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May 2018

County Living


Summer Calendar Issue

Your Business Should Be


Advertising GROWS Business So, Advertise with the BEST






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5 June 201

Elmore County L iving

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ECL is the River Region’s preium coffee table magazine with more in-depth features and more faces from around the area.

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Elmore County Living

To advertise contact our marketing consultants Marilyn Hawkins 334-202-5108 or Kat Raiford 334-444-8981 2



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From the Editor's Desk


It's time to play! School is out; days are longer; warm weather is upon us; and all those highly anticipated seasonal events are gearing up for us to enjoy. Our extensive summer calendar, beginning on page 12, is full of fun for the entire family. With art shows, kids activities, live music, outdoor adventures and holiday celebrations, your personal schedule is sure to fill up quickly. So turn to the Elmore County Living list of events to save the dates. Now that Millbrook’s Kid’s Kingdom playground is back in action and better than ever, it’s the perfect place to take the children and burn off some of that summer energy. The grounds include tables and shady areas to enjoy a picnic lunch or a social hour with friends amid nature. This long-awaited improvement was well worth the effort, and Mayor Al Kelley said it’s a laudable investment in the children’s futures. Turn to page 26 to see all the new ways to play this summer. Movie Man Jeff Langham’s ideal playground is a movie theater and a good film. Well, he not only jumped the chance to watch a new and highly recommended film, but also the star-studded cast within it. Last month, Auburn hosted the Red Carpet World Premiere of Life of the Party, and you better believe both Jeff and I channeled our inner fans and mingled with the celebrities. I have the selfie with Melissa McCarthy to prove it! I know we felt like giddy children again. Sharon Fox reminds us that it was the 1920s when the movie theater was the newest and greatest hobby of its time. With a tale of mischievous adventures, Fox shares the written messages of two women in college yearsduring the roaring 20s on page 31. It’s time to personify your own inner playfulness and try something new this summer. MK Moore suggests learning a new at-home recipe with tips to prep like a pro on page 46; Jacob Saylor insists on testing out the new game Nioh on page 34; or discover a new exercise routine to live healthier with tips from Brandi Criswell on page 36. Whatever you choose to do, embrace your inner child and find some time to play. Happy summer planning!


Kenneth Boone

President & Publisher Steve Baker

Managing Editor Betsy Iler


Amy Passaretti

Distribution Manager David Kendrick

Marketing Consultant Marilyn Hawkins

Marketing Consultant Kat Raiford

Creative Services Audra Spears


Kenneth Boone Jeff Langham Carmen Rodgers Jacob Saylor David Granger

Sharon Fox MK Moore Judith Hill Brandi Criswell Mike Young

To subscribe to Elmore County Living, $25 a year for 12 issues, please call David Kendrick at 256-234-4281 For Advertising Inquiries 334-567-7811 For Editorial Inquiries 256-234-4281

Amy Passaretti, Editor

All content, including all stories and photos, are copyright of

Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc., P.O. Box 99 300 Green Street, Wetumpka, AL 36092 334-567-7811




CONTENTS ON THE COVER A local child slides down the new equipment that was installed at the Kids’ Kingdom in Millbrook. The park had its grand reopening and ribbon cutting earlier this month. Photo by Amy Passaretti



32 Columns

Features 12

Summer Calendar


Back in the Day


Time to Play


The Gamer


Rolling on the Red Carpet


Community Care


Southern Delights

Fun Events for the Whole Family Kids’ Kingdom Renovated A Movie Man Special Column

The Roaring ’20s Culture of Nioh Lose Weight, Live Healthy Prep Like a Pro


In Every Issue 6

Extra! Extra!


Business Spotlight


Out & About


Where to Find Us

News Briefs

Blooms & Bait

In Elmore County Distribution List


Students look behind the scenes of county government The Elmore County Commission hosted its 15th annual county government day in an effort to educate more than 300 Elmore County high school students about county government. The commissioners wanted the high school seniors to leave the courthouse with a better understanding of what government does and hoped to maybe encourage some to step into a role in government. Students toured the courthouse and visited with

county employees and agencies. Students also saw demonstrations of the Jaws of Life by the Wetumpka Fire Department and saw how

the Elmore County Sheriff’s Department Special Operations Unit uses explosives to enter a door a suspect might have barricaded. The county highway department was on hand with equipment to explain some of what they do on a day-to-day basis in Elmore County.

Crawfish for charity After its huge success last year, the Tallassee VFW Post 5035 hosted its second annual crawfish boil last month with food, music and fellowship. Volunteers began cooking at 8 a.m. and prepared more than 600 pounds of crawfish and a total of 1,000 pounds of food for the event. Proceeds help the Tallassee VFW better serve local veterans who may be in need.

AWF Goes Wild! With more than 35 cook teams, some submitting entries in more than one category, the Alabama Wildlife Federation Wildgame Cook-off was a huge success and full of unique dishes last month. The Palomer Plus Team won the best overall award at the AWF Tri-County Cook-off with its delectable venison and duck fat fries. Nearly 1,600 were in attendance and could taste dishes of fish, fowl or game.



Extra! Extra! News from Elmore County and surrounding areas

Hygiene Matters Leadership Elmore County is collecting donations for youth in need at local schools throughout the school year. Personal hygiene products, preferably in travel size, will be accepted until Thursday, May 31. Monetary donations are also appreciated

and checks can be made payable to Leadership Elmore County. For a list of needed items or for additional information, contact Donations can be dropped off at the Wetumpka, Millbrook or Tallassee chambers of commerce.

DAC takes in the beauty of Jasmine Hill Dixie Art Colony hosted a Walk Where They Walked plein-air painting event at Jasmine Hill Gardens last month. Patrons from as far away as North Carolina and Atlanta were in attendance and overall turnout was good. The exhibit included a Fitzpatrick family tree and original artwork by DAC artists Kelly Fitzpatrick, Warree LeBron and Genevieve Southerland. Instructors for this event included Carol Barksdale, Barbara Binford David, Cecil Bridges and Donny Tomlin. The DAC was founded on the effort to research, document and preserve the legacy of Central Alabama's unique historic art colony and to promote local and regional visual arts.



Blooms & Bait Eclectic couple combines hobbies into business


Story & Photos by Judith Hill

ocated just over the hill on Red Hill Road sits Lake Martin Blooms and Bait shop along Highway 63. The family owned and operated store is as eclectic as the little town in which it sits. The storefront offers a dual service of flowers and garden supplies, along with bait and gear for fishing. Husband and wife team John and Kim Bullock feel fortunate to combine their passions, hobbies and interests into one business just two minutes from their home. The couple opened the store after moving to Eclectic from Auburn more than 10 years ago. “We started off with the garden center, and we saw there was a need for a bait shop as well. The women come and look at the flowers, while the men come in to look at the bait,” John Bullock said. The garden center boasts several species of plants and flowers, as well as pine straw, potting soil and fruit and vegetable trees to create the perfect home garden. Bullock said the Floribunda flower is one of the favorites among customers. The tackle-and-bait side of the store is stocked with everything local fishermen need to reel in the big catches. Gear includes rods, reels, jigs, lures, hooks, lead and corks. The shop also is one of the few in the area that carries live bait, including three types of minnows, bass worms and crickets. Bullock said he’s been fishing for crappie, striped bass and catfish in the area for years, which is why he stocked their store with the perfect accessories for anglers. While fishing is more of a hobby for Bullock, his full-time experience includes more than 30 years in the landscaping business. In the beginning of his career,


The store on Red Hill Road is both a garden center and bait shop the work took him all over the East Coast from Florida to New York. Now that he and Kim have their own store, Bullock offers landscape revamping and remodeling in the area. He explained that creating a new canvas from scratch can sometimes be a little boring, since there is limited creativity involved on the landscaper’s part. Bullock enjoys to be challenged by a redesign or maintenance project. “His experience is wonderful for the garden center. It’s amazing how many people can take a picture of their yards, and he can tell them what plants would look good where,” Kim added. “We can identify any plant that is out there,” Bullock said. “Even if you just draw it on a napkin, I can help you find what plant you’re looking for.” The couple agreed that the best part about owning their own business in Eclectic is the opportunity to


Business Spotlight

meet all the different people who visit their store. “You’d be surprised how many people vacation here. We meet people in here from all over the country and the world even,” Bullock said. Blooms and Baits even has on-site storage available for boats and/or boat trailers in its protected fenced-in yard. In addition to running the store, Kim and Bullock raise German Shorthaired Pointers. “Everybody knows our dogs. We usually have a litter of puppies in the office,” Kim said. Bullock and his wife are expecting their next litter of puppies to arrive in early June. Visit Lake Martin Blooms and Bait from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday or contact the Bullocks at 334-740-4055.

John and Kim Bullock own Blooms & Bait



The best memories are made at

The Ridge.

Russell Lands On Lake Martin is a breathtaking lake community with 25,000 acres of forest set among Lake Martin’s 40,000 plus acres of pristine water and nearly 900 miles of shoreline. The largest premier neighborhood at Russell Lands On Lake Martin is The Ridge—where ownership comes with an array of extras – The Ridge Club, a 10-acre recreation complex, miles of hiking and walking trails as well as nature and waterfront parks, and a state-of-the-art Ridge Marina -- all designed to connect you with family, friends, nature, and always, the lake.










May 17 Honeybees and Native Pollinators Hosted by the Alabama Nature Center, the resident beekeeper will discuss the importance and plight of native pollinators and what can be done to help. Held at 6 p.m., come learn about beneficial pollinator gardening, how to identify native bees and what it takes to be a beekeeper. There will be a chance to taste Lanark honey and visit the new ANC apiary to observe working bee hives. AWF is located at 3050 Lanark Rd. in Millbrook. Contact Tyler Harris at 334-285-4550 for information.

cars from across the Southeast will be on display. There will be kids’ activities, free food and T-shirt giveaways. The entry fee is a donation of a canned good for the Millbrook Welcome Center food drive.

