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Traveling Exhibit


WWII: The War that Changed the WorldThe Augusta Jewish Museum will host a traveling exhibit, “WWII: The War that Changed the World,” through August 11 from noon until 3 p.m. each week on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The exhibit from the Museum of History and Holocaust Education at Kennesaw State University includes stories from individuals who experienced the effects of the war and the Holocaust from rationing, to new opportunities to work and to fight, to the struggle to survive increasingly oppressive and deadly conditions in Europe.

A gallery guide and an audio guide, as well as a series of traveling trunks featuring books and films along with discussion guides, are part of the event as well.

Admission is free, but reserve tickets are available at augustajewishmuseum.org/events. (Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress).

Star-Spangled Fun 2023


Star-Spangled Fun 2023 AugustaJune 30
Fort Gordon’s Independence Day Celebration
Barton Field
Fort Gordon’s celebration includes a kiddie carnival, food and craft vendors, fireworks show and live entertainment from Bowling for Soup and Vertical Horizon. Bring blankets and chairs, but no pets, tents, outside alcohol, coolers or grills. 6-11 p.m. Admission is free. gordon.armymwr.com

July 1
Yankee Doodle Dash
Savannah Rapids Park
Celebrate the 4th with a flat and fast 5k and 10k down the Augusta Canal tow path along the Savannah River. Overall winners will be recognized. 7 a.m. 10k start and 7:10 a.m. 5k start. runsignup.com

Liberty Park BBQ giveawayGrovetown 4th of July Barbecue
Liberty Park Community Center
The City of Grovetown’s community-wide barbecue is a drive-through with free barbecue plates. Limit 4 plates per car. 11 a.m. until supplies last. cityofgrovetown.com

Freedom Blast
Thomson-McDuffie Government Center Grounds
The Thomson-McDuffie Chamber of Commerce and the City of Thomson bring Independence Day fun with a lawn picnic that features food trucks, bounce houses, games, craft vendors and fireworks. 7-9:45 p.m. Fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m. Bring chairs or blankets. Coolers are allowed, but no alcohol. Admission is free. thomsonmcduffiechamber.com

Clarks Hill Lake 4th of July Fireworks
Raysville Marina
Friends of Clarks Hill Lake present a fireworks show for boaters and onlookers from shore. Best viewing areas on land are from Amity Recreation Area and Raysville Marina. Free. 9 p.m. Bring seating and picnics.

boom in the park evansJuly 4
Boom in the Park
Evans Towne Center Park
Bring chairs and blankets to Columbia County’s annual Independence Day celebration. The celebration features live music, food trucks and a fireworks show. 5-10 p.m. Fireworks begin at dusk. Admission is free. No glass or alcohol is allowed. columbiacountyga.gov

Augusta GreenJackets Independence Day Celebration
SRP Park
Celebrate the red, white and blue with an all-American evening of baseball and fireworks when the GreenJackets take on the Myrtle Beach Pelicans at 6:05 p.m., followed by a fireworks extravaganza. Live music 4:30-5:30 p.m. The players will wear specialty jerseys that will be auctioned off online and in-person to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Augusta. milb.com/augusta

Augusta Independence Day Celebration
Augusta Commons
Downtown Augusta’s Independence Day Celebration features live entertainment, craft vendors, food vendors, children’s play area and fireworks show. 5-9 p.m. Fireworks begin at dusk. Bring blankets and chairs, but no coolers or pets. Free admission. (706) 821-1754, augustaga.gov

Augusta Fireworks 20234th of July Celebration
Living History Park
Family celebration features a parade, reading of the Constitution, free hot dogs, watermelon, Icy Pops and water. Prizes awarded for most patriotic dog, stroller and kids. Pets must be leashed. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free; donations accepted. colonialtimes.us

July 8
Independence Day Celebration Fireworks and Boat Parade
Plum Branch Yacht Club
Always held the first Saturday after the Fourth, this celebration features a patriotic boat parade, food, games, entertainment and fireworks over the lake. The boat parade kicks things off at noon. The Lakeside Grill will sell barbecue plates from noon to 4 p.m. but remain open for other items until 9 p.m. Fireworks begin at dark. For more details, contact the McCormick County Chamber of Commerce at (864) 852-2835, the Plum Branch Yacht Club at (864) 443-3000 or the Lakeside Grill at (864) 443-3354. mccormickscchamber.org, plumbranch.com

Racquet Center Open


Tennis Pickle Ball AugustaThe Columbia County Racquet Center, formerly Petersburg Racquet Club, has opened for play in Martinez.

