Garden Party: Taste of Hoover

Garden Party: Taste of Hoover

City Scene

Enjoy Taste of Hoover October 12 at Aldridge Gardens, 3530 Lorna Road, Hoover. Many new restaurants are taking part in the event this year including Metro Diner and The Boot at the Grove.

The 6th Annual Taste of Hoover is an opportunity to try delicious dishes from about 30 of Hoover’s best restaurants and caterers in the beautifully lighted setting of Aldridge Gardens. The bonus is your support will help the not for profit Gardens to be maintained and continue to offer services and events throughout the year. The event October 12 from 5-8pm comes complete with white tablecloth settings and live entertainment by Jackson Ulmer. Tickets are $40 for Aldridge Garden members and $45 for non-members. Purchase tickets at www.aldridgegardens.com. Tickets will only be available at the gate if the event is not sold out. †

 

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Deer Season Check List

Deer Season Check List

The Great Outdoors

Presented by: Mark’s Outdoors

A wide selection of deer scent attractants are available this season and at Mark’s, ranging in price from $5 to $30.

October 14 is opening day for bow hunting, which means it’s time for the final stages of getting your fields finished and stands placed. It’s also time to get your gun sighted in, and Mark’s Outdoors offers a free sight in with the purchase of two boxes of Hornady rifle ammunition. Before heading out, make a hunting checklist to ensure your first trip to the woods is safe and successful.

  • License. First and foremost, make sure you have a current Alabama hunting license. If you are a license exempt hunter, meaning you are over the age of 65 or under the age of 16, you will still need a Hunter Exempt License Privilege (HELP) number. Your license or HELP number can be obtained in-store at Mark’s, or online at www.outdooralabama.com. Anytime you are hunting, have your hunting license readily available.
  • Essentials. On Friday, October 6 and Saturday, October 7, Mark’s Outdoors will be hosting an in-store Deer Show with specials on the essentials for deer season. There will be sales on rifles, ammunition, bow hunting gear, scents, calls, and more! Be sure to stop by the clothing section for the layers you’ll need for any fluctuating weather conditions.
  • Extras. If you hunt out of a stand, shooting house, or blind, you may find yourself with some slow stretches in the wee hours of the morning or afternoon. These quiet moments spent in the great outdoors provide an excellent opportunity for reflection. It is uninterrupted time you can use to improve your personal relationship with God by reading the Bible, doing a devotional, and soaking in the beauty before you.

As always, if there is anything you need to get ready for the season, call or stop by to see the friendly and knowledgeable staff at Mark’s Outdoors. Happy hunting!

Check out the new scent technology from Ozonics available at Mark’s Outdoors, Vestavia.

The Extinguisher ($26.99) is the Mark’s Outdoors Staff #1 Pick in Deer Calls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Find all the essentials you need for deer season at Mark’s Outdoors including new scent technology, deer calls and deer scent attractants. Special sales are offered October 6-7 at Mark’s in-store Deer Show.

– Mark’s Outdoors 

1400-B Montgomery Highway, Vestavia 35216

205-822- 2010, www.marksoutdoors.com

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Make the Most of Your Home’s Outdoor Spaces: What to do with Your Shady Areas

Make the Most of Your Home’s Outdoor Spaces: What to do with Your Shady Areas

Special Feature

presented by: DSLD Land Management

Just because your home has shady spots doesn’t mean that you can’t cultivate beautiful landscapes in those areas. It takes some time and planning, but when done right, shade gardens can reward you with beautiful colors and distinct foliage. Follow these five tips to build a gorgeous shade garden that is sure to enhance the rest of your yard.

1.Analyze your shade. Not all shade was created equal. The hard shade cast by a building is completely different from the soft shade of a tree. Shade also shifts over the course of the day, over a season, and through the life of a tree. It is important to recognize what kind of shade your yard gets as you start planning your garden, as some types of shade are suitable for growing plants, while others can be problematic. In general, most shade-tolerant plants prefer four or fewer hours of full sun, preferably in the morning or evening hours; soft, dappled shade all day; or high, shifting shade, like the shade cast by a pine tree.