May 19 Reptile Rendevous and Amphibians, Too! Ready to get up close and personal with our scaly friends? Visit the NaturePlex to meet snakes, lizards, turtles and a baby alligator with some of Alabama Wildlife Federation’s resident reptile experts, which will happen all day. The AWF is located at 3050 Lanark Rd. in Millbrook. Contact Matt Vines at 334-285-4550 for more information.

May 25-27 RXR Fest The Town Green at Russell Crossroads comes alive with some great music Memorial Day weekend. From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. each evening, come enjoy live music on the Town Green. This free concert will feature Belle Adair and AJ Ghent on Friday night, The Bank Walkers and Tyler Mc Snipper on Saturday and will wrap up with King Corduroy and Lamont Landers on Sunday.

May 26-27 Art on the Lake More than 60 artists and vendors from all over the Southeast will set up on the grounds of Children’s Harbor to offer a variety of handmade goods. This family-friendly, pet-friendly event also will include a kids’ zone, music, cocktail bar and more. Saturday, the event will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday it will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 334-857-2133.

May 26 Hot Rods in the Park The fifth annual car show will be held at the Village Green in Millbrook from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. More than 150


Hot Rods in the Park

May 26 Aquatic Invertebrate Round-up The Alabama Wildlife Federation will host a hands-on opportunity to discover what lurks beneath the surface of the water at 11:30 a.m. Participants will take a look at the insects and organisms that inhabit the waterways with a provided net and a journey through the waterbodies at Lanark. The AWF is located at 3050 Lanark Rd. in Millbrook. Contact Matt Vines at 334-285-4550 for more information.

May 28 Veteran’s Memorial Day Service Visit the Veterans are Heroes Park on Kowaliga Road in Eclectic at 2 p.m. to honor veterans. Family members and friends are invited to place flowers at the base of the monument in memory of loved ones as their names are called. Bring your own flower or one can be furnished for you free of cost. Arrive a few minutes early to add the name of your loved one to the list. Please bring a lawn chair. For information, contact Harold Dunson at

May 31 Early Explorers: Mother’s Day Early Explorers is a preschool program for children ages 8 and under, open to the public and offered monthly; by the Alabama Nature Center. At 10 a.m., there will by storytime


SEASONAL SHOWINGS Summer theater could be an entertaining option for whiling away an evening or Sunday afternoon, and Elmore County’s community theater organizations are serving up a selection of fairytale classics, magical music and comedic presentations to engage audiences throughout the season. Start the summer with the Ocean Opry Show, featuring Dennis “Moonshine” Rader, at 7:30 p.m. May 18 at Millbrook Community Players, 5720 Main St. in Millbrook. Rader’s music and comedy show played in Panama City Beach for 27 years with country, gospel and old time rock-and-roll music intermixed with laughter and fun. Tickets are $12 in advance and $14 at the door. Front row seats are $20. For tickets and information, visit Head to the Wetumpka Depot Theatre May 31 for Stuck in the Mud … Bluegrass and Laughs with the Rusty Bumper Band. Promising a foot-stomping great time, the band will play fine old-time music, old gospel favorites and even older jokes. Show times are 7:30 p.m. on May 31 and June 1 and 2 p.m. on June 3. Order tickets online at Wetumpka Depot Players is located at 300 S. Main St. June 9, don’t miss the new, improved and real Andy Griggs’ performance at 8 p.m. at the Mt. Vernon Theatre, 313 Barnett Blvd., Tallassee. Griggs first hit single, You Won’t Ever Be Lonely, was followed by another No. 1 song. He also had five more that hit in the top five and another four in the top 10. Twenty

years into his music career, Griggs said he’s finally matured into his music. Tickets are $12 at Join the Millbrook Community Players June 21 through July 1 as they bring Cinderella to the playhouse stage. This beloved tale of transformation based on the famous fairy tale by Charles Perrault includes a dash of belief, a sprinkle of magic and a pinch of true love and is told in song and dance through the direction of MCP veteran John Collier. Then check out the Wetumpka Depot musical production of Hands on a Hard Body by Doug Wright, Trey Anastasio and Amanda Green. Set on a sweltering Nissan car lot, this full-length dramatic comedy was inspired by a real contest held in Longview, Texas. The play is infused with a fresh roots-rock vibe through the hilarious tale of a hard-fought contest in which only one winner can drive away with the American dream – 10 contestants, four days, one truck. The show runs July 19 through Aug. 4. Visit the website for times and tickets. In addition to theatrical productions, Wetumpka Depot will offer two camps for kids this summer. Camp Aladdin, from June 3 to June 9, is open to students grades two through six, and Teen Intensive Week, June 10 through June 16, is for students in grades seven and up. Both camps will conclude with performance showcases. Visit the website for details and costs.



Embrace Nature at AWF Summer is almost here and that means outdoor recreation is revving up. Take a hike, go fishing or kayaking or attend an environmental education camp at the Alabama Wildlife Federation’s Alabama Nature Center at 3050 Lanark Rd. in Millbrook. Start with Thursday night programs in the NaturePlex. Once each month from now until Labor Day, take the family to ANC to learn in and about the great outdoors. Topics covered include honeybees and native pollinators (May 17); fishing for bream (June 21); Alabama’s mammals (July 19); and canoeing and kayaking (Aug. 16). Most programs cost only $5. Bring your own dinner. Arrive at 5:30 p.m. to stroll through Discovery Hall. Events begin at 6 p.m. Stop by between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. any Monday through Saturday to catch a movie in the theater. A wide range of subjects will be featured, including Superfish, Shallow Seas, Seasonal Forests, Alabama Rivers, Silence of the Bees and Raccoon Nation. Movies vary in length, so check the ANC calendar online. Every month, preschoolers and children under the age of 8 could join the Early Explorers to learn about the natural world in which they live. These events include story time, an activity and a craft. Held on the last Thursday of every month at 10 a.m., the programs cost $5 per child – adults are admitted free. Walk-ins are


welcome, but space is limited so sign up in advance by emailing Tyler Harris at Saturdays at ANC are exciting times for the whole family. Activities include swamp hikes, alligator encounters, movies, hydrangea workshops and plant sales, fishing, canoeing and kayaking. Learn about birds of prey or head outdoors to the compass course. Cost for Saturday admission is $5 per person or $20 for a family. In many cases, equipment is available for activities and programs. On June 8, ANC will host a camp-in event. In addition to fishing and encounterExplore ing an alligator, nature there will be a and wildlife night hike and at AWF birding. Participants will even get to spend the night with the animals in Discovery Hall. Contact Harris for details. ANC will host its annual youth fishing rodeo from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Aug. 4. Children ages 15 and under could catch and take home up to five catfish each. Every entrant receives a T-shirt and a chance to win a door prize. Contact Matt Vines at 334-285-4550 for information. Join a walking, photography, fishing, birding or naturalist club at ANC to enhance the summer’s outdoor experiences. For registration and information visit


by Tim Warners, a Mommy & Me nature hike and a craft project using materials from nature. The AWF is located at 3050 Lanark Rd. in Millbrook. Contact Tyler Harris at 334-285-4550 for more information.

May 31, June 1 and June 3 Rusty Bumper Held at The Wetumpka Depot, the Rusty Bumper Band will provide a foot-stomping great time with old time music, old gospel favorites and even older jokes. Performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. May 31 and June 1, with a 2 p.m. performance on June 3. Ticket sales will benefit the Depot youth program. The theater is located at 300 South Main St. in Wetumpka. For information or ticket sales, visit

June 2 LMRA Annual Meeting Discussion at this year’s annual meeting will include an update on the lighted buoy project, lake criminal activity, shoreline cleanups and legal action against the Corps of Engineers. Marine Police will be on hand to provide a report and answer questions as well. The meeting will be held at Kowaliga Restaurant. Alabama Power Company Credit Union will host a buffet breakfast at 8 a.m., and the meeting will start at 9 a.m.

June 2 Hydrangea Fest The Alabama Wildlife Federation will host this annual event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Alabama Nature Center. Discover the unique, natural history of hydrangeas from Maria PachecoWest, Lanark grounds specialist. She will make a presentation at 10 a.m., followed by a tour of the Heirloom garden and hydrangeas around the pond. Lanark Gardens also will have a plant sale benefiting the gardens at the AWF. Daily admission is $5 per person, with a $20 maximum per family. AWF is located at 3050 Lanark Rd. in Millbrook.

June 3-9 Wetumpka Youth Actors Academy Camp Children in grades two to six can enter this acting workshop with the Wetumpka Depot Players for $130 tuition, which includes a T-shirt. Camp will include practice time during the day, ending with performances of Disney’s Aladdin June 8 at 6 p.m. and June 9 at 2 p.m. Contact Kristy Meanor at kmeanor@wetumpkadepot. com or 334-868-1440 or visit for information or registration.

Main Street Wetumpka Wine Pull

June 8 Second Annual Main Street Wetumpka Wine Pull

This evening, hosted as Main Street Wetumpka’s annual fundraiser, will offer spectacular sunset views and a food and wine pairing from Fire Steakhouse. Tickets are limited and are $150, which includes admission for two, two signature wine glasses and the chance for each pair of atendees to “pull” a bottle of wine. The event is held at the Wind Creek Wetumpka Hotel and Casino Penthouse Suite, located at 100 River Oaks Dr., at 6:30 p.m. Purchase tickets online at For more information, call Jenny Stubbs at 334-478-5100 or email her at

June 8-August 30 Collectors and Collections Exhibit This is the second part of The Kelly Fitzpatrick Memorial Gallery’s two-part exhibition of artwork on loan from collectors around the River Region. With 121 pieces of art from 112 different artists, the work ranges from the early 1900s to present. A total of 30 collectors loaned the artwork to The Kelly for the exhibit. For information, visit The Kelly is located at 408 S. Main St. in Wetumpka.

