HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM ALL OF US TO ALL OF YOU!!!
Share in the Spirit of the Season!
There are so many things going on in the world that we want to share with you during the holiday season and the coming weeks.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU BARBARA MURDOCK AND KELLIE CLARK!
It’s the Holiday Season! Christmas is next week. Then, the New Year comes in bringing resolutions of all kinds about health, new goals, new plans and much more for the 2016 New Year! Here is just a little to put on your calendar!
BRINGING IN THE NEW YEAR!
WATCH NIGHT AT THE HISTORIC BOUTWELL – Join the Rock Church at the end of the year with a huge Watch Night Service. At the Boutwell Auditorium, 1930 Rev. Abraham Woods. Jr. Blvd., 35203. Doors open at 8 p.m. with service starting at 10 p.m. Pre-Game Party, 8 p.m. with live music and instant photo booth and light refreshments. The Service will begin at 10 p.m. with praise and worship featuring the Sound of the Rock . Pastor Mike, Jr. will have a powerful word to end your 2015 and kick start 2016!
HAPPY NEW YEAR MUSIC FOR MUSIC LOVERS
MAGIC CITY SMOOTH JAZZ NEW YEAR’S PARTY– Magic City Smooth Jazz rings in the New Year with one of the hottest composers and keyboardists in Smooth Jazz, BRIAN SIMPSON, plus special guest, record-breaking, charting saxman VANN BURCHFIELD. This fun and exciting Celebration happens on Thursday, December 31, at the Red Mountain Theatre Company Cabaret in Birmingham, Alabama. Doors open at 8 p.m., includes dinner from Cafe Iz. Hailing from Gurnee, Illinois, Brian Simpson always knew music would play center stage in his life. This inspired keyboardist, composer, prolific studio musician and producer is a master of all he purveys. His eloquent approach to playing, sophisticated harmonics sense, bluesy overtones, R&B flavor and keen sense on how to craft a song that stands the test of time have made him the go-to man for many. Through the years Simpson has been revered for his unparalleled ability to compose unforgettable melodies and irresistible grooves. Having already wowed some 5 – 6 years ago with his smooth jazz debut release Blue Eyed Soul, saxman Vann Burchfield who’s best noted as the man who beat Kenny G’s world record in 2000 for holding the longest note on a wind instrument (47 minutes, 6 seconds) returns to us with an exciting and exotic new direction for him as he delves into the beauty of Latin music with Rhythms in Rio, a suave, cool collection of mostly original material entirely produced by him.
SOME NEW THINGS…..there are a few ‘new’ things happening around town….
WI-FI ACCESS AT BIRMINGHAM PUBLIC LIBRARY – Birmingham Public Library has Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspots available for checkout. Good news for Birmingham residents desiring Wi-Fi access for the holidays. Five Birmingham Public Library locations are now offering Mobile Wi-Fi HotSpot devices that allow you to connect a mobile-enabled device—such as a laptop, smartphone, or tablet—to the Internet. There are a total of 12 Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot devices available for checkout one week only: two each at Avondale, Five Points West, North Birmingham, and Springville Road. Four devices are available at the Central Library downtown. The new Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot devices are an extension of the free Wi-Fi available at all of BPL’s 19 locations. Reserve a Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot device online at www.bplonline.org. Guidelines for checkout are on the library website. For more information visit one of the participating libraries, or online at www.bplonline.org.
MAGIC CITY WELLNESS CENTER OPENS – BAO announces the opening of the Magic City Wellness Center (MCWC) in January 2016. This will be the first LGBTQ comprehensive healthcare center in Alabama. The Magic City Wellness Center will provide a safe, open and affirming space for LGBTQ individuals to have an open dialogue with a healthcare provider without fear of rejection, embarrassment or discrimination. Services will include general healthcare, mental wellness and more. The MCWC will address specific needs for each individual though culturally competent care. MCWC will assist in reducing barriers to care while eradicating health disparities in the LGBTQ community, leading to longer, healthier, and more productive lives. The benefits of reducing health disparities through an LGBTQ center include: lower HIV/STD transmission rates and progression, reduced health care costs, and increased physical and mental well-being. Health disparities include: LGBTQ youth are 2-3 times more likely to commit suicide; lesbians and bisexual women are less likely to receive screening and preventative services for cancer and more likely to be overweight; transgender individuals have a higher prevalence of HIV/STDs, victimization, mental health issues, and suicide; aging LGBTQ individuals are less likely to receive culturally competent care and face additional barriers to social services; and LGBTQ populations have the highest rates of alcohol, tobacco and other drug use. The Mission of The Magic City Wellness Center: to build and foster a strong sense of community by providing services to people living with HIV/AIDS and to provide wellness services to the LGBTQ community. Visit online at birminghamaidsoutreach.org for more information.
