In the outdoor mall, tables and stages stand in a ring under the open sky or beneath white tents. People drift around the circle, clutching cocktails in plastic cups and eye-catching Vietnamese sandwiches on their paper plates as they spy more must-grab food-and-drink samples from the area's best hotels. Though it started 26 years ago, Bacchus Bash hasn't drifted from its original aim to let the populace revel in the offerings of local hospitality establishments while funding high-school and university students studying in the industry. Since its inception, the festival has grown from 20 vendor booths with one entertainment stage to encompass 100 booths helmed by upscale local restaurants and bars alongside six entertainment stages.
Among the must-experience flavors of the fest is the tongue-wilting bananas foster by Chef Jean Louis of the Royal Plaza Hotel, which has won Best Dessert at the fest for the past 10 years. Other restaurants' teams showcase flavors such as American and Vietnamese barbecue, which are up for fest awards such as Best Original Drink and Most Interactive Booth. Live music from talents that include local barefoot folk singer Alan Byrd and country-western rock quintet Think Big streams from the entertainment stages, as well as the dueling ivories of two pianists from Howl at the Moon. The organizing party, Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Foundation, further immerses guests in its services with a travel, tourism, and dining silent auction, offering up more than 200 prizes to further raise funds for its students.
The brand American Apparel, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, conjures up images of stylish and well-fitting fashion basics. It also likely brings to mind sassy advertisements featuring long-haired beauties in natural makeup posing in skin-bearing bodysuits and loungewear.
But what many don't know about the brand?despite its name and the slice of apple pie that comes with every purchase?is that all of its clothes are made in America. Everything from sewing and cutting to accounting and marketing happens in one building in downtown Los Angeles, and the rest occurs within a 30-mile radius. Not only that, every slim-fitting pair of pants, spandex bodysuit, and v-neck T-shirt is made in a sweatshop-free environment.
Plus, keeping everything in house means the company eliminates unnecessary and wasteful factors, such as shipping fuel and packing materials, as well as provides jobs to Angelenos, instead of outsourcing them.
The plate beneath a meal can say as much about the chef as the ingredients in it, especially when that chef is also the plate’s artist. The sculptors at Pottery Pad offer that chance to dish users of all ages, providing the paint, workspace, glaze, and kiln to finish off premade clayware. They produce mugs, cereal bowls, and even pet dishes, arranging the sculpted products in neat rows around the circumference of their room. In the middle, long tables covered in palettes and pools of paint await the presence of a creative mind to turn each dish into a work of art.
The staff hosts individuals, birthday parties, and even entire scout troops, keeping careful track of each participant's wares. At the end of sessions, they collect the painted pieces and ready them for a trip into their 1,800-degree kiln. Once the firing is finished, they call up the piece's owner to let them know its ready and warn them to blow on it before use.
Listening to music from a young age does more than help someone dance well enough to get on the Jumbotron during basketball games. It can also improve a child's brain development, social skills, and emotional connections. The staff at Grow and Sing Studios make it their mission to aid in the development of children through a wide variety of age-appropriate classes. Instructors lead students through activities steeped in song and rhythm, from the parent-baby drumming in Kindermusik Village to the group sing-alongs during Music for Aardvarks. They also teach piano lessons.
At the newly erected Dallara IndyCar Factory, Indy Racing Experience joins forces with Dallara Automobili?an Italian manufacturer of competitive racecars that has been designing, building, and supporting professional IndyCars for more than 40 years. The 100,000-square-foot structure towers over the town of Speedway, Indiana, and houses the first Dallara factory outside of its hometown of Parma, Italy. Inside the interactive facility, visitors can watch technicians build cars for IndyCar racing teams before experiencing a race themselves on an advanced simulator or on a high-speed ride through the streets of town in a genuine IndyCar two-seater. The factory's expansive halls also host special events, from corporate banquets to town-wide attempts to break the world record for the longest game of hopscotch.
For the last five years, the technicians at Central Florida Cell Phone Repair have brought ailing phones back from the brink of electrical death. Enjoying a positive relationship with manufacturers, Central Florida Cell Phone Repair has unmatched access to quality replacement parts, and the techs can often repair a customer’s mobile window to the world during their visit. From keypad problems caused by furious texting to broken screens resulting from tossing a phone in the air to hear it giggle, the staff repairs almost any problem on any brand of phone.