June 8-9 TallasseeNow Riverfest This annual city-wide event is hosted by the Tallassee Community Development Corporation with food, art, music and more. There will be performances over the two days by Andy Griggs, River Dan Band and Joanna

Dixie Division Military Vehicle Preservation Association

Love. Join Dixie Art Colony from 6 p.m. to 7:30 pm on Friday, June 8, for an art reception at the Trustmark branch located at 304 Barnett Blvd., Tallassee. The still life by Arthur Stewart will be one of the many new works included in the 2018 exhibition. Dixie Division Military Vehicle Preservation Association display will feature historic exhibits, including vehicles, trailers, kitchens and communications displays after 2 p.m. June 8 to be prepared for Saturday’s event. The display will be held in the grass area around Tallassee City Hall located at 3 Freeman Ave.

June 8-9 ANC Camp-in: Snore and Explore Come spend the night in Discovery Hall at the Alabama Wildlife Federation, located at 3050 Lanark Rd. in Millbrook. There will be fishing, alligator encounters, s’mores, a night hike and a birding hike. Price is $12 per person, with the requirement of one adult per three children. Conctact Tyler Harris at 334-285-4550 for more information.

June 9 Lil’ Calypso Art Fest Held on the water’s edge, the 16th annual festival at Chuck’s Marina will feature nearly 60 regional artists on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Vendors will display quality crafts, including jewelry, pottery, metal work, furniture, wood and art work. The fun starts on Friday night with the Russell Craig Duo on stage. There will be live music from Dan Adams on the deck Saturday from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday night will feature the Blackberry Breeze band. On Sunday Augusta, Georgia’s, Ruskin and Cam from King Size Band will close out the weekend from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. For information, visit the Chuck’s Marina Facebook page.



June 9 Intro to Sailing Lake Martin’s Dixie Sailing Club will host a free class from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for anyone interested in learning to sail. A free hot dog lunch will be provided. Bring a swimsuit, change of clothes, towel and sunscreen, as well as life jackets. The event is limited to 60 participants. To reserve a spot, call Jess Meuse Keith Bennett at 334-324-9383.

centuries. French colonial, Creek Indian and Tennessee Militia re-enactors will gather at the park to demonstrate military drill and lifestyles of Alabama’s past. Admission to visit the Fort Toulouse-Fort Jackson park is $2 for adults and $1 for children. For information, contact Ove Jensen at

June 17 Jess Meuse at Kowaliga

June 9 Canoeing and Kayaking

This musician, originally from Holtville, was a 2014 finalist on American Idol. She will perform at Kowaliga Restaurant from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The Alabama Wildlife Federation will host a day of learning to canoe and kayak and enjoying fun in the sun. Life jackets and paddles will be provided. Daily admission applies and is $5 per person, with a maximum of $20 per family. AWF is located at 3050 Lanark Rd. in Millbrook.

June 20 Archery Day Camp

June 10-16 Wetumpka Depot Teen Intensive Acting Workshop For children in grades seven and above, this ACTing Up Workshop is designed to challenge young actors to go beyond the stage and the page. Topics covered will be nonmusical theater scene work, musical theater, choreography, costume and technical design. For a full schedule, visit For additional questions or registration, contact Kristy Meanor at kmeanor@wetumpkadepot. com or 334-868-1440.

June 12, 19 and 26 Yoga in the Park The Elmore County Extension Office will host yoga in Goldstar Park from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Register online at

June 14 Healthy Cooking Day Camp The Elmore County Extension Office will provide this 4-H camp from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the ECEO. The cost is $10, and registration is required and available online at

June 16 Living History Weekend From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. there will be ongoing demonstrations featuring frontier life in the mid-18th and early-19th


The Elmore County Extension Office will host a 4-H archery camp from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m for $5. Pre-registration is required and available at

June 21-22 Jr. Beekeeping Camp The Elmore County Extension Office will host this twoday 4-H camp at Wetumpka Elementary School from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day. Cost is $30 and registration is required and available at

June 21 Fishing 101: Bream Doug Darr from the State’s Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division will teach families techniques for using live bait, fishing lures and preparing a catch to eat. Anglers should bring hats and sunglasses. All other gear will be provided, unless a participant wants to use his own. Anglers should meet at 6 p.m. in the Main Hall, or come at 5:30 p.m. to enjoy a BYODinner. For more information, contact Tyler Harris at 334-285-4550. AWF is located at 3050 Lanark Rd. in Millbrook and admission is $5 per person, with a $20 maximum per family.

June 21 Patriotic Ceremony at Mt. Vernon Theatre This free celebration of our nation will recognize veterans and current service men and women with music, videos and pictoral displays at 7 p.m. at the Mt. Vernon Theatre located at 313 Barnett Blvd. in Tallassee. To include a vet in the service, send a photograph of him or her in uniform, along with service branch, rank or grade attended to WACQ radio at 320 Barnett Blvd.


Art on the Lake Art on the Lake has amped up the traditional lakeside art show this year with cocktails, caterers, children’s activities and artists, said Coordinator of Marketing and Communications Haley Hoppe. Now in its 13th year, this pet-friendly Memorial Day weekend benefit for Children’s Harbor will feature more than 70 artists and vendors from across the Southeast. “This year, Red Clay Events and Bar Services will set up in the gazebo area to serve bloody marys, mimosas, specialty alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as coffees and iced coffees,” Hoppe said. “For $5, visitors at the show can purchase a VIP wristband that will admit them to a special seating area.” Furniture from the Children’s Harbor Treasures and Thrift Store will be arranged in the shaded VIP area to provide a cool, comfortable place to rest and enjoy a free cocktail, along with snacks and other refreshments, thanks to Birmingham’s public radio station WBHM, Hoppe More said. than 60 Red Clay’s vendors Yellow Bicycle will catering associdisplay ate will offer hot their artwork

A variety of handmade items are available for purchase

dogs, barbecue, shrimp boil and other goodies for sale to Art on the Lake patrons. A percentage of food and beverage sales will go to Children’s Harbor. “We wanted to create a space where our supporters will be able to relax and linger,” Hoppe explained. This year’s event also will include hands-on activities in a kids’ zone. Children will be invited to craft driftwood art and engage in other creative projects. Historically, Art on the Lake has attracted more than 5,000 patrons each year to support the organization. Children’s Harbor’s mission is to serve seriously ill children and their families through unique, no-cost services at both the Family Center at Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children in Birmingham, and the Lake Martin retreat facility in Alexander City. The 66-acre facility opened 29 years ago on land donated by Russell Lands On Lake Martin. Russell Lands Chairman Ben Russell and his wife Luanne initially proposed – and continue to lead support for – the project, which provides use of the camp at no charge to campers. The camp is located in Lake Martin’s Kowaliga area, directly southwest of Kowaliga Bridge. Art on the Lake will open this year from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 26, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 27, at the Lake Martin Children’s Harbor campus at 1 Our Children’s Highway, Alexander City. Free parking is available in the field across the highway from the camp, and a shuttle service will be provided to transport art show patrons. Boat visitors also are welcome. For information, contact Hoppe at 205-616-4167. Art on the Lake is held on the shorelines of Lake Martin at Children's Harbor photo by Mike Young



Tallassee NOW! Riverfest Tallassee NOW! RiverFest boasts a schedule of new events at a new venue June 8-9 as the celebration of all things Tallassee rebrands and moves to the Mt. Vernon Theatre. Tallassee Community Development Corporation President Melissa Hill said the change in location opened up fresh opportunities for entertainment, art events and children’s activities. Art and music were among the most popular programs and exhibits last year, Hill said, so the CDC has responded with more of what interested festivalgoers. “We have centered this year’s celebration around the new theater and are bringing together all age groups,” Hill said. “Last year, the arts and music exhibits were where people spent their time, so we have put more focus on these events. “The Dixie Art Colony will be back again this year with more exhibits. We also have reached out to the Creek Nation and will have an exhibit of works from Native Americans.” In addition, the festival will offer more activities for kids, a free concert outside and a ticketed chart-topping performer inside the theater. “River Dan, who is a very well known local performer, will be on the outside stage, and that concert will be free to the public. There will be food trucks outside and children’s activities,” she explained. “Inside the theater on Saturday night, we will have Andy Griggs – we’re so excited about that! He will play at 8

p.m., and tickets are $12.” Hill recommended purchasing tickets from CDC members or online at, as there is limited seating available. Friday’s events will include a viewing of the 1993 hit movie, The Sandlot. The decoration theme will celebrate the film’s 25th anniversary with concession stand food, including peanuts, popcorn, candy and other baseball-themed amenities. “Wear your jersey,” Hill suggested. “We’re looking for a ballpark atmosphere.” Another new exhibit will open Saturday morning when the Dixie Division of Military Vehicles rolls out a vintage vehicles show of restored jeeps, trucks – and maybe even a helicopter. “That’s going to be great. We are excited about adding the military aspect,” Hill said. “Of course, we’ll have the barbecue sale. That’s a big part of the event,” she added. DAC will be part of seven exciting art exhibitions at this year’s annual celebration. Dixie Art Colony: A Look at its LastPainting by Iain Stewart ing Legacy will take place of Tallassee's Thurlow Dam in the lobby at Trustmark Bank, 304 Barnett Blvd. In the Trustmark Annex next door, The Tallassee Community: Art Show will take place. Other exhibitions, including the Elmore County Art Guild’s Tallassee NOW & Then, Dixie Doodles: The Lighter Side of the Dixie Art Colony, The Artwork of Dr. Ronald McDowell, The Artwork of Walt Spratlan, The ECAG Tallassee City

Schools Sparking the Arts Exhibition and a preview of the Dixie Art Colony: A New Generation will be held in the historic Confederate Officers Quarters, which was built in 1864 by the Confederate States of America. All of the art exhibitions will open Friday, June 8, at 6 p.m. with a reception in the bank lobby. ECAG will announce the winners of the 2018 Tallassee NOW & Then show at 6:15 p.m. On Saturday, June 9, the exhibits will open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a luncheon to honor artist Dr. Ronald McDowell at noon at 301 King St. For more details on this year’s event, visit Tallassee NOW! on Facebook.

