Roller skating often evokes images of ‘50s-era teens clad in poodle skirts and the black-and-white makeup that was customary at the time. But at both freshly renovated Sparkles Family Fun Centers, roller-skating proves itself as a 21st-century pastime by incorporating contemporary technology. From a DJ who spins family-friendly beats at both locations to the laser-tag zone and black lights that set the Gwinnett rink aglow, modern-day touches pervade each space. The arcades are stuffed with extra helpings of bells and whistles; skee-ball and electronically scored basketball compete for attention with racing video games that re-create famous auto duels or the 1954 Drake Relays. At nearby multistory indoor playgrounds, kids get back to physical recreation, scurrying across bridges and whipping down slick slides.
Love Me Knot is more than your average bridal show?it's a wedding itself. Literally. Lucky winners Mike and Keyanna are getting married in luxurious finery, and sharing in the experience will be all the wedding specialists who made it possible, and a host of spouses-to-be looking for a similar experience. That means that if a bride falls head over heels with Keyanna's gown, she can quiz the designer about it (and if it's not her taste, there are plenty of other options to peruse), and if it's the bouquets that catch her fancy, florist Tony Brewer will be right there to answer any questions. Other exhibitors and sponsors include Ivory Bridal & Formal, Daisy's Desserts, and All About Honeymoons & Destination Weddings.
Inside Out Center, Inc. provides a safety net for the working poor, the unemployed, the homeless, and other struggling Atlanta citizens?a safety net so comprehensive, it includes a boutique. Dubbed "The Professional Look Boutique," its racks brim with clean, donated job-interview attire, from suits to wingtips. Founders Sharon and Jock Crump, who once unexpectedly spent time on food stamps themselves, have created other resources, too. Their team helps clients out of financial crises with emergency rent and utilities assistance, and runs budgeting and job-training seminars.
Seasoned boat captains and crustacean prospectors Sig Hansen, Johnathan Hillstrand, and Andy Hillstrand gather to share with audience members their tales of struggle and survival during crab season on the high seas, as partly documented by the Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch. Fishing the Bering Sea in the middle of winter demands strong wills—which can come together in times of treacherous weather and 100-foot waves or come to blows about who performs better in the three-legged crabwalk race. Selected audience members will also have the chance to don the survival suits from the Time Bandit. Following the story-swapping and previously unreleased video footage, greenhorns and avid fans will have the opportunity to launch questions at the captains, wave giant foam claws, and learn how to communicate in claw-snap Morse code.
Teamwork and positive attitudes. Strong work ethics, good morals, and keen focus. They're all components of strong character, and they're all instrumental to the dance and cheer classes at Lisa's Dance Spot. Here, upbeat instructors lead lessons in styles from ballet and funk jazz to tumbling, hip-hop, and cheer. Working with kids as young as 2 years, they instill confidence early in tiny dancers, eliminating the phrase "I can't" from their vocabulary. For students interested in pursuing their passion for dance past simple lessons, they also organize dance groups and cheer squads that perform at community events throughout Metro Atlanta.
The rich aromas of hops and malts mingle with the fresh air during the first annual Summer Brewfest in Atlanta. Staff members pour sample after sample of the restaurant and brewery's diverse line-up of craft beer alongside other brews. Meanwhile, local food trucks sling simple food to complement each pour. A VIP lounge area and specialty cask tastings lend the festivities an exclusive atmosphere without having bouncers wear opera masks and cloaks. The whole event is set to a soundtrack of upbeat live music from Yacht Rock Schooner and Members Only, a tribute band dedicated to tunes from the 80s. A portion of all event proceeds to go benefit the Georgia Craft Brewers Guild.