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People, Places and Things

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GWEN DERU

HAPPY JULY 4TH WEEKEND!!!
TODAY…
**READ THE BIRMINGHAM TIMES. Catch up on the news!
**THIRSTY THURSDAY at Hookah 114 17th Street No.
**READ THE BIRMINGHAM TIMES. Get all the latest news.
**WATCH LOTS OF MOVIES – Check out the Sidewalk Film Fest for lots more.
FRIDAY…
**FRIDAY NIGHT LIVE WITH DOMINIQUE v JEREMY FLYY at Perfect Note.
**MOVIE NIGHT: Rent and Watch movies at Sidewalkfest.com.
**LIT FRIDAYS WITH RIPCORD, 8 p.m. – 2 a.m. at 4501 Gary Avenue in Fairfield.
**MOVIE NIGHT: Rent and Watch movies at Sidewalkfest.com.
SATURDAY…
**WOODLAWN STREET MARKET, 12 p.m.
**SATURDAYS IN THE GARDENS at Birmingham Botanical Gardens.
**WINE DOWN HAPPY HOUR, 4-9 p.m. at Saferoom Lounge Bar.
**COMEDIAN DENO PRESENTS FEMALE R&B BAND at the Perfect Note.
**FUN, GAMES, YARD AND HOUSE WORK including Uno, Monopoly, Solitaire, Shopping, Eating. Times are changing.
SUNDAY…
**FAMILY TIME, FIREWORKS, GOOD FOOD AND MOVIES.
MONDAY…
**REGGAE MUSIC EVERY MONDAY NIGHT with DJ DUSTY, 8 p.m. at Black Magic 2904 Lomb Avenue.
**READ A GOOD BOOK…There are a few on the bookshelves, just lying around are some to read.
**EVERY MONDAY is MONSLAYYY – THE CARIBBEAN WAY, 8 p.m. at the Vault with TRINI and BRENT TRINI-FRESH PIERRE. FREE.
TUESDAY…
**EVERY TUESDAY – TRUE STORY BREWINGS PRESENTS TUESDAY JAZZ SESSIONS, 7- 10 p.m., 5510 Crestwood Blvd.
**TASTY TUESDAYS at Platinum of Birmingham.
**LIT AND JAZZ with DAVID TALLEY AND FRIENDS, every Tuesday, 7 p.m. at Lit on 8th, 518 Rev. Abraham Woods Blvd.
**READ A REAL GOOD BOOK…You might like cookbooks, to-do books, game books, picture books, history books.
WEDNESDAY…
**INTERFAITH NOONDAY PRAYER SERVICES every Wednesday, Noon at Linn Park in Downtown Birmingham.
**REGGAE WEDNESDAY NIGHTS, 8 p.m. at Blue Onyx.
**COMEDIAN ROB WARD at the StarDome Comedy Club.
NEXT THURSDAY…
**READ THE BIRMINGHAM TIMES. Catch up on the news!
**COMEDIAN ROB WARD at the StarDome Comedy Club.
NEXT FRIDAY…
**MOVIE NIGHT: Rent and Watch movies at Sidewalkfest.com.
**SAXOPHONIST JEFF KASHIWA at Perfect Note.
**LIT FRIDAYS WITH RIPCORD, 8 p.m. – 2 a.m. at 4501 Gary Avenue in Fairfield.
**COMEDIAN BENJI BROWN at the StarDome Comedy Club.
FOR THE COMMUNITY…
**MAYOR RANDALL WOODFIN’S BUDGET PASSES – Mayor Randall L. Woodfin’s $455 million operating budget was approved by the Birmingham City Council. The spending plan supports neighborhood revitalization with $10 million for street paving, an additional $1 million sidewalk budget and funds to maintain demolition and weed abatement. The budget provides a 1.5 percent pay raise for city employees and funds merit and longevity pay, paid city holidays and fully funds the employee pension program with a city contribution of more than $32 million. In addition to addressing the priorities of neighborhood revitalization and city employees, the budget fully funds public safety, the popular initiative Birmingham Promise and establishes a $50,000 grant program to pair city and neighborhood association funds to expand traffic calming strategies throughout the city. The boards and agencies which partner with the city to provide services for residents will also be fully funded. The council approved the budget 8 to 0.