Schedule of Events June 8

6 p.m. Music in Bell Park by Jo Love and Todd and the Tone Deaf Hobos; free admission 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Dixie Art Colony reception and local artists’ exhibitions at Trustmark Annex and lobby; free admission 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Local artists’ exhibitions at the historic Confederate Officers Quarters at 301 King St.; free admission 7:30 p.m. Family Movie Night at the historic Mt. Vernon Theatre featuring The Sandlot; $5 admission

June 9 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. Dixie Division Military Vehicle Exhibition at City Hall; free admission 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Tailgate Partners BBQ Sale at Bell Park 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Quilt Show at City Hall; free admission 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Dixie Art Colony and local artists’ exhibitions at Trust Mark Annex and lobby and art exhibits at historic Confederate Office Quarters; both free admission 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Dovard Taunton Art Exhibition, The Trophy Room; free admission 4 p.m. - 8 p.m. Riverfest Food Truck Festival at Mt. Vernon Theatre; food by The Wharf and Lil Smokies BBQ 5 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. River Dan Band at Mt. Vernon Theatre Courtyard; free admission 8 p.m. Andy Griggs live in concert at Mt. Vernon Theatre; Tickets $12

June 21-24, 28-30 and July 1 Cinderella The Millbrook Community Players will perform The Prince Street Players production of this classic story based on the fairytale by Charles Perrault. Performances on June 21-23 and 28-30 will begin at 7:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. showings will take place June 24 and July 1. The show will be directed by A. John Collier, with adaptation and lyrics by Jim Eiler. The music is directed by Jim Eiler and Jeanne Bargy. Tickets are $12 in advance and $14 at the door. Admission for children 12 and under is $8. The Millbrook Theatre is located at 5720 Main St. in Millbrook. For more information, visit or call 334-782-7317.

June 23 Bees are Buzzing Join the Alabama Nature Center at 11:30 a.m. for a program all about the world of bees and beekeeping. Topics will cover pollination, beekeeping and the proper equipment needed. Guests will get to taste some local honey, which will also be on sale in the gift shop. ANC is located at 3050 Lanark Rd. in Millbrook. For more information, contact Matt Vines at 334-285-4550.

June 27 Poultry Day Camp The Elmore County Extension Office will host this oneday 4-H camp from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for $10. Pre-registration is required and available at

July 4 Fourth of July Boat Parade This year marks Russell Marine’s 40th annual boat parade that follows the route from Kowaliga to Children’s Harbor with boats decked in festive displays and patriotic themes. Two prizes will be awarded for each category: Tallest Flag, Largest Flag, Most Creative Theme and Most Patriotic Crew. And new this year, Best Overall Boat and Crew will receive $500 in cash. Get your crew together to decorate your boat, or enjoy the colorful parade from the shore. Call Kowaliga Marina at 334-857-2111 or stop by any Russell marina to register.

July 4 Fireworks and Concert Celebrate this holiday at The AMP with muisc by The Grains of Sand Band at 8 p.m. The Southeast’s largest fireworks display will start at 9 p.m., and the band will return at 9:30 p.m. when the fireworks show is over. Gates will open at 5 p.m. Bring chairs, coolers and friends to stake out a spot on the grass. The annual Twist and Hula Hoop contests will keep kids entertained. For more information, visit

Choice Award, People’s Choice Award and Teacher’s Choice Award. For the full list of class descriptions and times, visit

July 18 DAC Lunch and Learn: DAC Bayou Painters Join the Dixie Art Colony at 11:30 a.m. for a luncheon and presentation about the Mobile County spin-off of the Dixie Art Colony. Included in the presentation will be four oversized storyboards about the Bayou Painters and examples of their work.

July 18 Poultry Day Camp

Fourth of July on Lake Jordan

July 4 Lake Jordan Annual Fireworks Show Fireworks will be shot from the east side of Lake Jordan dam at dark, and the show is best viewed from the water. The Lake Jordan HOBO sponsors this event each year, which is funded by individuals and businesses. For information, visit the Lake Jordan HOBO Facebook page.

July 19 Healthy Cooking Day Camp The Elmore County Extension Office will provide this 4-H camp from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the ECEO. The cost is $10 and registration is required online at

July 19 Mammals of Alabama

July 6-7 Arti Gras Featuring dozens of artists throughout the South, this two-day juried art show event is held on the Town Green at Russell Crossroads from 12 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Vendors will sell handmade paintings, jewlery, photography, sculpture and much more. If interested in partcipating as a vendor, submit two or three photos of your artwork, along with an application by June 21 to Tyler Mitchell at

July 10 and 17 Yoga in the Park The Elmore County Extension Office 4-H will host yoga in Goldstar Park from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Register online at

July 12-15 33rd Annual Southeastern Woodcarving School Hosted by the Central Alabama Woodcarving Association, instructors will be on site to teach woodcarving at the Wetumpka Civic Center. Classes are available for all levels and interests. Ginny Gray will be on site demoing live woodcarving. This year will be an exposition, instead of a competition. Members or those that sign up for a class may bring their work to display. There will still be a Mayor’s


The Elmore County Extension Office will host this one-day 4-H camp from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for $10. Pre-registration is required and available at

Learn about native mammals of Alabama at 6 p.m. at the Alabama Wildlife Federation, located at 3050 Lanark Rd. in Millbrook. Discover everything from skins and skulls to tracks and scat. Participants can take home a track cast they create. Contact Tyler Harris at 334-285-4550 for information.

July 19-Aug. 4 Hands on a Hard Body The Wetumpka Depot Players will perform this uplifting musical about fighting for a piece of the American Dream. Hands on a Hard Body tells the story of 10 working class Texans who would do anything to win a new pick-up truck. Based on a real contest in Longview, Texas, the musical’s competitors must stand in the sun for days with their hands on a truck, and the last person standing is the winner. For more information, visit

July 21 Radical Raptors The Alabama Wildlife Center, located at 3050 Lanark Rd. in Millbrook, will present raptors at 11:30 a.m. to teach about birds of prey. Contact Matt Vines at 334-285-4550 for information.


July 21 Lions Lake Martin Charity Poker Run This annual event gets bigger and better every year. Boat crews crisscross the lake to collect cards for the best poker hand while the party revs up at Kowaliga with music, food and fun. Prizes are awarded for the most original crew costumes as well. Start at The Ridge Marina at 8 a.m. and when your hand is complete, head Wags & Whiskers Auction to the party at Kowaliga Restaurant.

July 25 Archery Day Camp The Elmore County Extensions office will host a 4-H archery camp from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m for $5. Pre-registration is available at

July 27 Wags & Whiskers Auction The Humane Society of Elmore County will host its 13th annual auction at Wind Creek Entertainment Center,

100 River Oaks Dr. There will be fun, food and treasures for bidding during both live and silent auctions. All proceeds go to the humane shelter. Admission is $25 per person and limited tables seating 10 are available for $300. Doors open and bidding starts at 6 p.m. For information, visit or contact Chris Sission at 334-313-2155.

July 28 Compass Course Led by an Alabama Nature Center naturalist, come to 3050 Lanark Rd. in Millbrook to learn about some compass basics at 11:30 a.m. Groups will head outdoors and visit a compass course to test newly learned skills. This class is good for all ages, but recommended for children 6 and older. Compasses and materials will be provided. Contact Matt Vines at 334-285-4550 for more information.

Celebrate the Nation Tallassee’s annual Community Patriotic Celebration will be held June 21 at 7 p.m. in the newly opened historic Mt. Vernon Theatre. The inspirational event will pay respect and tribute to veterans and current men and women serving in the military. Speaheaded by James Bush, Bill Patterson and Joel Burdette, the evening will include music, videos and pictorial displays to recognize those fighting for the country’s freedom. This annual celebration is highly beloved by the residents of the area. This year, special recognition will be given to veterans who served in World War II. The organizers request that all vets who plan to

attend or those with loved ones who have served, provide a photo of the service member in uniform. Be sure to include the soldier's name, service branch, rank or grade attended and years of service. Photos should be submitted to WACQ Radio at 320 Barnett Blvd. by June 19. Photos can be mailed or submitted in person. All photos will be returned. Howlin' Mad Smith Detachment 592, Marine Corps League will reenact the Iwo Jima battle flag raising – an iconic moment in history. The event is free of charge, but donations are appreciated. For more information, contact Bill Patterson at 334-799-7723.

August 2 DAC on the Road: at the Birmingham Museum of Art

September 2 Labor Day Concert

The 45-minute program will feature a video and slideshow about the Dixie Art Colony and its participants. Included will be vintage photographs from the DAC Foundation archives and slides showing examples of the colonists' work. This presentation will be one of a series of 10 programs that will be part of the Birmingham Museum of Art's 2018 Art & Conversation series. The program is open to the public, but registration is limited. Single programs are $17 for nonmembers and $12 for BMA members. To register visit the BMA website at or call 205-328-7628.

