Cattle, poultry, and rabbits mingle in the hay. Bakers stand proudly over their pies and cakes at display tables. Clown troupes tumble on a stage, and a 15-pound sweet potato lounges in the shade. The senses, nearly overwhelmed, dart from one place to the next at the Brevard County Fair in Wickham Park. The clamoring park seems to swell and fade from inside the whirring carts of roller coasters and the seats of a Ferris wheel; the people shrink until they look like tallish ants dressed up as people. The crowd flows to watch displays of skill at century-old 4-H events, traditional animal shows, archery tournaments, and other competitions. Adding twists of color alongside the tawny herds of livestock, recycled art and rain-barrel-painting exhibitions and displays of baked goods and preserves fill the air with the impressed chatter of judges, who are all professionals in their respective fields.Scents drift from a chili cook-off, where patrons purchase tasting tickets to sample dishes forged by local chefs and chili enthusiasts from fistfuls of spices and meats slow-cooked at a fire’s family reunion. On most days fair-goers can take camel rides or witness the antics of a one-man band, dance troupes, and the No Joe’s Clown Circus as they wander between the pavilion and main stage. Exhibits such as Milk Maker and There’s a Cow in My Truck let hands softened by typing on silk keyboards all week experience some of the satisfying vigor of agricultural work. Appetites can be sated with fair fare such as fried candy bars, brisket and pulled pork, and philly-cheesesteak sandwiches.
Hayes Meats & Gourmet Foods' epicurean grocers, in business since 1957 and winners of a 2012 Business Champion of the Year Award from the Business Resource Council of the Cocoa Beach Regional Chamber of Commerce, cull a wide selection of premium meats and eats from around the world. A selection of deli goods that includes gourmet salads and desserts elates incisors more easily than the wand of the Tooth Fairy. Customers can chomp on toothsome ensandwiched fare such as a Reuben loaded with corned beef, swiss cheese, and sauerkraut, and surround sandwiches with an entourage of zesty coleslaw, fresh-fruit salad, and other sides. For heartier meals, diners can snag new york strip steaks, baby-back ribs, or slabs of prime rib precut into a variety of sizes, weights, and skyscraper prototypes. To fuel family gatherings and holiday-morning food fights, the shop also dispenses a slew of plattered fixings and appetizers.
Wild Ocean Seafood Market’s ocean-ensconced staff helps customers peruse local fishermen’s wild-caught bounty, specializing in hand-processed rock shrimp and other locally sourced grocery items. Like the most humble bananas, royal red shrimp comes peeled and deveined ($11.50/lb.), and a flash-freezing process maintains freshly caught flavor. Not satisfied sticking to one ecosystem, Wild Ocean Seafood Market also boasts landlubbing sustenance, such as cage-free eggs ($3.99/dozen) and grass-fed beef, all from nearby farms, plus aquatic fare from across the country, such as Alaskan king crab, lobster from Maine, and starfish plucked from the lenses of telescopes.
Rusty's Seafood and Oyster Bar occupies a nautical-themed waterfront house, with life preservers hung from the ceiling and fishing trawlers right outside, reflecting a menu full of shellfish, fresh fish, and other fruits of the sea. Expert oyster shuckers sling raw or steamed bivalves by the platter ($9.25) or bucket ($31.99), accompanying them with a range of raw bar accouterments. Jumbo lump crab au gratin ($10.99) bakes sweet chunks of crab meat with four cheeses, served stuffed inside a hot sourdough loaf. The eatery's signature encrusted mahi mahi ($18.25), a savory slab of fresh fish baked in a secret blend of spices, pairs well with a salad ($5.99–$11.99). Customers who visit on Backward Day can start with homemade key-lime pie ($5.99), a sweet-tart treat piled with pillowy meringue.
After more than 15 years of instruction in a multitude of disciplines, senior teacher Donna Trantham finally discovered Bikram yoga. “This is what I had been looking for in my past exercises. Mentally, physically, and emotionally, I feel like Bikram Yoga has made me a better person, all around.” Each of her instructors are certified in the Bikram program, which entails nine weeks of tutelage under Bikram Choudhury himself, senior teacher Rajashree Choudhury, and Emmy Cleaves. Teachers flow through the tapestry of 26 poses within an intimate space that’s decked out in mirrors and a mural of the Florida coastline, as well as heated to facilitate deep stretches and help determine who amongst them are really wax-mannequin spies in disguise.
When Dr. Noah Herbert landed an internship with a chiropractor as a student, he thought of it only as a steppingstone to his traditional medical license. His once-clear path took an unexpected turn, however, when he witnessed the healing powers of chiropractic therapy firsthand. Shortly after completing his internship, Dr. Herbert shifted his career aspirations.
His subsequent years of studying chiropractic have certainly paid off: he now helms a team of skilled health practitioners, including a licensed massage therapist, at Synergy Wellness Chiropractic. Beyond spinal adjustments and massages, Dr. Herbert and his staff coach clients toward healthier lives with corrective exercises and nutrition advice that emphasizes the importance of vegetables and super-soldier serum in a balanced diet.
A one-stop shop for fruits of the sea and land alike, PaPa Larry's serves up fresh-caught fish and crustaceans by the pound. Salmon ($9.99/lb.) and tilapia ($5.99/lb.) fillets form delectable schools alongside fresh grouper ($14.99/lb.) and whole snapper ($7.99/lb.). Larry’s gulf shrimp ($10.99/lb.) and jonah crab claws ($8.99/lb.) don’t reach the table until they’ve proven themselves in gladiatorial combat, and his barrels of clams and oysters get into regular shouting matches over who has the finest flavors and the most durable outer casing. PaPa Larry’s also stocks fresh fruits and veggies, local produce, jams, spices, marinades, and secret-recipe sauces along with aquatic hors d’oeuvres such as smoked salmon and fish dips.