**VITAL VIBEZ DAY PARTY, Saturday, Noon – 4 p.m. Kick it with Lady Woo and The Crew at Bizarre The Coffee Shop with Vital Live Show, food trucks, vendors and signature cocktails.
**SB117 EXPUNGEMENT BILL PASSED – Bill SB117 was passed and will impact the lives of many people who have a criminal arrest on their record that prevented them from getting jobs or advancing in their careers. This state-wide bill, also, allows for municipal and local violations to be expunged OR erased from the record. This bill was a collaborative effort with Senator Linda Foster Coleman-Madison, Rep. Chris England and Senator Rodger Smitherman which will help people move forward and have an improved life.
**JOBS NOT JAIL – Sheriff Mark Pettway has a new jobs mobile program – LET’S PREVENT CRIMES BY PRESENTING OPPORTUNITY. It brings the services to you including FREE in-person services such as employment services, resume writing. Interview skills, dress for success, bus vouchers, identification support, voter registration and addiction and recovery services hotline. For more, go to www.jeffcosheriffal.com.
CELEBRATING FOURTH OF JULY…
**SUMMER DREAMS: DO WHAT YOU LIKE IN WHITE AFFAIR, Saturday, 9 p.m. – 2 a.m. at Dread River, 2400 Seventh Avenue South.
**MAGIC CITY SMOKE AND BOIL, Sunday, 4 p.m. at 1918 Catering located at 197 Vulcan Road. This Barbeque and View event will have a beer garden, live music, food trucks with a variety of cuisines PLUS you can watch the Vulcan Park’s fireworks show. FREE.
**BASEBALL AMERICA’S PASTIME, Sunday, 6:30 p.m. at 1401 First Avenue South. The Birmingham Barons play the Chattanooga Lookouts.
**THUNDER ON THE MOUNTAIN- Birmingham Fireworks Show is Sunday, 9 p. m. will also celebrate Birmingham’s 150th Birthday.
**BIRMINGHAM BLACK VEG FEST, 4th of July, 1-6 p.m. at FEVER’S GRILL AND JUICE BAR, 1001 3rd Avenue West, Birmingham
**YOU ARE INVITED…The City of Birmingham is inviting you to celebrate the 4th of July at 9 p.m. at Vulcan Park and Museum to watch a firework show in honor of those who have fought for our country’s independence. Those in the Birmingham viewing area can also tune into WBRC Fox 6 for live stream. Spectators can listen to the soundtrack exclusively on iHeart media radio stations 102.5 The Bull, 103.1 The Vulcan, 103.7 The Q, 104.1 The Beat, Birmingham’s ALT 991, B106.5, 105 Hallelujah FM, Magic 96.5, News Radio 960 WERC, News Radio 105.5 WERC and also on La Jefa 98.3. More than 2,500 shells and effects will brighten Vulcan and the sky above him. A unique score was created featuring artists such as James Brown, Imagine Dragons and Neil Diamond that will be expertly timed and choreographed to the colorful firework display, making it the biggest show Vulcan has put on to date. There will also be a selection of songs as a tribute to the City. Vulcan Park and Museum will close at 6 p.m. on July 4 to prepare for the show.  For more information and tips on viewing, log onto www.visitvulcan.com.