August 4 Annual AWF Youth Fishing Rodeo From 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., the Alabama Nature Center will host its annual youth fishing rodeo for children 15 years old and younger. Each child can catch and take home up to five catfish each but can catch and release as many as they want. Each participant will receive a free T-shirt and a chance to win a door prize. Bring your own poles and a cooler to the catfish pond at 3050 Lanark Rd. in Millbrook. Contact Matt Vines at 334-285-4550 for more information.

August 15 DAC Lunch and Learn: Happy Birthday Kelly Fitzpatrick Join the Dixie Art Colony at 11:30 a.m. for a rare look at a 1950s scrapbook complied by some of Fitzpatrick's students at the Alabama Gulf Coast spin-off colony. The scrapbook includes sketch paintings by many of the artists that participated in the spin-off colony. The presentation will also include a slideshow about Fitzpatrick's career. The dessert will be a birthday cake honoring Fitzpatrick.

August 18 Gator Tails

Season-Long Events Haunted Wetumpka Investigations Beginning in June, in-depth paranormal investigations will take place in the Wetumpka Area Chamber of Commerce building from 7 p.m. to midnight on the third Saturday of the month. Cost is $50 per person, and reservations are required. Call 334-567-4811 or email for information and registration.

Country Music Jam Every Friday from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., the Red Hill Community Center (the old Red Hill High School) hosts an open-stage country music jam. All players, singers and listeners are welcome. Coffee and snacks are provided at this family-friendly event. No admission is charged, but donations are welcome.. For information, email Paula Castleberry at

Alabama Wildlife Federation Naturalist Hikes Every Tuesday and Friday, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., hike some of Lanark’s 5 miles of trails with an experienced ANC naturalist. Learn how to bird or ID plants and animals, splash through the creek or catch insects in the meadow. General admission is $5 per person, with a $20 maximum per family. AWF is located at 3050 Lanark Rd. in Millbrook.

Electronics Recycling

Join the Alabama Nature Center at 11:30 a.m. for a program about one of the swamp’s top predators. Visitors will get to meet ANC’s baby alligator Delta, and kids will get to make a cool take-home alligator craft. All materials are provided. ANC is located at 3050 Lanark Rd. in Millbrook. Contact Matt Vines at 334-285-4550 for information.


Gates open at 5 p.m. at The AMP for the annual summer close-out concert. Bring coolers, kids, friends, lawn chairs and blankets and turn out for one last great big party at the Labor Day concert lake. Tickets are $10 at The AMP and kids 6 and under are admitted for free. Music starts at 6 p.m. For tickets and artist information, visit

On the first Saturday of each month, electronic items for recycling are accepted at the Wetumpka Recycling Center on East Charles Avenue. There is a $10 fee to recycle tube televisions; other electronics incur no charge. Come from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Other accepted electronics include computers, monitors, cell phones, chargers, modems, remotes, printers, batteries and more.


A ​ labama Wildlife Federation Creature Feature Every Monday and Wednesday, from 3:30 p.m. until 4 p.m., come learn about Alabama’s woods, water and wildlife. Get up close and personal with some of the creatures you may find in your own backyard and even some you may have never heard of. General admission is $5 per person, with a $20 maximum per family. AWF is located at 3050 Lanark Rd. in Millbrook. Visit

Master Gardeners Lunch and Learn Bring a sack lunch to the Elmore County Extension Office in Wetumpka from noon to 1 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month for a gardening presentation hosted by the Central Alabama Master Gardeners Association. The event is free and open to the public. Drinks are provided. For information, visit or call 334-567-6301.

Tallassee Civitan Club The Civitans meet at 6 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at the Budde Building on Gilmer Avenue. This volunteer organization serves individual and community needs by funding and hosting special events for people with developmental disabilities. A social time at 5:30 p.m. precedes meetings.

Blue Grass Jam, Sit and Scrap and Sit and Sew All three activities are held on the first Saturday of the month from 9 a.m. to noon at the Alabama River Region Arts Center in Wetumpka. All acoustic instruments and skill levels are welcome at the Bluegrass Jam. Scrappers and paper crafters are encouraged to attend Sit and Scrap. All sewers and knitters are welcome at Sit and Sew. For details, call 334-578-9485 or visit

Busy Bee Quilters Quilters meet the second Friday of the month at 9:30 a.m. at the Santuck Community Center, 7300 Central Plank Rd. For information, call Sheila Puckett at 334-399-3249.

Stories and Rhymes The Eclectic Public Library hosts a variety of activities, including stories, rhymes, dress-up, dance and music at 2 p.m. every Tuesday and 10:30 a.m. every Saturday. These programs are free and enrich a child’s lifelong love of reading. The library’s gift shop and bookstore are open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.

Santuck Flea Market Santuck Flea Market is held the first Saturday of each month at 7300 Central Plank Road, Hwy. 9, Wetumpka.

Children’s Harbor Treasures and Thrift Store Located on Highway 63, the Children’s Harbor Thrift Store is open Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. You never know what gems you might find – from clothes and household items to boats. Proceeds are used to help fund the activities at the Lake Martin campus of Children’s Harbor and the Family Center at Children's Hospital. Call 334-857-2008 for information.

Cruise-In Car Show Pull into the Super Foods parking lot on Gilmer Avenue from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. the third Saturday of each month for a look at the spectacular wheels.

Wetumpka City Pops Wetumpka City Pops Community Band rehearses on Thursdays from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. on the second floor of the Wetumpka City Administration building. Any woodwind, brass and percussion players are encouraged to participate.

Dixie Art Colony Foundation Exhibit Regular gallery hours are from 10 a.m. until noon on Mondays and Wednesdays at 219 Hill St., Wetumpka. Appointments and small group tours are available upon request. Special tours include a 16-minute video, Dixie Art Colony: A Look at Its Lasting Legacy. Exhibits rotate every four months, and a selection of periodicals and books from the DAC Foundation Resource Library also are on display. For information, contact Mark Harris at 334-328-0730 or email him at



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Paid Political Advertisement By Committee to Elect John Thornton • P.O. Box 783 | Wetumpka, AL 36092



334-567-2666 5266 U.S. Hwy. 231 Wetumpka, AL Winn Dixie Shopping Center • Behind KFC 24


River Region Women in Business This women’s networking group meets once a month to support, encourage and help other women succeed in business. Topics and speakers vary on tips, advice or support for professional and personal growth. The group meets the third Thursday of each month at the Wetumpka Area Chamber of Commerce, 116 E. Bridge St., from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. There is no cost to attend the first meeting, and then dues are $50 per year for chamber members and $100 for non-members. Contact Shea Irvine at 334-651-8289 or for information or to RSVP.

Third Thursdays All downtown Wetumpka businesses will stay open until 8 p.m. every third Thursday. Come shop and dine to support local businesses. Downtown Wetumpka

p.m. at the Village Green. There also will be bakery items, demonstrations from the Master Gardeners, giveaways and other special activities. The Village Green is located at the corner of Main Street and Grandview Road. For a list of each week’s giveaways and activities, visit the Millbrook Farmers Market Facebook page. For information, contact Chuck Burns at 334-2853558 or 334-301-2650.

Roman Catholic Worship at Church in the Pines The parish at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church of Tallassee will hold confession at 5:30 p.m. and Holy Eucharist at 6 p.m. on Saturdays at Church in the Pines through Sept. 1. Confession also can be arranged by appointment. Call Fr. Matt Rudzik at 251-599-4597. For information, email or visit

Countywide Cleanup Day

Tuesdays with Kelly On the third Tuesday of each month, The Kelly Fitzpatrick Memorial Gallery hosts free events with various speakers, topics and demonstrations. This is a brown bag lunch event beginning at noon. The Kelly is located at 408 S. Main St., Wetumpka. For more information or a list of upcoming programs, visit

Music on the Deck at Kowaliga On the first and third Sundays of the month, from now through August, Kowaliga Restaurant will offer live acoustic music on the deck from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., weather permitting. Visit for the full artist lineup.

Friday on the Green Every Friday on the Town Green at Russell Crossroads, come listen to live music from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Lawn games are available, and people are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, coolers, kids and pets.

Millbrook Farmers Market

The Elmore County Commission sponsors free cleanup days for residents on the second Saturday of odd numbered months. Drop off household and yard trash free of charge at the following locations: old highway department in Kent; old highway department shop in Holtville; Crenshaw Park; Sweeten School; Emerald Mountain Equestrian Center; county jail; Shaylee Place at Hwy. 231 and Tutus Road; Old Central Transfer Station; Anne Building in Elmore; CEW&SA parking lot at Redland Road facility. There is no longer a drop-off at the intersection of Redland, Firetower and Dozier roads.

Summer Paddleboarding Meet up with other paddleboarders at 10 a.m. on the second and fourth Saturdays of June and July for demos, tours and relays. Call Paddle Lake Martin at 334-799-0529 to sign up or for information.

Yoga on the Green Start summer Saturdays from May 26 to Sept. 29 with relaxing yoga stretches on the Town Green at Russell Crossroads at 7 a.m. Bring your mat and a bottle of water to this free event that will be led by experienced instructors. To have your upcoming event featured in Elmore County Living’s ‘Coming Up!’ pages, email information to editor@ by the first of the month.