2.Avoid grass. Though some may be labelled “shade-tolerant,” most varieties of lawn grass struggle in the shade. Without enough light, grass will yellow and fade, leaving you with an ugly patch in what might be an otherwise beautiful garden. Instead of grass, consider opting for groundcover or foliage plants.

3.Incorporate foliage and groundcover plants. Foliage and groundcover plants are often more shade tolerant than other plants. Choosing foliage plants like hostas and ferns are a great way to fill out a shady spot with a plant that can thrive in deep shade and moist soil. Groundcover plants like sweet woodruff or brass buttons are a great alternative to grass. They can cover larger areas of your yard like grass can, but do better in shade than grass.

4.Add a pop of color. Just because your garden is in the shade doesn’t mean it has to be low on color. There are plenty of bright colored plants, like hydrangeas and heucheras that do well in shady spots. And a bonus is that hydrangeas need a little shade to show off their best colors, especially in hot Southern regions like Alabama. A great rule of thumb to maximize color in your shade garden is to use light-colored flowers, as dark flowers don’t show up as well in the shade.

5.Consider creating an outdoor living space. Shady spots in your yard can offer you a relaxing oasis. Once you’ve filled out your shade garden with foliage plants, groundcover, and colorful shade-tolerant plants, think about adding a bench and maybe even a birdbath to create an inviting outdoor space to enjoy God’s great outdoors.

David Sharp, Owner DSLD Land Management 

Bringing quality and value to Birmingham homes since 1983.

205-437-1012, www.dsldland.com

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Deer Season Prep = Deer Season Success

Deer Season Prep = Deer Season Success

The Great Outdoors

presented by: Mark’s Outdoors

Deer hunting can be an awesome time spent between father and son. Seen here is Mark Whitlock, Jr. with his Dad Mark Whitlock, founder of Mark’s Outdoors. Circa. 1999.

With deer season opening on November 18, now is the time to make sure you are prepared to hunt. Making yourself a checklist will help insure that you have everything you need to make your opening day a successful one.

  • Go ahead and pull out all your camo and see if you have all the pieces that you need. Early season is usually still pretty warm. Make sure that you have plenty of layering options so you are ready for anything Mother Nature throws at you.
  • Thoroughly check all of your safety gear including harnesses and hunters orange pieces.
  • If you hunt from a shooting house, go ahead and make sure that nothing has turned it into a summer home during the off season. Insects are usually the main offenders so pack a can of wasp spray just in case. If you plan on using a climbing or ladder stand, inspect them to make sure that everything is still tight and in good working order.
  • Last but not least, check your equipment. Inspect bows and rifles for anything that looks out of the ordinary or could become a safety issue later in the season. Here at Mark’s Outdoor Sports, one of our experienced gun smiths or bow techs can look them over for you.

As always, Mark’s is your one stop shop for all things hunting. Swing by and let us help you make sure that you are ready to bag that trophy buck. October 5 and 6 we will be hosting our preseason Deer Show with lots of sales items and a free lunch from Whisker’s Catfish on Friday, October 6. Look forward to seeing you!

Mark’s Outdoors 

1400-B Montgomery Highway, Vestavia 35216

205-822-2010, www.marksoutdoors.com

Don’t Miss Dove Day!

Be sure to join us for our annual Dove Day, Thursday September 7 at Mark’s. We will have lots of great savings and fun as a way to thank all of our loyal customers. It is because of you that we get to do what we love every day and carry on Mark Whitlock’s legacy of helping people prepare for quality time in God’s great outdoors. We couldn’t do it without you!

–Mark Whitlock, Jr., Mark’s Outdoors

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Car Maintenance 101

Car Maintenance 101

Under the Hood

presented by Franklin Automotive

Just like everyone needs a doctor that they trust and regular checkups, every car owner should have a maintenance and repair facility that they trust. While a doctor keeps your medical records so that he or she can advise you about your health, a good mechanical shop will keep your service records, and will be able to advise you about needed services and repairs.  This should enable you to extend the life of your car for many years and save you money in the process.

