Lanes opens its 32 lanes of rolling glory to pin pushers every day of the week. A one-hour lane rental pits quartets of players against one another to see who can garner the highest score based on pins felled and the secret 11th frame, which is judged on the overall style of post-strike moonwalks. Eight rental shoes lend their aid to earthbound extremities, and a full pitcher of soda bubbles with between-frame refreshment or postgame head-dunk opportunities. Spheres rumble down Oil Bowl’s alleys between retro-futuristic murals and cheery checkered floors.