NEAR SELMA…AT OLD CAHAWBA…
**WALKING TOUR – Old Cahawba, a historic property of the Alabama Historical Commission, will host a walking tour called “If Bugs Could Talk” on Saturday, July 10, from 10-11 a.m. The program is an investigation into the creatures that live in Old Cahawba’s famous Perine Well to discover what they can tell us about water quality. Called aquatic macroinvertebrates, they spend at least part of their lives in water and play a large role in freshwater ecosystems. Participants will roll up their sleeves and immerse their hands into the wells’ waters to learn about the importance of artesian wells in Cahawba’s history and find out what makes this well so special. The first permanent state capital of Alabama, Cahawba was known as “the city of artesian wells.” In the early history of Alabama, water was readily available throughout most of the state, either from natural springs or a cistern well, with the exception of the Blackbelt. By 1830, the settlers realized that water could be obtained from deep-bored artesian wells. By the 1850s, Cahawba had more than 20 artesian wells, which allowed the area to develop into the wealthiest part of the state. Old Cahawba lies at the confluence of the Alabama and Cahaba Rivers, and from 1819 to 1826 it served as Alabama’s first capital. (From downtown Selma, take Highway 22 (Dallas Avenue) west 8.6 miles. Cross over the Cahaba River and turn left onto County Road 9 and follow this 3.3 miles until it dead ends. Turn left onto County Road 2 and follow this 1.5 miles until you see the Visitor Center on the right. Visitor Center Address: 9518 Cahaba Road, Orrville, AL 36767.)  For more: go to: visit www.ahc.alabama.gov.
IN NASHVILLE…
**LET FREEDOM SING! – MUSIC CITY JULY 4th is hosting BRAD PAISLEY, LILLY HIATT, REGI WOOTEN AND FRIENDS, PRISCILLA BLOCK and OPERATION SONG’S JASON SEVER for Nashville’s 4th July celebration. It will feature the largest fireworks show in Nashville history choreographed to the sounds of the Grammy winning Nashville Symphony. Don’t miss it!
FOR MOVIE LOVERS…
AT SIDEWALK…
**23rd ANNUAL SIDEWALK FILM FESTIVAL – The 23rd Annual Sidewalk Film Festival presented by Regions Bank is returning August 23-29 to its Theatre District roots with a festival footprint that includes the Sidewalk Film Center and Cinema, the Alabama Theatre, the Lyric Theatre, First Church Birmingham, the Alabama School of Fine Arts Dorothy Jemison Day Theatre, Recital Hall and Lecture Hall as well as the Steiner Auditorium at the Birmingham Museum of Art. Go to sidewalk@sidewalkfest.com  for more.
**FILMMAKER HAPPY HOUR, every First Monday, 5-7 p.m. on Zoom (for Now). Meet creatives, alumni filmmakers and more. Go to Sidewalk@sidewalkfest.con  for more.
AT THE ALABAMA THEATRE…
**JULY 8 – MOVIE: GREASE SING-A-LONG, 7 p.m. at the Alabama Theatre.
**JULY 25 – MOVIE: THE WIZARD OF OZ, 2 p.m. at the Alabama Theatre.
AROUND TOWN…
FOR SHORT TRIPS AND OUTDOOR LOVERS…
IN NASHVILLE…SAVE THE DATE…
**July 10 – SOUL OF MUSIC CITY, 6 p.m. at City Winery.
FOR LOVERS OF ART AND CULTURAL ENTERTAINMENT…
AT PAUL R. JONES MUSEUM…
IN TUSCALOOSA…
**MARIO ANDRES ROBINSON – A BRUSH WITH TIME. An exhibition of one of the leading watercolor artists working today. This will be the first solo show of Robinson’s Work in the State of Alabama through July 30 at 2308 6th Street, Tuscaloosa. Open Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. First Friday of the month Noon – 8 p.m. Social distancing rules apply.
FOR MOTORSPORTS LOVERS…
**NASCAR Wins Sports Business Journal’s 2020 “League of the Year”
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – NASCAR, the first sport to come back to competition and complete its “full” season after the COVID-19 pandemic started, was named “League of the Year” for 2020 and received the 2021 Sports Business Award. The sport innovated in multiple ways that it never had before while simultaneously navigating multiple interactions with America’s social justice reckoning. The sport publicly backed driver Bubba Wallace when he wore an “I can’t breathe” shirt before a race, when he ran a Black Lives Matter paint scheme at a different race, and when he was involved with the highly publicized noose incident at Talladega Superspeedway. It also introduced several new races to the 2021 schedule. Additional 2020 NASCAR season key insights: Among the first leagues to complete full season, first sport back to competition, banned the confederate flag, first sport to welcome back fans, welcomed new & diverse ownership (namely Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin created global news by introducing 23XI Racing. Justin Marks became one of the sports’ youngest owners with Trackhouse Racing. Pitbull is also a co-owner of the team. Matt Tifft is another young owner for Live Fast Motorsports with co-owner BJ McLeod), historic slate of races unveiled for 2021 schedule includes the introduction of three new racetracks – and new layouts at two iconic venues. eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series, Sports betting growth, and major brands honor NASCAR. NASCAR returns to the Daytona International Speedway with two races this summer during the last weekend in August – the Coke Zero Sugar 400, the NASCAR Cup Series regular season finale, on Saturday, Aug. 28 at 7 p.m. ET, and the Wawa 250 Powered by Coca-Cola NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Friday, Aug. 27 at 7:30 p.m. ET.
