Still emanating fumes from their drag race to the top of the bluegrass scene, Grammy-nominated group The Grascals inspires infectious toe tapping and hand clapping during impassioned performances. Building on roots that trace back more than two decades, the tightly spun sextet fuses harmonious, twang-packed vocals with the plucks of a banjo, fiddle, and mandolin. Light-hearted, jovial jams peppered among soul-searching ballads and dramatic diary readings work together to weave a wondrous catalog–an effort that has led to collaborations with country legends such as Dolly Parton and Hank Williams Jr. This year, the group continued their blitz on the bluegrass genre with four more award nominations from the International Bluegrass Music Association. Local favorites the Ramblin Jug Stompers lay the groundwork for an evening of two-steps, as they carry on the tradition of American string bands and air-harmonica solos of the 1960s.
The rumble of bowling balls hurtling toward pins echoes throughout Uncle Sam Lanes, culminating every few seconds in pin-toppling crashes and enthusiastic high-fives. The bowling center’s polished lanes reflect the glint of pearlized balls as players lace up nonslip shoes and rack up a litany of spares and strikes.
Between frames, wander over to the well-equipped pro shop, where specialists Clay and Sonny measure feet and fingers for shoes, gloves, and custom-weight balls. The duo stocks a wide selection of preowned gear, and they frequently rejuvenate the alley’s ball-beaten equipment with oil-removing and resurfacing machines. Fizzy libations line the tables in the nearby bar and lounge, where fingers warm up for games by hurling darts, poking the screen of an Internet jukebox, or jabbing at eight balls during games of pool.
Forget the foil. Turn in your épée. At Beaches Sabre Club, the saber is king. The most dynamic of fencing's three categories, saber is quick and aggressive: competitors can score points by striking each other with the edge of the blade or in a slashing motion, and everything above the waist—including the head—is fair game. This approach lends itself to lightning-fast attacks that land across the upper body. Knowing this, the instructors at Beaches emphasize safety during every meeting, whether they’re welcoming beginners to the club's introductory classes or honing seasoned skills during private lessons. They also supply the necessary protective gear so students don't have to mummify themselves in bubble wrap before every visit.
Classic wooden rail fences surround the knolls and trees at Placid Hills Stables' 110-acre ranch, where trainers lead riding lessons and weekly clinics on several well-trained mounts, including resident school horses Yosie, Knuckle Puck, and Hermes. Tailored to accommodate riders of all experience levels, classes blend a survey of skills in a variety of disciplines—such as eventing, dressage, and the traditional western riding style—with proper care techniques. The facility can accommodate sessions in any sort of weather, thanks to the large indoor arena and the outdoor stone track, designed to be rideable after heavy rains or matches of the exciting hybrid of water polo and polo known as "wet horse ball."
With players engaged in games on several fields, safety is of utmost importance to the staff at Capital Combat Zone. At least two referees keeps an eye on the action on the playing field, ensuring no one breaks the rules or engages in unsafe conduct, such as trying to eat the paintballs. These fields offer plenty of nooks and crannies for players to hide in, such as empty spools, castle-shaped turrets, and abandoned bunkers. Click here for hours of operation.