No reservations are required to use the hard tennis courts, but reservations are required for clay courts. To make a reservation, call (706) 860-9288 or visit the office. Hours are 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. daily.

Construction of new pickleball courts on the former site of the swimming pool will begin this year, and they should be completed by early 2024. The Board of Commissioners also will set a fee schedule for the facility.

Swamp Story by Dave Barry

Literary Loop

Swamp Story by Dave BarryPulitzer Prize–winning New York Times bestselling author and actual Florida Man Dave Barry returns with a Florida caper full of oddballs and more twists and turns than a snake slithering away from a gator.

Jesse Braddock is trapped in a tiny cabin deep in the Everglades with her infant daughter and her ex-boyfriend, a wannabe reality TV star who turned out to be a lot prettier on the outside than the inside. Broke and desperate for a way out, she stumbles across a long-lost treasure, which could solve all her problems — if she can figure out how to keep it. The problem is, some very bad men are also looking for the treasure, and they know Jesse has it.

Meanwhile, Ken Bortle of Bortle Brothers Bait and Beer has hatched a scheme to lure tourists to his failing store by making viral videos of the “Everglades Melon Monster.” The Monster is, in fact, an unemployed alcoholic newspaperman named Phil wearing a Dora the Explorer costume head. Incredibly, the plan works, inspiring a horde of TikTokers to swarm into the swamp in search of the monster at the same time villains are on the hunt for Jesse’s treasure.

Amid the mayhem, a presidential hopeful arrives in the Everglades to start his campaign. Needless to say, it does not go as planned. In fact, nothing in this story goes as planned. This is, after all, Florida.

Event Volunteers Needed


USA Cycling Masters & Para Road National ChampionshipsAugusta Sports Council is seeking volunteers for the USA Cycling Masters & Para Road National Championships that will be held August 22-27.

More than 300 volunteers will be needed during the week for event set-up and breakdown, registration, athlete hydration, course marshals and more.

This year’s event is expected to attract 600 to 800 athletes competing for national championships in road and individual time trials on Fort Gordon August 23-26 and the criterium in downtown Augusta on August 27.

For more information, visit greateraugustasportscouncil.volunteerlocal.com.

Vulfnik by Vulfmon

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 Vulfnik by VulfmonIn the season of mixtapes and go-to road trip playlists, a new album to throw on the summer fire is Vulfnik by Vulfmon.

As the swirl of summertime is in full effect and the sun is in full-on-blaze mode, multi-instrumentalist Jack Stratton, aka Vulfmon — lead blastermind of the acclaimed quartet Vulfpeck — cannonball splashes his genius into a lush pool of pop-funk and catchy hooks that drench the ears and refresh the soul.

With a signature blend of eclectic vibes and gravelly vocals, this 10-track ear-hydration station of funky, quirky and infectious grooves churns out a sonic slushy of flavorful genius just in time for the boiling point of the season.

Catchy tunes like TikTok-ready “I Can’t Party,” soul-shining “Lord Will Make a Way,” Emo funk-fused “Nice To You” and yip-jumpy “Bonnie Wait” are right on-brand for Stratton, and, much anticipated by Vulfpeck fans, are being released successively, one week at a time via the Vulf substack.

As this summer cranks out the heat, crank up Vulfnik to volume 11 and keep it cooler than cool.

– Chris Rucker

National Championships Regatta


Augusta Sailing ClubAugusta Sailing Club is hosting the Y Flyer Nationals at Clarks Hills Lake Monday, June 12 through Friday, June 16.

The Junior National Championships are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, and adults will compete in the Senior National Championships on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

This is the first time in 45 years the club has hosted the regatta, and about 50 to 80 sailboats are expected to compete.

Wait Til I Get Over by Durand Jones

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Durand Jones Wait til I get OverIf you take the heat of local summer and combine it with two parts fresh-cut grass and a dusty dirt road, add a dash of sweet tea and a dab of hot sauce, you’ll have the latest sonic recipe of Wait Til I Get Over by Durand Jones.

