Pepper Place is Back

Birmingham’s favorite farmers market is back on Saturday, April 9th. It is open from 7 a.m. to noon rain or shine.

Pepper Place began in 2000 in provide a connection between family farmers and the people of Birmingham, Alabama. Since then is has grown from a few tents to over 100 tents spread across parking lots and streets around Pepper Place. The market has hosted around 10,000 people every Saturday at the height of the season.

All of the vendors are based in Alabama and are the actual growers, joined by their family members and friends.

Shoppers can expect bedding plants, herbs, lettuces, asparagus, and strawberries to be in season for the spring and as it gets closer to summer blackberries, blueberries, peaches and mushrooms. Alongside of the fresh produce market goers can find bakers and cooks who serve food to eat and take home, from breakfast food to dessert. As well as food, Pepper Place hosts Alabama artists, artisans and craftspeople with unique items to decorate with or give as a gift.

The address is:
2829 2nd Avenue South
Birmingham, Alabama 35233

A list of vendors can be found here:

Nitty Gritty Magic City Reading Series

The Nitty Gritty Magic City Reading Series is a reading, writing, and performance event held at The Desert Island Supply Co. in Birmingham, Alabama. They generally feature at least one of Birmingham’s working writers. For the month of April, they are hosting three out-of-towners: Michael Robins, Adam Clay and Ada Limón.

All three are incredible poets. Lion’s latest book, Bright Dead Things, was recently a finalist for the National Book Award.

The event is happening Sunday, April 10th at 3:30 p.m. at Desert Island Supply Co. in Woodlawn. The address is: 5500 1st Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35212.

Fore more information:

Happy April Fool’s Day

  1. The origins of the holiday are unknown, but England made April Fools’ Day in 1700, as a day for people to play pranks on each other. The tradition quickly gained popularity throughout the UK during the 18th century.
  2. No one knows exactly where, when or why April Fool’s Day began.
  3. April Fool’s Day is not an official holiday.
  4. April Fool’s Day was first known as “All Fool’s Day.”
  5. French children fool their friends by taping a paper fish to their friends’ backs.
  6. In Scotland, April Fools’ lasts two days.


Famous pranks:

In 1996, Taco Bell Corp rans a full-page ad in several major newspapers claiming it had purchased the Liberty Bell and was renaming it the “Taco Liberty Bell.”

In 2008 the BBC ran a video clip of flying penguins as part of a story for its series “Miracles of Evolution.” The presenter explains that the penguins escaped the cold, harsh Antarctic weather by flying to the tropical rainforests of South America.

And, every year since 1986, press releases for the non-existent, New York City April Fools’ Day Parade.


Lunar Eclipse

There was a total lunar eclipse that started yesterday and ended today. In honor of this eclipse, here are a few fun facts about lunar eclipses.

  1. Some lunar eclipse can last up to 3 hour and 45 minutes.
  2. Lunar eclipses can never happen more than three times a year.
  3. There are typically more solar eclipses than lunar eclipses per year.
  4. There are three types of lunar eclipse: partial, full, and prenumbral.
  5. A full lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth passes directly in front of a full moon.
  6. In ancient times, a total lunar eclipse or disappearance of the Moon meant that the gods were angry with the people.
  7. The word eclipse comes from the Greek word meaning downfall.
  8. It is not dangerous to look directly at the Moon during a lunar eclipse because the Moon is not giving off its own light – this is not the case for a solar eclipse.
  9. A lunar eclipse may be viewed from anywhere on the night side of the Earth.
  10. Full moons are the only time lunar eclipses occur.
  11. Lunar eclipses are visible over an entire hemisphere.

The next eclipse that will be visible in Birmingham will be on March 23, 2016. This will be a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse, which is more subtle, and more difficult to observe. This eclipse occurs when the moon moves through the outer part of the Earth’s shadow.

Harlem Globetrotters

The Harlem Globetrotters, an exhibition basketball team that combines athleticism, theater, and
comedy, are celebrating their 90th anniversary of being an organization. Over the years the
Globetrotters have played more than 26,000 exhibition games in 122 countries and territories.

Hundreds of kids, parents and fans sporting red, white and blue packed Samford’s Pete Hanna Center on Sunday, March 6.

Fans gathered to watch Hacksaw, Big Easy, Scooter, Too Tall, Hawk, Titan, Torch, Moose, Flip, and Hawk perform alley-oop dunks, attempt half-court shots and entertain the crowd.

At Globetrotters’ games, it’s not about the end result or the stats sheet. Number of fouls and individual player’s points are not tracked. Instead, the focus is on family fun and entertainment.

For example, some families who sit courtside will often be brought onto the floor to dance with Big Easy and interact with other players. Scooter taught a young boy how to spin the ball on his finger.

The crowd has fun because they get to watch the players enjoy themselves.

“Right now I’m living out my dream of playing basketball and traveling the world,” said Hacksaw Hall during a speech to the fans.

Following the game, players were available to sign autographs on the court.

The Globetrotters will play one more game at Samford tonight (March 7) at 7 p.m.

More on the Harlem Globetrotters:

The team’s signature song is Brother Bones’s whistled version of “Sweet Georgia Brown”, and their mascot is named Globie. The team plays over 450 live events worldwide each year. Today, there are at least three different Harlem Globetrotters teams touring the U.S.

Fun fact: At 5-2, Too Tall is the shortest player in Globetrotter history.

For more on the team, tickets, camps and news, visit


Samford Hosts SOCON Indoor Championships

Friday and Saturday, Feb. 26th and 27th the SOCON indoor track conference championships will be hosted by Samford University at the Birmingham CrossPlex at 10 a.m. Sophomore Sarah Sanford stated that, “Samford gets to host the meet again so we are excited to be at the crossplex where most of our indoor meets are at.”

