ALL NEW 10P WED STARTING NOV. 17
The world’s largest biker bar, the Full Throttle Saloon, is open for only 10 days a year in August. This year, owner Mike Ballard has to turn a profit during the 70th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. From managing a full staff of bartenders and dancing girls to hosting big name concerts, burlesque shows and other biker-friendly acts; keeping it all together is more than most people could handle.
Strange trivia from the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
- The Sturgis rally has been held every year since 1938 except during WWII, when gas rationing rules prevented riders from making it to the Monument State.
- When campaigning for President in 2008, Republican candidate John McCain visited the Sturgis Rally and made embarrassing headlines for telling a crowd, “With a little luck, [his wife Cindy] could be the only woman to serve as both the First Lady and Miss Buffalo Chip.” The Miss Buffalo Chip pageant, named for a campground with a rowdy reputation, regularly features topless contestants.
- The popularity of motorcycles rallies like Sturgis have helped boost tourism in other states like Montana, as thousands of bikers pass through on their way to and from the rally.
- It is illegal to lie down and fall asleep in a cheese factory anywhere in South Dakota. Of all the laws at the Sturgis Rally, this is one of the easiest to enforce.
- Each year, about 600 tons of garbage is hauled from the rally.
- In 2005 a rider at the rally was killed by a flying toilet.
- Some of the more common laws broken at the Sturgis Rally include indecent exposure, open container sin public and driving on the bike path or sidewalk.
- Drug arrests during the rally have dropped dramatically in the last nine years.
- The city of Sturgis owns the only liquor store for about six miles – the next nearest is in Whitewood – and, not surprisingly, Sturgis Liquor does strong business during the rally.
- In 2008, the Sturgis Chamber of Commerce filed a federal lawsuit against the organizers of a motorcycle rally held in Sturgis, Kentucky which was using the name “Little Sturgis.” The chamber president said, “I suspect the NFL would not tolerate a ‘Little NFL’ and that NASCAR would certainly not condone a ‘Little NASCAR,’ for the same reasons that we reject the unauthorized use of our trademarks to promote a ‘Little Sturgis’ motorcycle rally.”
- No one over the age of 18 is legally required to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle in South Dakota. The same principle does not apply to the Sturgis Skateboard Park, where “full pads are required.”
- In the early part of the 20th Century, Sturgis was the home of “Poker Alice,” a well-known female brothel and speakeasy owner who once shot and killed a drunken soldier. She enjoyed reading the Bible and smoking cigars.
- To date, the highest attended Sturgis rally was the one in 2000, which drew over 600,000 people.
- Sturgis businesses make about 95% of their annual profit during the rally.
- Visitors drink an estimated three million gallons of beer each year at the rally.
- The Sturgis Rally features a machine gun shooting gallery where patrons can fire genuine military weaponry. Billed as “The ultimate 2nd Amendment experience,” the event allows you to shoot up to 60 different weapons, including a 50-caliber long range target gun that utilizes 5 ½” inch shells.
- There have been several threats of boycotts to the Sturgis Rally over issues such as abortion and the mistreatment of the sacred lands of Native Americans. So far, no threat of boycott seems to have affected the rally.
Rain and Fire in Sedona
A rainy day in Sedona? What are we going to do. Everything we have planned is outdoors. I am pretty sure that is why people come to Sedona, for the beautiful OUTDOOR activities, like hiking, biking, Jeep tours, viewing the red rocks and photography.
What to do, what to do.
Oh, I know. I had the privilege of meeting some great artists that work in fire and glass! The perfect indoor activity when your outdoor plans are washed away!
The Melting Point in Sedona, conveniently located across the street for the Whole Foods (two birds with one stone, yeah!), is a group of artist focusing on creating and teaching others how to create as well.
When we entered the facilities, it was like entering a fine arts gallery. So many beautiful works of glass art. Jordan Ford is the general manager and one of the Artists. He came out of the workshop and told us the rules, then brought us into the fold.
We were about to become glass blowers!
Jordan had a love for the natural world from a very early age. He went on to study geology in college but that is when he discovered glass. He currently has Bachelor’s Degrees in both Earth Science/Geology and Visual Arts/Glassblowing.
Jordan says , “It’s the process of blowing glass that drives me. I find the physical act of making glass so overwhelmingly fascinating. I approach most of my work with a consideration for the more classical techniques – it’s the framework that I use as a jumping point for experimentation.”
Not only is Jordan incredibly talented, he is really personable and extremely funny. He made everyone in the room feel at ease and we all often irrupted in bouts of laughter.
Another artist that was helping us is Austin Littenberg. Austin became interested in the art of glass blowing at age 16 after watching a documentary. He spent over 12 years developing his craft and learning the technical precision needed to work at this level.
Austin views the many ways Art presents itself and is in tune with it all, and it shows.
Clearly these two artist love what they do, and I for one am grateful for their expertise and their willingness to show the world their art.
They worked with us to create a beautiful cactus, complete with three flowers, one for each kid, and a Sedona rock like base. We loved the patience they showed and the skill to make us feel at ease. We never felt like we were about to do something we just couldn’t. It felt like we had been doing this before. That is the measure of a true instructor.