Growing up in Louisiana, Jones has a deep pocketful of backroad, gritty, raw and beautiful experiences that he has crafted into a lush, retro soundscape of bluesy-rock, gospel and classic Southern soul.

Stemming from his sources of influence and inspiration, his debut solo album has an extremely familiar sound paired with random flashes of new territory that sew each track into a tapestry of epic Americana. Jones describes the vibe as “magnolias on a summer day” because of the sweetness and mustiness that waft through the entire album.

It’s difficult to pinpoint or showcase a specific song as each selection naturally fits before or after the other, much like a well-worn path around the neighborhood pond. Need a bowl of ice-box-fan-breeze-fresh music? Your dreams have just come true.

– Chris Rucker

High Water Marks


The Serene18There’s something about water in general – and the Serene18 in particular – that soothes the soul. The Serene18 covers 18 square miles on five local waterway trails where paddlers can leisurely while away a few hours in a kayak or canoe. Just don’t forget to enjoy the beautiful scenery and abundant wildlife along the way. The trails include:

Clarks Hill Lake
Level: Novice – intermediate
Length: 6 miles
Travel Time: 4 – 6 hours

Dam Route
Level: Novice
Length: 7 miles
Travel Time: 2.5 – 4 hours

Stallings Island
Level: Intermediate
Length: 2.7 miles
Travel Time: 2 hours

Betty’s Branch
Level: Novice
Length: Short route – 4 miles; long route – 6 miles
Travel Time: Short route – 2 hours; long route – 3.5 hours

Augusta Canal
Level: Novice
Length: 7 miles
Travel Time: 2.5 hours

Paddlers can get a free passport, and once they complete a trail, they can get their passports stamped to commemorate their trip. Passports and stamps are available at Keg Creek Water Sports at Wildwood Park, Cole Watkins Kayak Tours, Outdoor Augusta at Riverside Park, Savannah Rapids Kayak Rental and Columbia County Visitors Center. Anyone who gets all five stamps can take their passport to the Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau for a free T-shirt.

For more information, go to visitcolumbiacountyga.com/serene18-paddle-trail.

Saturday Night at the Lakeside Supper Club by J. Ryan Stradal

Literary Loop

j ryan saturday night at the lakeside supper clubMariel needs a break. Her husband, Ned, is having an identity crisis, her beloved restaurant is bleeding money, and her mother, Florence, is stubbornly refusing to leave the church where she’s been holed up for more than a week.

The Lakeside Supper Club has been in her family for decades, and while Mariel’s grandmother embraced the business, seeing it as a saving grace, Florence never took to it. When Mariel inherited the restaurant, skipping Florence, it created a rift between mother and daughter that never quite healed.

Ned also is an heir — to a chain of home-style diners — and while he doesn’t have a head for business, he knows his family’s chain could provide a better future than his wife’s fading restaurant. In the aftermath of a devastating tragedy, however, the couple loses almost everything they hold dear. With their dreams dashed, can one fractured family find a way to rebuild despite their losses, and will the Lakeside Supper Club be their salvation?

In this colorful, vanishing world of relish trays and Brandy Old Fashioneds, New York Times bestselling author J. Ryan Stradal gives us another story of food and family filled with his signature honest, lovable-yet-fallible Midwestern characters as they grapple with love and tragedy, hardship and hope; what we hold onto, what we leave behind, and what our legacy will be when we are gone.

Kroc to Lock Ride


Kroc to Lock Ride on Sunday, May 21It’s time to get it in gear for the annual Kroc to Lock Ride on Sunday, May 21 from noon until 4 p.m.

The 10-mile ride starts at Kroc Augusta, proceeds up the Augusta Canal towpath to the headgates and then heads back to the Kroc green space for a post-ride picnic. The menu features grilled hot dogs, drinks and Pelican’s SnoBalls. Matt the Mod also will be on hand for a live DJ set.

The cost is $35, and 100% of the net proceeds will benefit the Augusta Canal National Heritage Area and future biking projects.

The registration deadline is Monday, May 15; no onsite registration will be available. For more information, visit andyjordans.com or bikesignup.com.

Squalls [Expanded Remastered Edition]

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SQUALLSIt is no secret that Athens, Georgia has been, and remains, a cultural and creative hub of energy with a rich musical history. With alum like R.E.M., The B-52s and Widespread Panic, the Classic City inspires, births and propagates some of the finest sounds available anywhere.

