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.
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.
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.
Complete Nutrition provides a variety of nutritional supplements for weight loss, sports nutrition, and healthy aging. For those who have accidentally stored too much food for the winter, Tone softgel weight-loss supplements can help empty stuffed pouches and cheeks while keeping lean muscle intact ($49.99). An herbal cleanse aids in toxin cleansing and rejuvenation (59.95), and M.A.S.S. Project Buzzerk flows straight to the muscles, giving them the brawn necessary to finally overthrow the archaic skeletal system ($63.99). No bodily system is overlooked in the product array, including the immune system, which can recharge with Smart Smoothie formula made from whey protein and naturally occurring amino acids such as sun-sweat and rainbow juice ($39.99).
With locations in 10 states across America, Stanton Optical helps clients from Georgia to California achieve better vision with prescription glasses, sunglasses, and contacts. Its shelves are stocked with more than 3,000 frames and sunglasses from high-end brands, including Coach, Calvin Klein, and Armani. Full-service onsite labs help optometrists immediately craft glasses and clone monocles without the delay of sending eyewear elsewhere.
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.