Every Tuesday morning through Aug. 15 local farmers will have fresh produce available for sale from 8 a.m. to 12



Time to

Kids' Kingdom upgraded by the City of Millbrook Story & Photos by Amy Passaretti 26




The local playground received new equipment suitable for different age groups


ith the assistance of local leadership, a variety of contractors and services and the professional consultation of a playground company, Millbrook’s Kids’ Kingdom playground, originally built in 1994, is now a safer place for children and more fun than ever! “There is a lot of history there,” said Millbrook Mayor Al Kelley, “We wanted to save as much of the old as we could to combine with the new because of the incredible community involvement.” With changing federal regulations, the playground had to be renovated to code and provide handicap-accessible equipment. The addition of texturized pieces and particular steps on the new main structures, along with a handicap-accessible swing, allows children with sensory, physical and mental challenges to also enjoy the full range of amenities at the park. While this long-anticipated project has been in the planning stages for almost three years, the resulting construction took place over the course of just a few months. Scott Davis, director of Millbrook Parks and Rec., consulted with Drew Warren from J.A. Dawson & Company/GameTime out of Birmingham to determine the necessary changes and develop a plan of action. “They were really great to work with. They were patient and wanted me to be in good standing with whatever we finally decided on,” said Davis, who has been personally invested in this project since its inception. The two original wooden structures on site were renovated and deemed walkingonly equipment. The slides, fireman’s pole, tire climb and more, were removed, so the whole wooden structure did not have to come down, based on new regulations. Instead of replacing all wood boards, carpenter Steve Silas constructed matching replacement boards for destroyed or missing pieces and filled in gaps with more wood to decrease the spacing between boards. “This was able to bring the original structures we wanted to keep up to code.


We then painted the tops blue to match the new equipment “Relocating the entire memorial area encourages more we had come in,” said Davis. people to stop and see it. We really wanted to highlight the The original Kids’ Kingdom sign was saved and painted contributions of the founding community members,” said blue to match, as well. Davis. Newer equipment was broken into two distinct age group Individual equipment that was removed also contained sections. One is suitable for children ages 2-6, while the other names of contributors, and those marble plaques were is designed for children ages 7 and over. The addition of placed predominately on the front of the existing wooden musical chimes and flower pedestals rounds out the area. structure. Blue paint was added to retain the color scheme. The new swing area contains a Some of the old equipment will toddler seat, regular swings and be kept and repaired, if possible, a handicap-useable swing, which said Davis. can be reached by the newly built The entire cost of the project sidewalk. Clay Beck with Qualfrom initial site work to construcity Dirt Work and Construction tion and purchasing of new pieces did the majority of the site work, was more than $150,000, and the including sidewalks and tree refunds were approved and providmoval. The pathway was extended ed by the City of Millbrook. to create four entrances to the park “This city has made an investand easy access to the equipment. ment in our future and our future To allow for the new equipment is the children,” said Kelley. and added sidewalks and benches, The playground and adjacent some dead trees had to be cut walking track receive a lot of foot down, and the ground was covtraffic, and Davis said it would ered completely with wood chips. only continue to grow with the “These are much softer for safer, more accessible area. children to play on. They will be “Compared to the previous set evaluated annually for possible up, even the playground company replacement,” Davis added. we used was extremely impressed Four new benches were placed with the turnout,” said Davis. inside the playground area, and “Now it will just be a wonderful Children have more options picnic tables were added in the day at the park.” for play at Kids' Kingdom shade. Both of these areas sit on a While the City may choose to layer of pea-sized pebbles. add more equipment and advance Fencing was constructed to the availability of amenities, for completely block access to the creek for children’s safety. now Mayor Kelley is pleased to have the playground open The existing fence boards contained names of donors to the for use. The park is open to the public from sun up to sun original playground, which were saved and incorporated down, and the addition of new lighting from the City will intermittently throughout the new fence area. help to maintain security in the area. Additional donor names were etched into brick pavers that create the base of the memorial headstone.





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2639 Gilmer Avenue • Tallassee, AL 36078


The Roaring '20s The 1920s was an exhilarating time for young people. The decade was filled with societal changes that were embraced wholeheartedly by the young adults, especially the women. The style for women transformed to include short bobs, short skirts, high heels and more freedom than before. Women were given the right to vote, the freedom to drink and the authority to use unladylike language. Cigarette companies even started aiming ads at the women during this time and encouraged them to smoke with slogans, such as, “When you want cake, reach for a Lucky Strike instead.” Who could resist?  The invention of the Ford Model T gave young adolescents the freedom to go anywhere they wanted to, including the movies, which became newly popular during this time. Prohibition forced the creation of illegal speakeasies, and with the invention of radio, dancing became a popular past time.  While staying at home was made easier with new electric washing machines and vacuum cleaners, the younger women quickly learned during the war that they were more than just homemakers and stenographers. They could do just about anything a man could do, and they set out to prove it. An example of this fresh behavior is recorded in the correspondences between Myrtle “Myrt” Preer and Eugenia “Jean” Tate. They were the epitome of the roaring ’20s. These two women, from two different places, met and shared a

dorm at the Women’s College of Alabama – now Huntingdon College – in the 1920s. Preer was raised in Tuskegee, and Tate was raised in Wetumpka. They roomed together until the spring of 1928, when Tate became sick with what was later thought to be lead poisoning and returned home to recover. Preer and Tate kept in touch through written postal messages. Their letters discussed the movies they went to see, the handsome young men they dated and the places they traveled. They spoke of missing curfew and being put on probation at school for getting into too much mischief. In every one of Preer’s letters, she asked when Tate would be returning to school since everyone missed her. The two often discussed how hard it was to quit smoking – so hard, in fact, both women were still smoking at the time of their deaths.  Preer and Tate fought often it seemed. Preer’s letters sometimes asked Tate to forgive her for something she’d said or done. Her letters were peppered with gossip about several of the women attending the school, followed by the statement that she shouldn’t be so unkind. She never stopped it though.  Sometime around mid-1929, Preer must have done something much more than gossip, which resulted in a major falling out with Tate. Preer wrote long letters nearly every day, asking for forgiveness and sharing how heartbroken she was with the apparent end of their friendship.  Tate eventually forgave her, and the letters soon went back to talking about all the dancing, traveling and fun Preer was having while Tate was home still trying to recover from illness. Tate eventually returned to school and graduated in 1930. She taught for a while, played tennis, won quite a few matches and sometimes made the newspapers with how beautifully she played the violin. Both women joined the Women’s Marine Corp in 1944, each serving three years. Tate and Preer both remained single until their deaths – in 1988 and in 1992, respectively. The roaring ’20s – these ladies embraced it and never looked back!


Sharon fox

BACK IN THE DAY sharon fox is the curator at the elmore county museum located in wetumpka.


Rolling on the Red Carpet Jeff Langham

MOVIE MAN Dr. Jeff Langham is State Assistant Superintendent for External and

Governmental Affairs and a lifelong lover of film.


Picture this. Reporters from Entertainment Tonight, E! Entertainment News, and me, Movie Man from Elmore County Living magazine, all standing together on the red carpet at a dazzling movie premiere. I’m still pinching myself after enjoying this experience of a lifetime! How did Auburn, Alabama, end up hosting the star-studded, red carpet world premiere of Life of the Party with actors Melissa McCarthy, Julie Bowen, Matt Walsh, Stephen Root, Jessie Ennis, Debby Ryan, Jimmy O. Yang, Luke Benward and director Ben Falcone? This is all thanks to Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema’s nationwide Premier Promotion, wherein college students across the country vied for the star-studded world premiere to come to their town, as judged by their level of school spirit. I’m not sure how it all worked, but Auburn came out on top. The movie’s promotional materials describe it perfectly: “Life of the Party tells the story of longtime dedicated housewife Deanna who, when her husband suddenly dumps her, turns regret into re-set by going back to college – alongside her daughter – and plunging headlong into the campus experience.” Just last month in Elmore County Living, I recommended Life of the Party as a top pick to see during the month of May, never realizing that I was about to have a close encounter with the movie and its talented cast. How did I, Movie Man, end up standing right in the middle of a Hollywood-style premiere in the heart of central Alabama? When Elmore Coun-

ty Living editor Amy Passaretti contacted me to see if I would be interested in covering this event, you better believe I jumped at the opportunity. From the moment I arrived at AMC Tiger 13 in Opelika, I was amazed at the size and scope of this event. Lines of cheering students, forgoing studying for final exams, awaited the open doors to get a first peek at this widely anticipated comedy. I hustled to the media check-in for my credentials, and Passaretti joined me Elmore County to serve as the official photogLiving had its rapher for the evening. There own spot on before us stretched a real life the red carpet red carpet with placards listing among media the names of media. moguls Things started to get surreal the moment we took our places. We were impressed that Elmore County Living magazine was on the same playing field with such well-known media moguls. With the late afternoon heat beating down and the sun’s glare cauterizing our eyeballs, we stood undeterred as we awaited the arrival of the limos. Relentlessly upbeat Auburn students formed a cheering section gauntlet, ready to greet Hollywood’s arrival. Before Passaretti and I knew it, the movie’s stars were escorted right to us one by one, and we were given the opportunity to spend a couple of minutes talking with each. Here are some of the things we learned from our encounters with these engaging cast members: Matt Walsh (HBO’s Veep) expressed excitement at this being his first visit to Alabama. Stephen Root admitted that if he could go back to school like McCarthy’s character in the movie, he might pursue photography. Root portrays her