One commonly neglected safety feature on a vehicle are the brakes. While you can follow general guidelines about brakes, all drivers and vehicles drive differently, and therefore create unique wear and tear on their brakes. Some people will wear out a set of brake pads in 8,000 miles, while someone else driving the same model of car may get 50,000 miles. It all depends on the type of driving you do, the terrain around you, and how heavy your foot is on the brake.

The best way to care for your brakes is to have a qualified technician check them on a regular basis, usually when you have your tires rotated (another often neglected issue) about every 5000 miles. If you hear squeaking or scraping noises when you brake in between checks, go by your shop as soon as you can to have your brakes checked. If you ignore these sounds, or the pulsating feeling you get when braking normally, you may damage your rotors (the discs that the brake pads squeeze against) and create a costlier repair for yourself.

Most vehicles have a brake warning light that comes on when you start your car. If this light stays on while driving, do not ignore it because it usually means that your brake system is low on fluid or that there is a problem with the brake master cylinder. Either issue may cause your vehicle to lose power braking or greatly hinder your ability to quickly stop. Get to your mechanic as soon as it is practical and have this checked. While it is possible to do brake work on your own vehicle, it is best to have them checked regularly by a certified mechanic. Saving money is good, but saving your life or the lives of others is better.

Ward Drennen

Owner, Franklin Automotive

2880 Acton Road, Birmingham 35243

205-969-2886

www.FranklinAutomotive.com

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Experience Greece at the 45th Annual Greek Festival

Experience Greece at the 45th Annual Greek Festival

Experience Greece without the Airfare!

The 45th Annual Birmingham Greek Festival will take place at 307 19th Street South, 35233. Visit www.BhamGreekFestival.com for a detailed schedule of festival activities including live Greek music.

45 years ago, the Ladies Philoptochos Society hosted the first annual Holy Trinity-Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Cathedral Greek Food Festival which has blossomed into one of the Southeast’s premier annual cultural events. The 45th Annual Greek Festival is set for September 21-23, 2017 from 10:30am-10:00pm in downtown Birmingham. Enjoy delicious Greek cuisine, indoor and outdoor dining, live Greek music, authentic Greek dancing performances, and a Greek Market Place. While at the festival, be sure to take a free guided tour of the church which is one of the oldest Greek Orthodox parishes in the United States and offers a breathtaking example of Cathedral Byzantine architecture. Admission to the festival is free and food plates are individually priced. Free festival parking is available one block away from the church in the former Liberty National building on 3rd Avenue and 20th Street South and if you don’t have time to attend the festival, Drive-Thru Service is available all three days from 10:30am-7pm, www.BhamGreekFestival.com, 205-716-3088.

 

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Packed & Ready for the Next Excursion with Mark’s Outdoors

Packed & Ready for the Next Excursion with Mark’s Outdoors

The Great Outdoors

For quality luggage and everything else you need for your next adventure, visit Mark’s Outdoors in Vestavia.

Vacation, vacation, vacation. That’s what summer is all about, right? Whether you are spending time with the family at the beach soaking in the strong summer sun, or looking for that next hill to climb to check off your summer bucket list, you need to be prepared with the best-equipped luggage. Summer vacations are rendered useless without the proper luggage at your hip and why not do it in style and with the peace of mind that it will last you for life?

This is where Mark’s Outdoors has you set and ready to go. Stop in and take a look at their amazing selection of Filson Luggage. In business since 1897, Filson has thrived on a reputation of honesty, quality, durability and listening to what their customers want. With a lifetime warranty, these canvas goldmines will give you the style and toughness needed for any type of vacation, business trip, or overnight weekend in the great outdoors.

Mark’s Outdoors selection of Filson pieces include everything from small excursion bags to rolling check-in bags. Depending on the size, pieces range in price from $175 to $600. Filson uses only the best materials obtainable and guarantees it on every piece of merchandise.

Visit Mark’s and set yourself up for the long haul, knowing you are putting trust in over 100 years of experience in the Luggage industry with Filson and the customer care of Mark’s Outdoors.

