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People, Places and Things By Gwen DeRu

Gwen DeRu





SUMMER FUN DAYS AT THE ZOO – The Birmingham Zoo invites the community to Half-Price Summer Fun Days on the weekend. There will be half-price admission, half-price rides, discounted merchandise and $1 hot dogs in the cafes.  The Dino Discovery will have a discounted price of $3 every day before it goes extinct on Labor Day. The zoo hours are 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. for the extended summer hours. Enjoy these days this weekend, July 30-31 and August 6-7.  For more go to www.birminghamzoo.com.

Rickey Smiley
Rickey Smiley

RICKEY SMILEY AT THE STARDOME COMEDY CLUB – Birmingham’s own Funny-man Rickey Smiley is known for making millions laugh for over 25 years. Check him out at the StarDome Comedy Club, this weekend. Call (205) 444-0008 for more.








THIRSTY THURSDAY at the Baron’s game at Regions Field.

OLIVIA’S HAPPY HOUR, every Thursday at Olivia’s Bar and Lounge with $.50 wings and drink specials, 4 p.m.  For more call (205) 326-2881.

LIVE AT STEEL, 8 p.m. with SHARRON performing and DJ CDUBB in the Mix at Steel on First Avenue at 23rd Street, downtown Birmingham. Get your live music and dance on every Thursday night.




BOOK RELEASE PARTY – IT WAS ALL A DREAM Book Release Party, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the Summit Club, 1901 6th Avenue North, downtown. For more visit www.tdi2r.org.

COMEDIAN Rickey Smiley at the StarDome Comedy Club.

FANCY FRIDAYS, 5 p.m. featuring JILLIAN GRAY with YARBROUGH & COMPANY every Friday at Legends on 18th Street North, Downtown, Birmingham. This is an After Work Experience hosted by Keely and Tiger and catered by Chef Jones.  Call (205) 212-4406 for more.

PLUM BAR on 17th Street, Downtown.




PANCAKE BREAKFAST AT APPLEBEE’S, 7:30 – 9:30 a.m. at Applebee’s Five Points West, 2246 Bessemer Road, is a fundraiser of the Sisters of Genesis Chapter #975, Order of Eastern Star.  For more call (205) 567-3179.

INTRO TO POKEMON GO WORKSHOP, 10 – 11 a.m. at the downtown library, in the Story Castle on the 2nd Floor.

TASTE OF FOURTH AVENUE JAZZ in the Historical District.  FREE.

SUPERHERO SATURDAY at 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the McWane Science Center.

RAILROAD PARK is where the fun is Saturday.

SOULFUL SATURDAY at Steel 1st and 23rd Club.

COMEDIAN Rickey Smiley at the StarDome Comedy Club.




SLOW ART SUNDAY, 2-3 p.m. at the Birmingham Museum of Art.

SUNGLASSES ON THE ROOFTOP DAY PARTY, 4 – 9 p.m. at the Southern Kitchen and Bar.

THE CITY OF DA-SH FASHION SHOW at the Bessemer Civic Center.  Doors open at 3:15 p.m.  Show starts at 4 p.m. Postura International and DA-SH magazine is hosting The City of DA-SH fashion show. There will be door prizes, live performances and vendors.  For more information, call (205) 705-2354.

FRONT COVER MODELING presents ‘MeKa Fashion Statement,’ featuring special guest models, 6-8 p.m. at the Cotton’s Building (Ensley) located at 400 – 19th Street, 35218.  For more information, call (205) 920-3727 or (340) 513-2046.

JAZZ IN THE PARK, 6-9 p.m. at Wiggins Park (3301 Jefferson Avenue)  with N’Fusion featuring James Crumb, Jr. and KB’s Technique.

COMEDIAN Rickey Smiley at the StarDome Comedy Club.

KB’s Technique
KB’s Technique




OLIVIA’S HAPPY HOUR, 4 p.m., every Tuesday, at Olivia’s Bar and Lounge with $.50 wings and drink specials. For more call (205) 326-2881.

PLUM BAR on 17th Street, Downtown.

TIDE AND TIGER ON THE PATIO, 4 p.m. until on Graymont across from Legion Field.




CREATING AND MANAGING WEALTH – The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. is hosting a Financial empowerment conference, Saturday, August 27, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at the Trinity Baptist Church, 900 Graymont Avenue West, downtown, 35204 including financial guidance, onsite credit guidance, creating a busines plan, investment property and rental property and building wealth (retirement and multiple sources of income). For more, call (205) 781-8181 or email www.akaomicronomega.org.