Debby Ryan is originally from Huntsville

Jeff Langham interviewed heartthrob Luke Benward dad in the film. We also reminisced about his iconic roles as Milton in Office Space. Jimmy O. Yang (Silicon Valley) spoke fondly of the friendships forged during filming and loves that the people in Alabama are “just so nice.” Jessie Ennis (Better Call Saul) revealed that even though the movie was filmed two years ago, many of the cast members have found ways to keep in touch. Luke Benward, McCarthy’s college-aged love interest in the movie, offered advice to aspiring actors: You must have unwavering confidence to survive in the business. He also admitted that he is a University of Alabama fan, and he has attended games in Bryant Denny Stadium when he visiting relatives in Tuscaloosa and Millry, Alabama. Julie Bowen (Modern Family) is delighted to be a mean girl in the movie: “Marcie is super nasty (the homewrecker for McCarthy’s marriage). Everybody in real life thinks that I am really, really nice, so it’s fun to play mean.” Debby Ryan (Disney Channel’s Jessie) quickly reminded me that she was born in Huntsville when I asked if this was her first visit to Alabama. The cast members praised the experience of working with Melissa and Ben and the family-like atmosphere of the set. These movie star encounters flew by in a flash. I sounded at times like a ditzy fan boy instead of a sophisticated, crusading journalist. What a learning experience! As McCarthy and her husband Falcone got closer to Passaretti and me on the runway, the number of questions

we could ask her quickly diminished. By the time she stood inches from us, her public relations team revealed that we could ask her one question. Oh, the profound questions I had prepared in anticipation of my interview with her. Questions like, “What message of empowerment can you share with today’s students?” Thinking on our feet, Passaretti and I decided to ditch the question and go for the ultimate keepsake – a selfie with this superstar. We quickly introduced ourselves, snapped the photo, and just moments later McCarthy was hustled into the theater. I quickly followed and stumbled into a seat in the packed theater. Life of the Party is a screamingly funny film. McCarthy lives up to her reputation as our generation’s Lucille Ball. She is enormously appealing in the role of Deanna, and Maya Rudolph, as her best friend, is an absolute riot. The movie is consistently hilarious, and I quickly lost count of all of its laugh-out-loud moments. Highly recommended! After the movie ended, all of us premiere guests attended a huge after-party in the parking lot of the theater. Hundreds enjoyed sumptuous catered goodies, and the stars mixed and mingled the night away. Never in my wildest dreams could I ever have had a shot at interviewing celebrities at a red carpet movie premiere. Thank you to Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc., and editor Amy Passaretti for handing me this extraordinary opportunity. And don’t miss Life of the Party when it opens in theaters nationwide on May 11.

Auburn students cheered for the arrival of the stars



Culture of Nioh A tale of Japanese history revealed through solid gameplay Last year’s samurai-centric Nioh hits a ton of different chords with me. I’m a huge fan of hackand-slash games, Japanese culture and blisteringly difficult action-oriented video games. So, you can imagine how I feel when you put all three together. It’s hard to beat the feeling of conquering a tough level or enemy, and it never hurts to build that street cred as a gamer: “I beat that boss on this difficulty setting.” It should come as no surprise that Nioh draws comparisons to tough titles like Dark Souls or Bloodborne while still treading its own excellent path. But what makes Nioh such a standout? Why

should you care? Let’s talk about this and examine the game a bit more closely.

Japanese history The rich history and folklore of Japan has taken residence in nearly every medium known to man: film, television, plays, books and even other video games. Sometimes, these adaptations paint an accurate representation of that history, but it’s not uncommon that tall tales win out and spin things into the otherworldly or romanticized. That’s not all bad, though. In fact, Nioh finds itself somewhere in the middle of this tug-of-war, and the overall

production is certainly positive. While it’s true this samurai-era tale sees the player fighting demons, spirits and all manner of other unsavory creatures, it’s also deeply rooted in real Japanese history. For instance, the main character is William Adams, an English trader and businessman who eventually became one of the first Western samurai – there were only ever a few. Whispers of the late Oda Nobunaga – one of Japan’s most brutal lords – resonate through the game’s myriad set pieces, and players get to experience living in something of an alternate-history Tokugawa shogunate. There are the usual digressions from fact throughout Nioh’s story, but while the tale is a bit sparse in detail, it holds everything together nicely. It’s easy to forget just how cool history is, especially when combined with a twist of the supernatural. Nioh delivers a truly unique blend of the two, striking a fine balance in the process. I’d argue that Japan’s folklore takes the driver’s seat throughout most of the title, but it’s cool to see the unexpected real-world influence. Historical games haven’t been capturing the market in the way they used to, so there’s a sense of welcomed change that accompanies Nioh.

Superior swordplay What would a good samurai or hackand-slash game look like without good gameplay? Probably pretty boring, but you’ve got little to worry about with Nioh. In short, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find many games with more fleshed-out combat mechanics than this one. There are a ton of weapons, armor and fighting styles from which players can choose. In fact, would it be complaining if I said sometimes it feels like you’ve got too many options? While I’m not quite finished with Nioh, I can say without a doubt I won’t tire of the gameplay anytime soon. So long as you aren’t sticking to one specific playstyle throughout the game – and it’s hard to do this – you’ll find plenty of variety. You’ve got to use different weapons

to tackle different enemy types, as each presents its own unique challenge to overcome. Some enemies are big, hulking demons called “Yokai,” while others come in the form of your fellow man. As you might imagine, the Yokai tend to be a bit slower and more powerful; humans are the inverse. And all of this flows together gracefully. It’s important to try to expand upon your skillset as a player throughout the game because the difficulty ramps up in a very steep direction after just an hour or two. Nioh is a very kind host but only to those who tread lightly and prepare for the journey. In short, there haven’t been many times I felt cheated; when my character bites the dust, it’s because I messed up. There are a number of mechanics introduced early that I still haven’t quite gotten the hang of, but I can see the pieces starting to line up and it’s a thing of pure beauty.

Should I play Nioh? While it’s a true gem, Nioh is not a game for everyone. It’s a title that asks players to come equipped with a basic knowledge of gaming skills and Japanese history. It’s not an experience I’d recommend to new gamers, but it’s worthy of more notice than it’s gotten. In fact, it’s simply the latest in a long line of great Japanese games that just don’t get much attention. And given the Land of the Rising Sun’s distinct background and high-level game development pedigree, I think it’s important for us to grab these stories while we can. This isn’t to say Nioh is going anywhere, but the incentive to play games from yesteryear dampens with time. This is especially true considering the sheer number of quality games published in today’s gaming space. Don’t miss out on a stellar piece of gaming history – one that’s sure to be dubbed a cult classic by another writer in the not-sodistant future.

Jacob Saylor

THE GAMER Video games journalist

Jacob Saylor has covered the massive

Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles. Follow Jacob on Twitter @skulldrey.

Brandi Criswell

COMMUNITY CARE Brandi Criswell is a published scientist and nurse practitioner at ivy creek internal medicine.


Lose Weight Live Healthy No matter where someone falls on the body mass index chart, most men and women nationwide suffer with some form of negative body image. While there are people who wish to gain weight, the majority of Americans would like to lose it. Dieting is a multi-billion dollar industry, and people spend hard-earned money on products that are marketed in pretty packages that claim to result in rapid weight loss. The truth of the matter is that no matter how many frozen dinners, pink drinks or plant-based pills bought, unless a lifestyle change is made. It’s imperative to find the right lifestyle change that suits an individual’s needs and

to burn more calories than are consumed. This lifestyle change, or diet makeover, must become a forever routine; otherwise, when weight is lost, it will be rapidly gained back if a person returns to old eating habits. This diet rollercoaster is one many women, especially, hop on in their teens and 20s and from which they find it difficult to escape. Healthy eating and healthy exercising are key factors in weight loss and improved health. A well rounded diet could improve, prevent and control many health conditions, such as high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol and even some types of cancer. These conditions often lead to


kidney disease, stroke, limb amputation, dialysis and other comorbidities that could shorten the length of life, along with a significant decrease in quality of life. It’s better to enjoy things that have been earned. The simple pleasures of traveling, spending time with family, enjoying hobbies, etc., all can be significantly impaired when a person must go to dialysis three times per week; has had a leg amputated; or has to use money and free time with doctors, specialists and pharmacists. What is the key to losing weight and living a healthy lifestyle? It is not easy, and there is no quick fix that will help, but it is very possible. Depending on how obese an individual may be, there are weight loss surgeries that are effective; however, lifestyle changes must still be made; otherwise, the weight will be gained back. The two things to include in a lifestyle change are healthy eating habits and a regular exercise program. To lose one pound, 3,500 more calories must be burned than are consumed. Keeping up with caloric and fat intake is important. I recommend using a free smartphone app; however, keeping a physical food journal also could work. Eating 1,200 to 1,500 calories each day is a healthy amount that is still low enough to allow weight loss. Cardiovascular exercise is imperative, but it’s not a bad idea to also do some light weight training if you don’t have comorbidities that prevent it. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise per week. Always remember that the more calories burned, the more calories could be consumed. Don’t make excuses about not having the time because people prioritize what’s important. Is it important enough to you to be healthy and happy to make these lifestyle changes? If you want to lose weight, are unsure where to start, or want the supervision of a primary care provider, visit a local physician.