– Mark’s Outdoors 

1400-B Montgomery Highway, Vestavia 35216

205-822- 2010, www.marksoutdoors.com

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Fishing at its Best: Mark’s Outdoors

Fishing at its Best: Mark’s Outdoors

The Great Outdoors

“Super Dave” McLaughlin helps customers at Mark’s Outdoors find the rod, reel and tackle best suited for them.

A day in search of a big catch is the perfect way to create quality time with family and friends while enjoying God’s great outdoors. To make the most of your next fishing trip, consider taking a few minutes to learn about the latest in fishing equipment. At Mark’s Outdoors, “Super Dave” McLaughlin takes time to meet with customers and teach them about what will work best for them when fishing on Alabama lakes or out on the Gulf. Dave covers all four of the basics of great fishing: Reel, Rod, Tackle and Electronics

Reel. Your choice in reels will depend in part on what type of fish you want to catch. If you are fishing for bream an expensive rod work will work well. If you want to catch a sizable bass, you will want to invest more in your reel. Dave suggests looking at the extensive Shimano line for a reel that will fit your needs ($69-$800).

Rod. Depending upon how serious you are about your fishing and where and what you intend to fish will dictate the size of your rod investment. Dave suggests G-Loomis ($190-$600) and Shimano ($10-$400). For the young fisherman in the family, Dave suggests starting out with a combo rod and reel ($20-$30) and then moving up to more sophisticated equipment.

Tackle. With summer temps rising, Dave suggests fishing in the evenings when the fish are more likely to bite and the weather is more comfortable. Mark’s Outdoors has a large stock of tackle designed specifically for night fishing on Alabama waters including lures ( about $6.99) made by Falcon, Dumaflodger and Davis Bait-all locally produced. As Dave says, “They know what works around here.”

Electronics. If you are serious about fishing, consider investing in a quality depth finder. Dave suggests Humminbird electronics for a great product with superior customer service. Depth finders start at about $500 and go all the way up to $3100. Depth finders equipped with GPS, larger screens and side imaging will increase the price of your investment but also make your fishing experience that much more exciting.

-Mark’s Outdoors 

1400-B Montgomery Highway, Vestavia 35216

205-822-2010, www.marksoutdoors.com

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Alabama Splash Adventure: A Koch Family Masterpiece

Alabama Splash Adventure: A Koch Family Masterpiece

Are We There Yet?

Alabama Adventure offers great rides like the Drop Zone and Tea Cups. Alabama Splash Adventure Owner Pat Koch is seen here (third from left) experiencing Drop Z.

Alabama Splash Adventure owners Pat and Dan Koch have a unique amusement park to say the least. The goal of the mother son team is simple. Provide guests the best family atmosphere a park can offer from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Many amusement parks can be very draining on a family’s bank account but the Koch’s park is different in that regard. “We offer seven stations of free drinks called the Pepsi Oasis so our guests don’t have to wait in line,” Koch said. “We also want to keep our guests healthy and hydrated with water and Gatorade.” When the Alabama summer heat gets to guests, the park also offers the Star Theater for groups to meet and greet other guests.  The Koch’s also offer free sunscreen stations throughout the park for guests to take care of their skin. “We are a family,” Koch said. “We want to offer a great family atmosphere, which is what we strive for.” In order to do that, mother and son hardly ever leave the park. They are constantly adapting and upgrading the park in any way possible to enhance visitors’ experience.

The Koch’s take pride in keeping the park litter free and the attention to detail is evident. The rides have been updated and new ones added like the Drop Zone which takes riders 30 feet in the air and Teacup which is a fun, easy ride for the whole family to experience.

Despite the ups and downs of owning an amusement park, Pat Koch always keeps her faith in perspective and feels blessed. “My faith plays a role in everything that I do,” Koch said. “Two women say to me we pray for you every time we pass the park because we want you to be successful.”

If you are looking for a fun venue to take your family at a reasonable price, Alabama Splash Adventures has everything and more, www.alabamasplash.com.

Plus, this month Birmingham Christian Family is giving away a Family 4-Pack (four general admission tickets) to the park. To enter, simply Like and Follow our Facebook Page, Facebook.com/BirminghamChristianFamily and Share the Alabama Splash Adventure Family 4-Pack post. Offer Ends July 18, 2017.

-Brian Hill

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