This will will be the 81st annual Indoor Track & Field Championship for the men and the 29th for the women. Western Carolina is the reigning champion on both sides and Samford finished runner-up last year.

Sanford commented, “The girls are sitting with a chance to win. We had a good team last year, but I think we filled the gaps that we needed with some really good freshmen. We also added some more distance runners so that will really help this year.”

Sanford was awarded Women’s Indoor Track Athlete of the Week for the week of February 3rd. Alongside her, Samford has had four other athletes nominated for athletes of the week. These also include Brandon Hazouri (nominated twice), Tray Oates, Jordan Highsmith, and Tatiana Taylor.

According to Sanford, “the seniors are all doing really well with personal records set and should score so it will be a good way for them to end their last indoor season.”

Admission is free and parking is $5. The meet will begin at 10 a.m. on Friday and 9:30 a.m. on Saturday.  The official schedule can be found below. The CrossPlex Address is 2337 Bessemer Road Birmingham AL 35208.


Judah and the Lion and Ben Rector

The Local’s Macey Sims got the chance to interview Judah and the Lion this fall while they were on tour with Ben Rector. 

Judah and the Lion came together in Nashville, Tennessee, at Belmont University. The band consists of three main members, Brian Macdonald, Nate Zuercher and Judah Akers.

“We met, a jock and two music majors and played through one song and for whatever reason it just worked,” Akers said.

The band has a folk, rock-hop twist feel that pulls musical influences from a wide range of acts, including 50cent and Frank Sinatra to create their own beats and lyrics. They hope to put out an amazing record that expands their reach and surprises people. When asked if they could perform for any person or group in the world, they stated “Jesus, Hitler, Dave Grohl, Michael Jordan and Ghandi. I think we may set it up as a concert but just make it a Q and A.”

The band answered questions about music and life for The Local:

The Local: Who are your musical influences? 

Judah and the Lion: A lot of everything. From Tom Petty and Steve Miller to 50cent and Frank Sinatra. Also Nate likes punk and death metal.

TL: What has surprised you the most about becoming a professional musician and completing an album with a band?

JTL: The fact that things that you’ve always looked forward to as a dreaming musician are just moments. Then they

are gone. We got to play David Letterman this past year and play at my dream place (as a Tennessee boy) at The Ryman. You set these events up in your mind when you’re dreaming to be the pinnacle of life or whatever. Like it’s gonna bring you some kind of “we did it” but it doesn’t. Just makes you want more. Perhaps that’s the beauty of it.

TL: What are your long term career goals?

JTL: I think we set out with a whole lot of big dreams, some like playing theaters, arenas, stadiums. but really we just want to keep having fun and keep making new fans on the road. We hope the record takes us way farther than we expect and to keep making music that is cool and true to us.

TL: Where do you draw your musical style from? Is it a mashup of a few styles, or have the same kinds of beats always driven your music?

JTL: Hip-hop really is the most common influence between all of us, believe it or not. So we like to have those style of beats for our music. The new record features a lot of ‘80s style hip-hop beats.

TL: If you want your fans to know one thing about y’all, what would that be?

JTL: That they aren’t fans. They friends. We are all humans. Why is there separation? Cliche, I know, but it’s true. But we are happy that they like the music and can’t believe they pay to see us do what we love.

All photos by Macey Sims. IMG_7164 IMG_7265 IMG_7300 IMG_7320 IMG_7400 IMG_7405 IMG_7468 IMG_7489 IMG_7503IMG_7589IMG_7698IMG_7734IMG_7741IMG_7872IMG_7827IMG_7805

National News Engagement Day

National News Engagement Day was Tuesday Oct. 6. The staff of The Local and The Crimson newspaper participated and interviewed Samford’s campus about their news reading habits and why they think the news is important. We compiled our interviews into multiple videos, including an interview from Samford University’s President Andrew Westmoreland.



First Day of Fall Pop-Up


Last Wednesday, September 23, Urban Standard coffee shop had a “First Day of Autumn Pop-Up Shop” hosted by The Orchard Creative Community. Urban Standard opened in November of 2007, with the idea of creating workshop/gallery, where the public could see the work of local artists. The pop-up shop that was hosted at Urban Standard did exactly what its founder wanted.

The Orchard is an intentional group of creative ladies that have been planted here in Birmingham together to create, encourage, lift-up and overcome.

Local Birmingham artists were featured in this shop from Carrie Rollwagen, the author of The Localist, to the MOM-UP movement. Beautiful calligraphy, letterpress goodies, photography services and unique design pieces.

All of the artists that were at the pop-up show are listed below with website links. We recommend doing some holiday shopping online with these Birmingham locals.

Jessica of Empress Stationery was selling calendars and prints, find more at her website.

Emily of Emily Wells Designs was selling Birmingham prints, game day designs, and cell phone cases. Shop for yourself or a friend at her website or Etsy shop.
Carrie Rollwagen was promoting her book and selling prints. Find out more at her website.

Bluff Park Art Show

The Bluff Park Art Show started in 1963 when a group of parents from Bluff Park Elementary School sponsored a “Come As Your Favorite Book” dance. The response and support of the Birmingham community was overwhelming.

Since then the Bluff Park Art Show has been an eagerly awaited annual event. The show now attracts over 30,000 people, and artists from all parts of the country are invited to exhibit. The show is held each year on the first Saturday of October.

The show has grown from 65 artists to more than 150, and attracts over 40,000 people each year. The shows proceeds go towards improving the arts in the greater Birmingham area.

Artists displayed their work from 9 a.m to 5 p.m. in the front of the Bluff Park Community Center. In addition to art, there were several food vendors and high school jazz bands.

For more information visit their website.