L.A. Bikini Blog

Author: LA Bikini

Plano Balloon Festival Half Marathon, 10K, 5K and 1K – 20th to 22nd September, 2019

There are few more serene and magnificent sights than a hot air balloon floating gracefully through the sky – apart, that is, from 40 of them! That’s the main attraction of the Plano Balloon Festival – which takes place on the weekend from the 20th to the 22nd of September, 2019 – for many people, but for others, it’s the opportunity to take place in one of the traditional running races that the Festival also plays host to. The runs are designed for fun – and they also encourage families to get out there and either run or walk the course – and you are not expected to perform like a professional athlete! Instead, you can sign up for one of the distances and enjoy the wonderful atmosphere, mix with other runners or walkers, and take in the fabulous scenery as the balloons make their way above!

Sky High Challenge

If you are serious about your running, the Plano Balloon Festival Sky High Challenge is the event for you. This combines the Half Marathon with the 5K run, and is a competitive or fun event, whichever you choose to make it! It’s also very popular and spaces are filling up quickly, so get your registration in right away. You can choose to run the Half Marathon without the 5K run if you wish. The Elevate Challenge combines the 5K and 10K events, for those who want to try their hand at a serious distance. You can choose to enter either of those and run competitively over your chosen distance. For fun, the organizers also offer the 10K Run/Walk and 5K Run/Walk events, as well as one for the families that makes an ideal addition to a fun day out, the 1K Family Run/Walk, and all of these are for your enjoyment.

Balloon Rides

Once you’ve enjoyed your run there is plenty to see and do at the Plano Balloon Festival. You can take a tethered balloon ride and see the venue from above, and marvel at the specially shaped balloons that are always a favorite at this annual event. You can also enjoy a range of entertainment on the live stage, where local bands will be performing on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the Festival. Friday and Saturday evenings also feature exciting firework displays, and at 5.30 on each day, the famous skydiving team Re/Max of Texas will be jumping from their plane right over the park – a sight you really can’t miss! There are exciting kids inflatable rides in the Kids Fun Zone, plus an obstacle course that will challenge them, and the Central Market area will appeal to anyone who likes to shop! With food of all types on offer, spectacular events throughout the weekend and the chance to take part in a long, short, serious or non-serious run or walk, the Plano Balloon Festival is the place to be on the weekend in question, so book your spots now and get that training started!

Taste of Mountain Brook – September 15th, 2019

  If good food is your thing, the Taste of Mountain Brook festival is the event for you! Held this year on September 15th, Taste of Mountain Brook brings you food from many of the best restaurants in the city, so you can try their dishes in a friendly, lively atmosphere. This is a food-tasting event that is very popular, and it attracts locals as well as visitors from out of town. Does this sound like a date for your calendar? It’s a great family event that all ages can enjoy, and one that is easy to get to. Taste of Mountain Brook is now in its 5th year as the region’s premier food tasting event, and is designed to showcase the talents of local chefs and eateries to all. The event is held in the pleasant surroundings of Crestline Village and runs between 11.30 am and 1.30 pm on Sunday, and you will be pleasantly surprised at the sheer variety of food offered by Mountain Brook restaurants. What else can you expect? A lot of fun for you and the family!  

Local Cuisine

Taste of Mountain Brook will wow you with a vast array of culinary delights, and the festival draws on the multi-cultural nature of the region. Restaurants offering samples of their dishes include Davenports Pizza Place, which specializes in pizza and Italian food, plus Grille 29 for some stunning main meals, and the wonderful fare provided by Crestline Bagel Co, a local favorite with many people. Mexican food lovers should take samples from Taco Mama, while Piggly Wiggly will be on hand with a variety of food and drink for you to try. The whole event is deliberately short and sweet, so you can get around without using the full day, yet you will find that it is as enjoyable as any event, with friendly participants and local people involved in the organisation. It’s an opportunity for the restaurants in the town to come together and highlight their specific abilities, and you’ll go away amazed that there are so many fantastic eating places in town.  

