280 feet per second. That's the speed limit at Central Alabama Paintball. Although some paintball guns are capable of catapulting pellets at much higher speeds, staff here check each gun's speed to ensure a safe, fun, and comfortable experience for every player. They also require that everyone use the field's own paintballs, specially formatted to splatter at lower impacts—without staining clothes, which is especially helpful at paintball weddings.
Refs at Central Alabama Paintball are paid professionals who brief every player on rules and equipment operation. To ensure fair play, they also group paintballers by skill level. The staging area's sound system announces whether each game is for beginner, intermediate, or advanced players, and solo players can join a team matched to their ability level.
With safety firmly in place, the fun can begin. The round starts, and paintballs soar over one of five outdoor fields with obstacles such as wooden spools and giant inflatables, or the full mock-town field. It's common to see birthday parties, family reunions, and other celebrations darting around the field. In addition to amenities such as a large covered deck, a grill and fire pit, and setups for cornhole and horseshoes, the field boasts lower-impact guns suitable for players as young as age 6.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines.
Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
They tell a tale to quake your bones at Warehouse 31—on October 13, 1875, a woodcutter by the name of Billy Turner killed his nine-year-old daughter in a horrific accident. Unable to cope with his grief, Turner killed himself. But the pain was too great for death to assuage. Soon Pelham was under siege from a series of mysterious events. A young girl found roaming unattended along a railway. The sound of a chainsaw echoing from the forest. Glass doors sliding open as soon as somebody stepped in front of them. Today, Warehouse 31 stands on the site of that ill-fated lumberyard, and guests can experience some scares of their own, thanks to a cast of monsters, high-tech animatronics, and gravely unhinged clowns.
Debuting in spring 2013, the Xtreme South Football League features semi-professional teams from all across Dixie. Its 14 teams include representatives from Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi, and eight squads hailing from Alabama. As one of those eight teams, the Alabama Crusaders give Birmingham Metro, Jefferson, and Shelby County football fans with a home team to cheer for. The Crusaders' main goal is to develop local talent: they give players an alternative to going overseas or posing as a peewee team's tackling dummy just to stay in the game. Fans can watch those players display high-octane athleticism during home games, which take place atop the gridiron at Pelham High School.
Literature, music, and food come together at Taste of Pelham, an annual fundraising event that benefits Pelham Library Guild. Shelby's, Cozumel Grill, and more than two dozen other local restaurants will serve up samples that—according to Pelham Library Guild president Debbie Parrott—add up to the equivalent of a five-course meal for each guest. Lauded authors and celebrities such as MasterChef winner Whitney Miller will be in attendance, and a local jazz band sets the auditory ambiance. Pelham Library Guild plans to use the funds from the event to build a new library for the community.
From its perch below Oak Mountain, the Pelham Civic Complex accommodates everything from ice-skating and wedding receptions to MMA fights and Harlem Globetrotters games. Two NHL-sized ice arenas lay out plenty of space for families, figure skaters, and first dates to glide the afternoon away. Pelham also houses 7,000 square feet of banquet and conference space, ideal for business meetings, weddings, or big and tall high school reunions.