JAZZ GUITARIST ADAM HAWLEY, at the Perfect Note in Hoover at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

JAZZ IN THE PARK BIRMINGHAM – Magic City Smooth Jazz presents JAZZ IN THE PARK at the Wiggins Park, with N’FUSION featuring vocalist James Crumb, Jr. and JB’s TECHNIQUE, 6 – 9 p.m. FREE!!!!




TEN ALABAMA ARTISTS EXHIBITION – The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) features the work of 10 Alabama artists through August 26 in the Fourth Floor Gallery of the Central Library who are members of the Watercolor Society of Alabama (WSA). The display is at the Central Library, 2100 Park Place, in downtown Birmingham. FREE.  For more call (205) 226-3670.

“DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR & THE CHICAGO FREEDOM MOVEMENT: PHOTOGRAPHS BY BERNARD J. KILEINA Exhibition is at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute displaying its collection of rare color photos, from July 26 through December in the BCRI’s Vann Gallery. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Chicago Freedom Movement. These photographs are some of the only known color photographs of Dr. King in Chicago. Bernard Kleina was a priest in Chicago that wanted to get involved in the movement, who removed his collar, picked up his camera and marched.

SLOW ART SUNDAY, 2-3- p.m. at the BMA where you can unlock the secret works in the Museum’s collection by cultivating the art of looking slowly.




INTRO TO POKE’MON GO WORKSHOP – Intro to Pokémon Go workshop at the downtown library.

2016 SUMMER MOVIE SERIES – The City of Birmingham Mayor’s Office Division of Youth Series (DYS) has movies for youth that participate in the Summer Enrichment Program through the library. Youth read a book, do a report and get a FREE ticket. MOVIES: Friday, Ghostbusters and July 29 Ice Age 5.  Call DYS for more information at (205) 320-0879.

BIRMINGHAM PUBLIC LIBRARY SUMMER READING PROGRAM – The Public library’s Reading program is all summer long. Check out the library nearest you….for movie tickets and more.

HAPPY HEALTHY KIDS FAIR – Join other children and parents in the Birmingham Area at the Happy Healthy Kids Fair on August 6, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Riverchase Galleria.

TAKE A CHILD TO THE DOCTOR DAY is September 10, 10 a.m.  – 2 p.m. at the YMCA Youth Center, 2400  7th Avenue North. Call (205) 320-0879 for more.

DISNEY DREAMERS ACADEMY is taking applications until October 31, for youth ages 13-19 that live in the United States and enrolled in high school grades 9-12. For more go to: disneydreamersacademy.com.




Every Thursday is Positively Funny Improv. Check out Rickey Smiley. Funny-man Rickey Smiley is known for making millions laugh for over 25 years. As a much loved comedian, television host, and top rated nationally syndicated radio personality, Smiley has earned a reputation for delivering for audiences on and off stage. With the distinct ability to take everyday observations and turn them into comedic gold, Smiley is a standout in the entertainment world. Rickey Smiley is one of the few “clean” comics amongst the upper echelon of contemporary great Comedians. His audiences are treated to such original characters as “Mrs. Bernice Jenkins,” “Lil’ Daryl,” “Joe Willie” and “Buford.” In addition, his comedy shows often include a live band, which he accompanies playing several instruments and singing.

MORE: July 28-30 – RODNEY ARRINGTON, August 12-14 – LESTER BIBBS, August 26-28 – MIKE EPPS, September 16-18 – JOHN WITHERSPOON, September 30 – October 2.  See you there!




If you are interested in fashion, style and live in the immediate Birmingham Area, Birmingham Fashion week is August 25-27 at the Boutwell Auditorium.

The Birmingham Fashion Week was founded on the ideals for bringing unity to our community through fashion.  The 6th Annual Birmingham Fashion Week will be bigger and better than ever before.  See local and national designers, local and national boutiques, rising design stars, emerging designers with models, make-up and hair artists competing as they showcase their talents on the runway.  Hair and Makeup Artists deadline is tomorrow, Friday.  For more information, go to www.bhamfashionweek.com.




AUGUST 17 – NETWORK AFTER WORK, 6-9 p.m. at 2901 Second Avenue South.


AUGUST 18 – ESTELLE WITHERSPOON DINNER by the Federation of Southern Cooperatives Land Assistance Fund.


AUGUST 20 – EVO 2016 5K FIT CHALLENGE at Sloss Furnace, 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.


AUGUST 27 – FASHION WEEK at the Boutwell Auditorium.


AUGUST 31 – RENSHAW DAVIES, the New Orleans folk and roots duo is at The Nick, 10 p.m.




OCTOBER 22-23 – TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY’S Alabama 500 and fred’s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola, the most anticipated NASCAR Chase Elimination races of 2016.


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: thelewisgroup@birminghamtimes.com or gwenderu@yahoo.com.)


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