Kids Entertainment

Kids Corner at Taste of Mountain Brook is the place to take the youngsters in the family, and you’ll find a variety of games to play and activities to indulge in that should keep all ages happy. There will also be live music and entertainment during the event, so if you want so sit back, relax and enjoy your samples, there’s plenty of opportunity to do so. The Taste of Mountain Brook festival is an annual delight, and as it’s always a very popular event so we strongly advise you book your tickets early. In fact, booking online gets you an early-bird discount on the ticket price for an individual, so you save $5. On the door price is $30 for one person, $60 for a family of 3 and $75 for a family of four – book online and you save $10 on the family tickets – and we think it is worth every cent for such an innovative event, so put the date in your calendar now.

Draper – Aerobatics Circus Festival – August 30th and 31st, 2019


If you are looking for something new and exciting for the kids to do, we reckon we’ve found the ideal event for you! The Aerobatics Circus Festival, held at Draper on the 30th and 31st of August, 2019, is a two day festival of friendly competitions and workshops, and a chance for young people to learn new skills, meet new people and have fun at the same time. What’s it all about? Let’s have a look in more detail.

Novice Category

The Aerobatics Circus Centre – you’ll find it at 14015 S Minuteman Drive, Draper – is a dedicated facility that caters for novices and experienced aerialists – that’s the term given to the circus act they train – and is unique in the region. Here, you can start by taking part in the workshops for novices, and learn from experienced aerialists the basics.

For newcomers, this is an exciting and very original skill to be learning, and the chance to take part in informative instruction workshops, across the two days, is something that you cannot miss.

The competition aspect of the festival takes place on Saturday, and the newcomers categories are especially designed for complete novices, and are intended to be fun rather than taken too seriously, so don’t be afraid to join in – remember, you’re competing with other novices!

The criteria are as follows:

  • For beginners aged 6 to 18 years
  • No catch and release tricks, no more than one rotation for silks drops – in other words, just the very basics!
  • No more than 150 seconds per routine
  • Judged on Character and Artistry, and Form, Execution and Technique – not on difficulty.

Novices can take part in two classes – silks solo, and aerial hoop solo, and rest assured proper training and supervision will be given!

Intermediate and Advanced

For experienced and advanced aerialists the criteria are somewhat different, including an extension of the routine time to 180 seconds, and a requirement to be using the apparatus for 80% of the routine. Also, classes will be split into age groups 6 to 11, and 12 to 18 years. The routine will also be judged on difficulty, as would be expected with the advanced aerialists.


If you are interested in the Aerobatics Circus Festival, and we think it’s an ideal way to introduce young people to fresh new skills, the first workshops take place on the Friday evening, between 6pm and 8pm. Workshops on Saturday are at 9 am to 11 am, with a break and then the competitions from 2 pm in the afternoon.

Being able to perform circus act-style aerial movements may not have appealed to you before, but we recommend you give it a try as it really is something very different! No matter if you have never done it before, or indeed anything of this kind, get in touch with the Aerobatics Circus Center now and book your place. It could be the most refreshing thing you’ve ever done, and it will certainly be a lot of fun!

McCalla Labor Day Celebration at Tannehill – 3rd September, 2019

If you’re looking for something fun to do to celebrate Labor Day, we have the perfect suggestion! The annual Labor Day celebration at Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park, in McCalla, is the ideal setting for a celebration that honors the hard-working men and women of America, and it’s a great day out for all the family, too! The park itself is a beautiful and important reminder of what the region was built on – iron and steel. However, there is more to the McCalla Labor Day Celebration than this; you can expect a variety of live music and entertainment, food in the manner of a barbecue, plus you will have the opportunity to buy local home-made crafts and enjoy a day among friendly people who are here for the main event – the Moon Pie Eatin’ Contest! Nothing makes Labor Day more perfect than an eating contest, and the McCalla one is among the best of all!

