Attracting more than 170,000 art enthusiasts to its events in 2011, the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival showcases original work from hundreds of artisans showcasing everything from handcrafted pottery, sculpture, and metalwork to jewelry, fashion, décor, and photography. Audiences can witness art being made live during educational demonstrations as artisans sculpt clay, whittle wood, forge metals, and imbue baskets with the power of speech. Hungry crafters can also sniff out specialty food items to sample or purchase while dancing across the sprawling venue to the tunes of live music.
The State Theatre was saved, as its website states, from "the ravages of time." Built in 1921 as a vaudeville and silent-film palace, the venue fell on hard times in the 1970s when disco balls replaced light fixtures and complex hand-slaps were substituted for tickets. In 2003, however, a $3 million renovation restored the State Theatre to much of its original glory, as crews painstakingly rehabbed the ornamental plaster and terracotta exterior. Inside the theater, a stunning chandelier sparkles more brightly than ever below the venue's signature dome.
Helmed by a team of passionate climbing coaches, both of The Gravity Vault's locations surround climbers with more than 13,000 square feet of climbing space. Walls tower past 35 feet, mimicking such natural rock formations as overhangs, keyhole arches, and slabs, and bouldering areas challenge climbers with a latticework of problems that—unlike most of life's—can't simply be solved with dynamite and a pair of roller skates. Visitors can choose from up to 60 top-rope stations, trusting either the trained staff or a certified fellow climber to man the ropes while they scramble to the summit. When not dangling from a hold or saving lost kittens from a rappel ledge, members can bulk up in the cardiovascular-training area.
As a living landmark to the performing arts and cornerstone of the Rahway Arts District, the Union County Performing Arts Center has endured history and earned its way onto the National and State Registers of Historic Places. Recently restored to its 1928 luster, the former Rahway Theatre retains the charm and grandeur of its vaudeville theater origins while encouraging new forms of entertainment. From its 1,300 seats––where crowds once gathered to watch RKO movies and WWII newsreels––audiences can marvel at the theater’s opulent, gold-crested ceilings and ponder how many dresses can be made from its rich red drapes. One of the theater’s proudest treasures is its original Wurlitzer organ, which is small in stature, but emits massive sound out of its 500 pipes.
During Hollywood's Golden Age, The Community Theatre was the crowning achievement of Walter Reade's chain of New Jersey movie palaces. By the 1980s, after five decades of movie screenings and catastrophic popcorn wars, the theater sat in disrepair. Concerned citizens banded together in 1994 to save the historic building from a sad end, and in May 2011, after a series of renovations, the theater officially changed its name to the Mayo Performing Arts Center. The venue currently hosts more than 200 performances a year, occasional art showings, and performance-arts education classes for adults and children.
The experienced trainers at European Soccer Academy believe that positivity and commitment are key ingredients for inspiring their players, who range from three-year-olds to teens. Through a medley of individual and team services, they strive to plant the seeds of a lifelong love for the game. They practice with all comers, regardless of initial ability, and motivate kickers with safe and constructive teachings that are meant to hone motor skills while building muscle.
During 10-week team-training programs, academy experts work with coaches to tackle collective weaknesses and augment strengths. Employees personalize their exercises for one-on-one practice sessions, while summer camps instill goal-scoring skills with themed activities. Trainers can even attend matches and compose a game day evaluation, which suggests future team strategies such as painting the ball black to recruit muscly bowlers.