Our work of art was complete and we left there feeling accomplished and quite honestly, amazing!
Both Austin and Jordan have remarkable skills but also wonderful comedic timing. They were a absolutely pleasure to meet and I look forward to keeping up with their art in the future.
If you find yourself in Sedona and want to meet some really wonderful people, stop by The Melting Point and say hello! While you’re there, blow some glass!
How could I forget one of them most important things; They have a studio dog! Austin brings his sweet baby girl to work with him and she is an angel! We loved her! Make sure you give her some love when you visit!
Cry With Us! Puddles Pity Party in Orlando
I owe him a poem:
Here’s a story of a sad clown who one night in February was traveling through O-town.
He brought a suitcase and a lot of gum, he brought music and videos and tons of fun.
He sang high but mostly he sang low, and he put of one hell of a good show.
He gave a bearded guy a cupcake and danced with a lady, a wolf he would make
There is no doubt he is a boss sir, he even got love from Kevin Costner.
Fans filled the plaza for a night of delight as the 7 foot clown gave us some real insight.
He sang Bowie and Queen and even some Who, also Cash, Lorde and “Let it go” too
Videos played of pets and babies crying, also beautiful artwork and people smiling.
Last night Orlando was anything but mad as we showed much love for a clown that is sad.
Ok, I’d cry too after that poem. Here’s some more info:
If you haven’t been to see a Puddles Pity Party show, you are missing out.
The show had me smiling and laughing so hard my stomach hurt, but I was also moved so many times by the range of Puddles voice. True entertainment never gets old and I have a feeling he is going to last forever.
I loved the interaction he had with the crowd. He pulled numerous people up to help him on stage and all of them were good sports, one man even singing the entire song, “All by myself” karaoke style! The show was so well thought out and planned but with room for some hilarious improv. Especially at the end when he pulled the 3 fans from the audience dressed like clowns. At the end of them performing together, Puddles suddenly remembers that he is scared of clowns! Genius!
Hands down one of the best performances I’ve seen in years.
“20/20:Visionary”: Looking Back, Looking Forward
Last weekend (March 18-20) the Atlanta Ballet gifted the city with “20/20: Visionary,” three pieces, including a world premiere, presented at the Cobb Energy Center.
The world premiere, “Playground,” by British choreographer Douglas Lee, belied its name by being a shadowy piece danced between upright, rolling chalkboard set pieces. Prepared for a lighthearted, joyful expression of childhood, I was surprised that the work instead exposed the darker side of childhood memories. There were some light moments, such as the towering billboard inscribed with multiple lines reading, “Jackie must remember the steps” – clearly a humorous aside about Jackie Nash, one of the most capable company members and perhaps the quickest study in rehearsal. There were some easily-seen choreographic devices–a lot of theme and variation, even more pushing around of set pieces–but there were a few exceptional moments as well, including intricate, slow-motion manipulation of a dancer’s body by another dancer.
The opening work, “Boiling Point,” by Darrell Grand Moultrie, was playfully performed at breakneck speed. Dancers are often told to “make it look easy,” and the company took that concept to heart. Highlighted against the men in black costumes, the women wore bits of metallic fabric, providing splashes of intense color and exposing powerful bodies with long muscles. The piece began with the stage space open almost to its fullest, and the dancers running across like a rushing river. They rolled, twisted, turned, and slid like water itself. The choreography juxtaposed synchronicity with counterpoint, traditional with innovation. There was a gargouillade, rarely seen even in classical ballets. The lines of the bodies were critical to the piece, and often layers deep. The flow was almost nonstop, with only an occasional flick of a wrist or toss of a head to provide momentary stasis. The standout was Christian Clark, who sometimes nearly managed to integrate himself into the group but then something distinctive and powerful in his dancing drew the eye to him again.
“Home in 7,” a work by Amy Siewert, closed the concert. A portrait of Atlanta, the ballet was a rich tapestry woven from music, spoken word, and movement. Performed in 7 segments to a libretto written and performed by Marc Bamuthi Joseph and an intriguing, haunting string score composed and performed by Daniel Bernard Roumain, the dance, too, was a poem, shimmering like summer moonlight on the Chattahoochee. John Welker opened the ballet with tiny explosions of movement “Secrets.” Perhaps the most enchanting segment was “Home of the Braves:” 5 men using baseball imagery, holding their formation as they slid precisely between pitches and catches. “Red Clay” evoked August nights, intolerance, and redemption—Atlanta history, a story familiar to many. I first saw this ballet in 2011, and it has grown in depth as the dancers have matured technically and emotionally. Atlanta loves its ballet company, and never more than when it showcases its home city.
John McFall is ending his tenure with the company at the end of this season. For newcomers to Atlanta Ballet offerings, this will have been a dynamic performance. For long-time supporters, it will have been an opportunity to reflect on his legacy. There are a couple more opportunities to see the company under his watch, and then he will pass the torch to Gennadi Nedvigin, the company’s fourth artistic director. Stay tuned!
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