If you have time, check out what is going on at the BCRI, Birmingham Zoo, Opera Birmingham, Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, Alys Stephens Center, the Red Mountain Theatre, WorkPlay and Henderson’s.
THIS WEEKEND….FOR BLUES LOVERS…..
SAM FRAZIER HOLIDAY SPECIAL is a Blues event at Henderson’s, this Friday, with the Musicmaker Relief Foundation Recording Artist performing at 8 p.m. Henderson’s is located at 5103 Bessemer Super Highway, in Midfield. Tell them Gwen sent you.
EDDIE COTTON PERFORMS AT WORKPLAY this Saturday, 8 p.m. He is the 2015 International Blues Challenge Winner. The ELIJAH BUTLER BAND will open for the show. Call (205) 565-4334 for more information. Tell them Gwen sent you.
HOLIDAYS AT THE ZOO – Enjoy a Special Holiday with the Animals at the Birmingham Zoo – The Birmingham Zoo would like to invite the community to enjoy a special Holiday with the Animals at the Zoo. On this Saturday, the animals throughout the Zoo will receive special holiday enrichments. Guests are invited to enjoy seeing the animals interact with presents, treats and more – this is one holiday party you won’t want to miss.
10 a.m. – Black bear enrichment in the Barbara Ingalls Shook Black Bear Trail
11 a.m. – Sea lion enrichment in the sea lion exhibit
11:30 a.m. – Mandrill enrichment in the Primate Building
1 p.m. – Guinea forest hog enrichment in the Junior League of Birmingham – Hugh Kaul Children’s Zoo
2 p.m. – Lion and tiger enrichment in the Predator Building.
Holiday with the Animals is included in regular Zoo admission and is a Zoo-wide event.
ZOOLIGHT SAFARI AND SKATING ON THE ICE RINK – The Birmingham Zoo’s annual holiday event, began, December 4-6, 5-9 p.m. and will continue throughout the month of December on December 11-13, 17-23 and 26-31. The Presenting Sponsor of this event is Wells Fargo. New this year, glide on the all-new Glacier Glide Ice Rink! Skate past your friends and family on this festive ice skating rink located in Trails of Africa. Visitors can take a ride on the Yuletide Slide, an exhilarating inner tube ride on the over 100-foot slide near the Primate Building. Guests are invited to enjoy musical light show displays and take a stroll through over one million lights as the Zoo is transformed into a winter wonderland.
The Zoo will host a nightly tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. in the Zoo’s signature Trails of Africa with an illuminating tree reaching nearly 30 feet tall. Every night, ZooLight Safari presented by Wells Fargo offers the chance for visitors to take a spin on the Jingle Bell Carousel, ride the Candy Cane Train, Santa’s Roller Racers and much more holiday fun. Photos with Santa will be available each night of ZooLight Safari presented by Wells Fargo until December 23. Admission is free every night of the event for Birmingham Zoo Members and $8 (plus tax) for non-members. The Zoo will close at 4 p.m. on each day of ZooLight Safari presented by Wells Fargo.
Some attractions require tickets. Individual attraction tickets are $3.50 (plus tax), or visitors can take advantage of the Zoo’s best value by purchasing an Unlimited Attraction Wristband for $12 (plus tax). The Ice Skating Rink is made of synthetic ice. Skating is an additional $1.50 (plus tax) for ice skate rental, or guests can bring their own skates. Animal exhibits will be closed during ZooLight Safari presented by Wells Fargo. For more information, go to www.birminghamzoo.com.