AT THE BIRMINGHAM BOTANICAL GARDENS…
**SATURDAYS IN THE GARDENS.
**VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES – Aid with watering and plant care in the Gardens’ greenhouses and outdoor lath houses and discover the lush exotic varieties of tropicals and rare beauties. Go to volunteer@bbgardens.org  for details.
**HONEY FROM THE GARDENS – The Library at the Gardens have a curbside service, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. weekdays, to purchase locally sourced honey from the Gardens’ hives or flavored in cinnamon, lemon or jalapeno from Ivy Brook Apiary. Call (205) 588-4593 or (205) 533-6062 to schedule a pickup.
AT TALLADEGA COLLEGE
**NEW MBA PROGRAM – Talladega College was recently approved by the Board of Trustees of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission to offer a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. The seven areas of concentration for the program are accounting, management, marketing, finance, logistics, healthcare management, and entrepreneurship, which enables graduates to control their own destiny. Talladega’s program only requires candidates to have a bachelor’s degree and enroll in prerequisite courses, which consists of coursework that equips students with the necessary knowledge required to successfully matriculate through the MBA program. The program can be completed in as little as a year and is offered online or through hybrid learning. Contact Dr. Jonathan Elimimian via email at jelimimian@talladega.edu. To apply, visit https://my.talladega.edu/ICS/Admissions/  or call (256)-761-6100.
FOR COMEDY LOVERS…
AT THE STARDOME COMEDY CLUB…
**WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY…COMEDIAN ROB WARD…Some of the places that Rob has had the pleasure of performing include, but are not limited to: The Improvs of: Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Columbus; Hilarities, and the Bill Cunningham Show on the CW network. Rob’s hard work has not gone unrecognized. Some of Rob’s recognition and awards include but are not limited to: touring with national touring headliner Benji Brown on his “pull up and laugh tour” he also joined the Alan Cox tour in 2019. Rob has also been a winner at “The Showtime at the Apollo,” in Harlem, N.Y.; being a runner up for the “Shaq All-Star Comedy Jam,” as well as recently being named “The Comedian of the Year,” in the Cleveland Comedy Awards.
**FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY…COMEDIAN BENJI BROWN…Adding to his impressive list of shows and appearances, Benji completed an episode of MTV’s Nick Cannon Presents: Wild n’ Out, which aired on the 4th season in 2007. He also co-starred in a series of 2005 Bud Light Super Bowl commercials with Cedric the Entertainer. He was also seen in a hip-hop comedy entitled, A Miami Tail, released by Lions Gate Films. Benji’s early success earned him respect from other comedians in the business, such as, Mike Epps who said, “He’s an actor doing comedy.” Benji’s comedy skits have reached over 1,000,000 hits, and over 725,000 for his most requested character Kiki. It all started with him mimicking the girls in the city he encountered, and it quickly took off. His voice overs have been heard on platinum recording artist Trick Daddy’s album, as well as appearances on Flo-Rida’s album. In high demand, and in total control of his future, Benji Brown is well on his way to setting a new standard in the entertainment realm.
**COMING JULY 14 – WEDNESDAY NIGHT LAUGHS – Bennie Mac is hosting COMEDIAN KDUBB and DJ DAME mixing live at the StarDome Comedy Club. YouTube.com/MacManEntertainment, Facebook.com/ComedianBennieMac.
COMING SOON…
**JULY 7-17, 2022 – THE WORLD GAMES are coming. Look for more!
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: gwenderu@yahoo.com  and thelewisgroup@birminghamtimes.com.