News Column

Low-cost entertainment abound

June 1, 2014

By Matt Okarmus, Montgomery Advertiser, Ala.



June 01--There used to be a knock on Montgomery that there was "nothing to do" in the Capital City. That was always debatable, but residents and city officials alike have worked to keep the phrase from being spoken again.

Second Saturdays

The notion was tackled head-on with the creation of Second Saturdays, a low-cost event that takes place on the second Saturday of each month from April to September. The low-cost event takes place on the second Saturday of each month from April to September. Beginning in 2012, the events were designed to bring families out to enjoy Riverfront Park near downtown with vendors and live music spread out.

In 2013, organizers added mini-events to each day on the calender. These included everything from car shows to water skiing exhibitions. A popular attraction during the season is an exhibition of the Dragon Boat Race and Festival.

The event has its own showcase in August, using teams of 20 to row 44-foot-long boats while drummers call cadences. It's a popular alternative sport in the city, along with Roller derby attractions and Quidditch exhibitions based on the fictional game from the Harry Potter franchise.

Riverfront Park and the downtown area both play host to numerous weekend festivities, such as block parties on certain holidays and street festivals organized by local residents.

Fair

For the thrill ride and thrill food enthusiasts, the Alabama National Fair is an October tradition at Garrett Coliseum. Offering live music from national acts alongside Ferris wheels and yearly specialty food items, the fair often sees families from all over enjoying the festivities.

Autauga County also offers a fair but on a much-smaller scale.

Live music

The Hank Williams Museum, celebrating the life of the legendary country musician who called Montgomery home, serves an anchor for an eclectic mix of music found in Montgomery.

Local bars, clubs and venues such as Head on the Door, AlleyBAR, Capitol Oyster Bar, Barrah Hookah and Sous La Terre have musical offerings in various genres. Rock, hip hop, electronic, jazz, country and blues are performed by both local and national acts.

Vinyl and comics

While the River Region offers multiple shopping options, local business owners have provided havens for local reading and listening options. Rad Vinyl Records and More is a recent addition that sells a mix of old and new material on vinyl, participating in the national Record Store Day event for the first time in 2014.

Prattville's Quality Comix and Montgomery's Capital City Comics and Comics & Cards Trading Post offer are places to find where TV shows like "The Walking Dead" and movies like "The Avengers" originated, as well as offering many other titles that have yet to be adapted to the big screen.

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(c)2014 the Montgomery Advertiser (Montgomery, Ala.)

Visit the Montgomery Advertiser (Montgomery, Ala.) at www.montgomeryadvertiser.com

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Source: Montgomery Advertiser (AL)


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