There are always plenty of things to do around the southeast.
Here are a few things going on in town -now and later- IN DECEMBER
DECEMBER AT THE BCRI –
BCRI OFFERS FREE MEMBERSHIP – The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) is sharing some holiday cheer early this year. For the entire month of December, visitors who pay admission to BCRI can walk away with a free BCRI individual membership. The normal cost of an individual membership is $35, which allows free admission all year, and 15 percent off gift store purchases, plus special event invitations and an e-newsletter. BCRI President and CEO Andrea L. Taylor wants the community to remember that BCRI is supported by donations from the public and hope that this offer will strengthen the community’s relationship to BCRI and increase awareness of its important membership program. For more go to www.bcri.org or call (205) 328-9696.
DECEMBER AT BIRMINGHAM BOTANICAL GARDENS
Yoga with Lindsay – Join instructor Lindsey Barclift at the Gardens on Thursday in our new adult yoga class. Twenty-five years of classical ballet training, plus many years of cardio, weight and group training has allowed Lindsey to understand one’s limitations as well as specific training designed to maximize results while avoiding injuries. She understands the importance of knowing one’s limits and backing away to avoid pain and injury. Trained through Yogafit, Lindsey’s goal is to introduce you to yoga and to assist you in developing a safe daily practice. Breathe, strengthen, stretch and relax. Thursdays. 8:30-9:30 a.m. and 11:30-12:30 p.m.
Photography: Flora Photography – This class is designed to teach the student how to capture images of the plants – shrubs, flowers, and trees – specific to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. December 19. 9-noon.
Birmingham Botanical Gardens Photo Talk – This group is not a class; it is a casual but informative venue for amateur to expert level photographers to come together to share their ideas, tips, advice, tricks and knowledge with each other. This group is highly recommended for those who are planning to take or who have already taken digital photography classes offered at the Gardens or other local teaching venues. For more information and to register online, visit www.bbgardens.org/classes. December 20. 3 – 5 p.m. Free, $5 Suggested donation.
FOR OUTDOOR LOVERS
SATURDAY, DAYHIKE, 10 a.m. – Southeastern Outings Dayhike in Bucks Pocket State Park. Details: In the morning we’ll first drive to visit High Falls. We’ll then have lunch at High Falls. This is a spectacular, large volume waterfall. Then we’ll drive a short distance to Bucks Pocket State Park for an easy stroll on trails in this very scenic park. We’ll start at the overlook and walk down to the canyon floor. Along the way we’ll stop by and view two lovely waterfalls. Total walking distance in Bucks Pocket State Park is about three miles. Hike rated moderate. Well-behaved, properly supervised children age 7 and up welcome.
After the outing we’ll enjoy an optional delicious restaurant dinner together in Guntersville. Depart 10 a.m. from the Food Giant parking lot in Pinson.
Info: Dan Frederick, email@example.com or (205) 631-4680.
SUNDAY, DAYHIKE, 2 p.m. – Southeastern Outings Moderate Dayhike Along Buck Creek in Helena, Ala. Details: Come explore the wilder side of Helena. Hike with SEO on a lovely creekside trail in Helena in Shelby County. Total hiking distance is less than four miles. Hike rated moderately easy. We will be walking briefly off trail and walking up some hills when the trail routes us away from the creek. Well-behaved, properly supervised children age 8 and up welcome. Depart 2 p.m. from the parking lot for the Helena City Park on AL Highway 261 in Helena. Take I-65 to Exit #247, the Shelby County Route 17, Valleydale Road exit. Go to end of ramp and turn right regardless of whether you come from the south or the north. Take Co. 17, which changes from Co. Route 17 to AL 261, all the way into Helena. You will cross one railroad and then drive over a bridge with a dam and waterfall on the left. Immediately past the bridge, turn sharply back to the right just before you cross a second railroad and then drive into the parking lot for a city park right on the shore of the creek. Distances on Valleydale Road, (Shelby County Route 17) and then Alabama Route 261 from I-65 exit number 247 to driveway into Helena Park parking lot are 5.5 miles from bottom end of southbound ramp and 5.9 miles from bottom end of northbound ramp. For more info contact: Teresa Smotherman, (205) 337-5878.