Apothecary Pharmacy



• Medication Reviews • Diabetes Products and Services • Auto-refill Available Upon Request • Online Prescription Refills • Text when prescriptions are ready • Drive-Thru • Flu Shots • Immunizations • Medicare Part D

Products & Specialties Broad availability of brand and generic prescription medications Private-label, over-the-counter medications Pharmacist counseling • Gifts & Novelties • Greeting Cards 1405 Gilmer Avenue | Tallassee, AL


1000 Friendship Road Tallassee, AL 36078






Carl Wayne Mullins Park Dedication April 11, 2018 1st Street, Tallassee





1. Andy Coker 2. Linda Hammonds 3. Johnny Hammock 4. Bill Godwin 5. Rick Golden 6. Margaret Mcleod, Wayne Casaday and Destin Willis 7. James Bush






Youth Softball League



April 12, 2018


Tallassee Softball Complex 1. Sophie Beckham, Kaylee Fannin, Addison Merritt and Katelyn Raiford 2. Oliver Watkins 3. Steve Fannin and Chris Sewell


4. Sherry Reeves and Glenda Baker 5. Shawn Buckner and Heather Simmons 6. Jason, Ally and Kathy Hornsby











Tulotoma Art Trail


April 20, 2018 Downtown Wetumpka 1. Bass Rolling and Kay Bass 2. Steve Wilson, Sherry and Sarah Tudor 3. Claire and Don Sawyer 4. Ashlee Rene Thompson 5. Liv, Rush and Lindsay Lyons 6. Jo Glenn and Janice Whorton


7. Brie Rogers and Sebastian









AWF Wild Game Cook-off April 26, 2018 Alabama Wildlife Federation 1. Presley Phillips and Addie Piggott 2. Jon Foshee, Jeffrey Chapman, William Bergeron and Mike Jeffries



3.Tim and Susan Wood 4. Dustin Savage and Kevin Kelley 5. Tyler Harris and Travis Powell 6. Kent Lisle, Richard Dudley, Whit Dekle, John Wilkerson and Steve and Angie Livingston 7. Todd Johnson, Sammy Smith, Wesley Johnson, Matt Crysel, Scott Dansby and Todd Cole 8. Kirk Green, Jimmy Simms, Shellby Ellison, Jon and Wendoll Mimms, Jeremy Hicks, Kristy Seamon and Allison Ellison














Wetumpka Business Expo May 5, 2018 Downtown Wetumpka 1. Stanton Yarboro, Spencer Kongchen and Jessie Unger 2. Ashley Weston and Emily Hutscheson 3. Jennifer Addison and Augustine Duncan 4. Cathy Ellis and Bobby Johnson 5. Lyn Broillard, Ashley and Hadlee Brooks 6. Alexa, Gina, James and Bennett Hanks 7. Kelsey and Adam Waites 8. Lynn Taylor and Danine Bruner



9. Kayla and Leland Mishoe, Mallory and Theo Anderson








Honors Day


May 3, 2018 Wetumpka High School 1. Gabe Hankins and Daniel Spivey 2. Tim Perry 3. Jessica and Wayne Tucker


4. Christian Gray and Miles Bogan 5. Kaitlin Johnson, Cody Stern, Anna Shineflew and Zoey Hutto 6. Steve, Christopher and Christy Dell’Aria 7. Jakasia Smith, Zoe Brown and Taylor Jackson



Business & Service Directory

Acapulco Mexican Grill 2867 Gilmer Ave, Tallassee • (334) 283-2725


Best Margaritas in town!



Pick up Elmore County Living at these locations: Eclectic

Bezlo's Bar & Grill Cornerstone Cafe Red Hill Gallery Eclectic Town Hall Eclectic Library Johnson Furniture 1st Community Bank Eclectic Do-It Center Trustmark Bank

Lake Martin

Russell Lands Kowaliga Marina Lake Martin Dock Lake Martin Mini Mall Nail’s Convenience Store Children's Harbor Cotton’s BBQ


Verizon Wireless First Community Bank Lucretia Cauthen Realty Bliss Salon Millbrook Chamber of Commerce Realty Central Stone & Britt Law Gene Jones Insurance


Liveoak Agency


Lake Pharmacy The Golden Frog The Boy’s Store First Community Bank


Kent Eagle Y Petro RoadRunner Convenience Store Herren Hill Pharmacy The Apothecary Community Hospital Tallassee Health & Rehabilitation 5 Points Store Tallassee Automotive Tallassee Rehab 1st Community Bank PrimeSouth Bank Tallassee Chamber of Commerce Wal-Mart District Nineteen St. Vincent De Paul Catholic Church Three Lakes Dental Ivy Creek Game Day Clips Mitchell Veterinarian Hospital


Aldridge Borden Company Bennett’s Archery 1st Community Bank Russell Do It Center Bumper’s Karen’s Mane Tamers River Ridge Steakhouse Emerald Mountain Store Redland Market Seivers Accounting Wetumpka Depot Players A Touch of Class Angel Locksmith Verizon Wireless Unplugged Must Stop Café Alfa Realty Wetumpka Century 21 Brandt Wright Realty Wells Fargo BB&T Jackson Thornton Lee’s Auto Repair McQuick Printing Company Hankins Insurance Hog Rock BBQ Wetumpka YMCA


Adams Drugs Bell Chiropractic Wetumpka Urgent Care USAmeriBank A Beautiful Creation Austin’s Flowers Camo Country Alabama State Employees Credit Union Smokin S BBQ Elmore Community Hospital Wetumpka Preschool Wetumpka City Library Wetumpka Chamber of Commerce City of Wetumpka Administration Bldg. Coosa River Adventures Stoddard’s Bait Shop Collier Ford Wee Ones Daycare Wetumpka Health & Rehab Canal Grocery Kim’s Corner Wetumpka Flea Market River Perk

Our Advertisers • To Join, Call 334-567-7811 Acapulco Mexican Grill..............................................................................4 4 Allstate, Mark Shaw...................................................................................3 0 City of Millbrook........................................................................................4 5 Community Hospital...................................................................................4 7 District Nineteen........................................................................................3 0 Gene Jones Insurance.................................................................................2 8 Jackson Thornton.......................................................................................4 7 John Thornton............................................................................................2 4 Karen's Mane Tamers.................................................................................4 4 Kowaliga Whole Health.............................................................................4 4 Lake Martin Zip Line...................................................................................4 8 Liveoak Agency.........................................................................................2 4 Mark's Service Center......................................................................................2 4 River Region Dermatology................................................................................4 4 Russell Lands on Lake Martin.............................................................................1 0 Russell Lands RXR Fest......................................................................................1 1 Singleton's Alignment.......................................................................................4 4 Tallassee Health & Rehabilitation, LLC...........................................................3 0 Tallassee Rehab.........................................................................................3 7 The Apothecary Pharmacy..........................................................................3 7 UAB Heart & Vascular................................................................................2 9 Wetumpka Depot Players............................................................................3 0 Wetumpka Flea Market...............................................................................2 4 Wind Creek Casino.....................................................................................3


Don't see your ad in this issue of Elmore County Living? Neither did the thousands of potential customers who read our magazine monthly. To advertise please contact - Marilyn Hawkins 334-202-5108 - Kat Raiford 334-444-8981 or stop by our office located at 300 Green Street, Wetumpka AL 36092


Prep like a Pro MK Moore

SOUTHERN DELIGHTS Mary Katherine Moore is an Alabama State Fair pepper jelly champion, has butchered a wild hog in her kitchen and grows heirloom tomatoes in her backyard.


From the pretty pictures, it seems like you could get a gourmet meal, expertly plated, right in your own home. I’m talking about all the food delivery services that are popping up everywhere in online feeds that send all the necessary ingredients for a dish. They all tantalize with professional photography of beautiful food and fancy names of fancy dishes. Plus, you feel good about organic, sustainable farming and balanced meals. And to seal the deal, they even offer a coupon to get started, and they bring it right to your door! What’s not to love? I was in a dinner rut. I just wasn’t hungry for anything I usually make. We have all been there. Yes, the photos tempted me, plus I had the coupon. I plunked down my money. So many choices! Seared sirloin with roasted broccoli and maple mashed sweet potatoes; fig balsamic chicken with mashed red potatoes and roasted vegetables; and chicken souvlaki with yogurt sauce and roasted broccoli. Yum! I couldn’t wait to get my first box. The day the giant box arrived, I ripped into it only to discover that most of it was ice packs. The actual food for two meals with four servings each was, well, skimpy. These folks really believe in portion control. I guess that is a good thing, but I was hoping for a fair amount of leftovers for my $10 per serving meals. For example, one of the dishes had a side dish of roasted vegetables. For four servings, they sent four carrots and half of a cabbage. And not even the red cabbage pictured on the recipe card – just plain green cabbage. So now my suspicions are on high alert. I paid $40 for four small chicken breasts, four small red potatoes, four carrots and half of a cabbage? Oh, but they throw in a few goodies to make it feel like something special. I got a tiny nob of quark cheese and a spoonful of buttermilk to throw into the mashed potatoes. I had to look up quark cheese, as I’d never heard of it (it is basically cream cheese). They sent a dab of fig jam, a tiny spoonful of vinegar and a pat of fancy butter to make the

sauce. In the end, our four servings of Fig Balsamic Chicken ended up being two servings of veggies and potatoes with two chicken breasts leftover. Here is what I think: Look up cool recipes on the internet and buy your own food. The best thing about this type of food-delivery service is the instructions. They explain step-by-step how to prepare the entire meal. As timing is one of the hardest things to master when learning to cook, the instructions come in handy. It can be daunting for a less experienced cook to juggle three recipes and get them all ready at the same time. So I’m going to save you some time and money with these tips you can use to special-ize your own food: Look at your recipes. Be on the lookout for how long things take to cook. Look for any special instructions like “marinate overnight” or “rest for 15 minutes.” Those steps are going to take extra time. Prep everything first. Do all your washing, peeling and chopping right up front. Do veggies first and set aside; then, do meat prep, so you don’t cross-contaminate anything. If you are going to need it, turn on your oven now. Is your meat a quick fry? Save the frying for the end after other stuff is ready. If your meat is going in the oven, get it in the oven. If it takes hours, don’t start on your other stuff until you only have an hour to go. Identify your hardest, as in firmest, food item, such as rice, potatoes or carrots. These things will take longer to cook. Get them boiling or roasting first thing. While they are cooking, make any sauces or dressings you need. I also make my salads during this time. Once everything is done, quick sauté anything that is done last minute. If I’m cooking bread, I’ll put it in now. So find yourself a few good recipes; shop for $20 worth of food and follow the basic outline above. You will have a great family meal at a fraction of the cost for food delivery and without having to throw away a bunch of ice packs and boxes!


Community Hospital Tallassee

Qualit y Healthcare Right Here At Home! 805 Friendship Road, Tallassee • 334-283-6541


Elmore County Living May 2018  

Don't miss the 2018 Summer Calendar Issue with lots of fun activities for the whole family!

Elmore County Living May 2018  

Don't miss the 2018 Summer Calendar Issue with lots of fun activities for the whole family!