Moon Pie Eatin’ Contest

One of the highlights of the McCalla Labor Day Celebration is the Pie Eatin’ Contest, a tradition that has been carried through this annual festival for many years. Compete against the clock – and against other people – to eat as many moon pies as you can in the given time, and if you win there are some great prizes! The competition features both adult and children’s classes, too, so the kids can join in and hone their pie eating skills! It’s all great fun, and a reminder of why Labor Day – the last major summertime vacation day – is so special. There is a small admission charge applied to the McCalla Labor Day Celebration, as it takes some organizing to put on an event like this, yet it remains one of the best days out in the Tuscaloosa area for families, and you’re guaranteed to have a fun time.

Explore the Historical State Park

Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park is an important site that played a major part in the Alabama ironwork industry. Today, the site is home to many artifacts relating to the history of the industry, including the remains of the old furnaces, which are a fascinating relic. While you’re visiting the Labor Day Celebration you could take the time to have a look around the park, as it does have a story to tell. Tannehill Furnaces were used to produce metal for guns during the Civil War, and the site is now part of the Civil War trail. The Iron and Steel Museum of Alabama is also within the park, and is certainly worth a visit as it tells the story of the boom of the industry in the region. Of course, you may just want to settle down and enjoy the entertainment, have a snack and spend some family time together, and the McCalla Labor Day Celebration is the perfect day to do so. Don’t forget, if you eat too much, you won’t have space for those moon pies, so get your name down for the Moon Pie Eatin’ Contest now!

Hoover – Alabama Craft Beer Festival – 21st September, 2019

If you’re a lover of quality craft beer, you need to get along to the Alabama Craft Beer Festival, to be held in Hoover on the 21st of September, 2019. A showcase for Alabama breweries, the Festival also includes the 2019 Alabama Craft Beer State Championship, a prestigious award that is coveted by all entrants. Craft beer is big business these days and Alabama is home to some of the finest breweries of all, so this is certainly an event that should be in your calendar.

What can you expect to see and do at the Alabama Craft Beer Festival? Well, drink beer of course! There will be other drinks available too – water will be on tap if you don’t want to drink also – but mainly the idea is to sample the craft beers from some of Alabama’s best breweries. There is no other opportunity to sample so many different brews in one place in Alabama, so don’t miss this chance.

Penny Beer Garden

One of the highlights of the Alabama Craft Beer Festival is the ‘Penny Beer Garden’. This is open to general admission ticket holders from 2 pm to 5 pm on Saturday afternoon. As Alabama state law does not permit the giving away of free samples, you pay one cent per sample when you are inside the Garden. In fact, the Festival invites you to deposit a quarter, and help yourself to 25 samples, so you don’t need to carry a lot of cash! Just remember to be honest!

The many breweries entering the Festival will be aiming to win the grand prize at the State Championship, too. Best of show last year went to Folklore Shadow Caster, and the local brewery also took second prize as well as being awarded Brewmaster of the Year. There are several categories, including American Pale Ales, Ambers, Belgian Beers, Sours and more, so there is plenty for you to sample no matter what your personal taste may be.

Entertainment for All

We should remind you that must be 21 years old or more to attend this event, and the organizers advise that you have you ID ready to prove it in order that they can process the line at the entry point efficiently. This is a popular event, so expect a short wait when you get to enter.

In addition to the craft beer tasting, you will also be able to meet many of the brewers and learn about their craft, which is an interesting introduction to brewing. You will find crowds at the beer tents, but be patient and you’ll enjoy the day.

In fact, you can also enjoy live music at the Alabama Craft Beer Festival, so there is something to enjoy while you wait! You can choose between standard entry and a VIP entry ticket – the latter of which comes with a grab bag including a t-shirt and a invitation to the VIP Lunch – and whichever you choose, be sure to book early to avoid disappointment!