On to the rest of the happenings. THIS WEEKEND: A FEW THINGS IN BIRMINGHAM!
EVERY TUESDAY, FRIDAY AND SATURDAY, CHECK OUT….the TIDE AND TIGER on Graymont Avenue. For more information call (205) 503-3880.
HERE ARE A FEW MORE THINGS GOING ON…THIS WEEKEND…
SAM FRAZIER will perform a Holiday Special at Hendereson’s, 8 p.m.
TIDE AND TIGER LOUNGE, 8 p.m. on Graymont Avenue across the street from Legion Field. Open Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday.
FRIDAY AFTER WORK – For those that want ‘a break’ before the weekend ‘Friday after Work’ has food and more, 5 – 10 p.m. Call (205) 572-1295 for more. Get your palates ready!
MANDI RAE & THE STATUS, BUNNY AUSTIN at The Nick on southside.
TIDE AND TIGER LOUNGE, is hosting the LADIES OF DISTINCTION CHRISTMAS PARTY, 8 p.m. The Tide and Tiger is located on Graymont Avenue across the street from Legion Field. Open Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday. Call (205) 503-3880 for more information.
CADDLE, LEADERDOG, GIG SCOTT & TROUBLE TOWN at The Nick.
GIRLS NIGHT OUT THE SHOW MALE REVUE at The Nick.
BEN VONDRAN and ABRRAHAM AND THE OLD GODS at The Nick.
TIDE AND TIGER LOUNGE, 8 p.m. on Graymont Avenue across the street from Legion Field. Open Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday.
DREW AKIN at The Nick.
LITTLE MEMPHIS & FRIENDS at The Nick.
CHRISTMAS EVE w/Q DOT DAVIS, LOS GHOST, JASMINE, A LEVEY – A Celebration and Benefit at The Nick.
FOR COMEDY LOVERS
AT THE STARDOME this weekend, SHUAN JONES. Shuan has appeared on such television shows as NBC’s “Later”, BET’s “Teen Summit”, and BET’s “Comic View”. He also made a cameo appearance in the 1994 blockbuster hit film “Ace Ventura II When Nature Calls” with critically acclaimed actor Jim Carey. In the autumn of 2003 he was seen in the motion picture film called “Shade” as the crooked poker player “Mr. Ose” starring Sylvester StalLone and Jamie Foxx.
TAYLOR MASON – December 26,
EARTHQUAKE – December 31 – January 2,
JIM NORTON – January 8-9, GARY OWEN – January 15-17, COWBOY BILL MARTIN – January 19-25,
HENRY CHO – January 28-30, LUENELL – February 4-6, and
PIFF THE MAGIC DRAGON – February 25-28. Call (205) 444-0008 for more.
COMING SOON in and around the southeast
JANUARY 18 – 30th ANNUAL DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. UNITY BREAKFAST, 7:30 – 9 a.m. at the BJCC North Meeting Hall. Call (205) 324-8797 for more.
JANUARY 29- 31 – WINTER WEEKEND GETAWAY in Gatlinburg with World Famous DJ Kid Capri. For more: www.urbanprofessionals.com/wintergetaway.
FEBRUARY 6 – MILES COLLEGE 2ND ANNUAL UNITY FASHION SHOW, 11 a.m. at the Fairfield Civic Center featuring the Miles College alumni and student models with CHRIS COLEMAN, DORIS J. BLUE and world renowned musical artist JAMES MERRIWEATHER. Call (205) 901-4973 for more.
BIRTHDAY SHOUT OUTS!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, … AND TO ALL CELEBRATING!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ALL YOU BIRTHDAY BALLERS. MANY, MANY MORE HAPPY BIRTHDAYS!! ENJOY! Celebrate ‘your’ month -I do- all 30 days ‘and’ some!
Well, that’s it. Tell you more next time.
(People, Places and Things by Gwen DeRu is a weekly column. Send comments to my emails: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.)