During the height of the blossoming Athens-mania (early- to mid-1980s), a sound collective emerged from a group of wandering seasoned musicians who formed one of the most eclectic and innovative bands to date called Squalls.

With a palette of influences from The Beatles, Lovin’ Spoonful, Funkadelic, Talking Heads, Grateful Dead and doo wop music, Squalls had a mass appeal and immediately gained status and respect among the welcoming Athens scene.

In the decades that followed, many of their recordings became rare relics and finds at record stores. Until now. Athens-based Propellor Sound Recordings recently dusted and baked all of the original tracks for the first release in a newly remastered and expanded three-album reissue series. 

With unreleased demos and a follow-up single, this expanded version of the band’s 1984 self-released EP features their most well-known songs, “Elephant Radio” and “Na Nanana,” and captures the purest essence of the band with its many layers of lush instrumentation and pop jive — a true gem that is now available for a new generation of listeners.

– Chris Rucker

The Last Animal by Ramona Ausubel

Literary Loop

The Last Animal by Ramona AusubelFrom award-winning writer Ramona Ausubel comes a playful, witty and resonant novel in which a single mother and her two teen daughters engage in a wild scientific experiment and discover themselves in the process.

Teenage sisters Eve and Vera never imagined their summer vacation would be spent in the Arctic, tagging along on their mother’s scientific expedition.

But there’s a lot about their lives lately that hasn’t been going as planned, and truth be told, their single mother might not be so happy either.

Now in Siberia with a bunch of serious biologists, Eve and Vera are just bored enough to cause trouble. Playing around in the permafrost, they accidentally discover a perfectly preserved, 4,000-year-old baby mammoth, and things finally start to get interesting.

The discovery sets off a surprising chain of events, leading mother and daughters to go rogue, pinging from the slopes of Siberia to the shores of Iceland to an exotic animal farm in Italy.

“The Ice Age meets the Anthropocene in this gem from Ausubel… a seamless global caper that brims with compassion and makes the reader glad to be alive,” says Publishers Weekly.

Back in the Swing


Photos courtesy of Toptracer

A new practice facility is making the cut at the former Jones Creek golf course.

There will be a new player in town starting Masters Week. On Monday, April 3, Bond Golf Global will open “The Practice Club at Jones Creek” on the site of the former golf course in Evans.

“The golf course has been closed for five years, and we want to inject some life back into it,” says Andrew Brooks, founder and owner of Aiken-based Bond Golf Global. “We want to create a good community and a family friendly facility that anybody can use. We want to direct people into the game of golf. It’s open to everybody 100 percent.”

Powered by Toptracer, the high-tech facility will feature eight outdoor bays, eight indoor bays, two covered suites, a sitting area to watch sports and a Junior Golf Academy.

Although the clubhouse is not part of the project, The Practice Club will offer food and beverage services as well.

The Practice Club at Jones CreekIn its second phase, the facility will add a putting green, a chipping green and a practice bunker. Brooks says these areas should be open by the end of June.

“Our vision is to bring back the golf course. We’re looking at what’s required,” he adds. However, he says no timetable has been set for these renovations.

Future amenities also will include club fitting and club repair services.

While some practice facilities are geared toward entry-level golfers, Brooks says, “This will be a next-level facility where people can hit real balls onto a range. It’s a pathway onto the golf course. It’s going to be a special place.”

For more information, call (803) 477-6824 or email bondgolfgobal@gmail.com.

Schvitz — Vulfpeck

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Known for their VHS-soul vibe-a-licious instrumentation, Vulfpeck’s sixth studio release, appropriately titled Schvitz — a Yiddish word for sweat — pours a tall glass of refreshing, sweet sonic genius for every ear and skippy-yips to every step.

With a topspin of precision and magic, the Michigander retro wonder kids, Vulfpeck, are back with a warm and wide-eyed groove for the year’s back nine.

Vulf’s back catalog has consisted mostly of instrumental jams with occasional soul-vox provided by Theo Katzman and Antwaun Stanley, but Schvitz is a full Katzman-Stanley pairing that matches the energy and fly-vibes throughout the course of the 10-track groove sandwich.

The album’s opener, “Sauna,” a catchy-hook ditty with a sweet mix of tea olive and magnolia, sets the tone for the entire album.

The disco-inferno punch of “New Guru” and “Simple Step” keeps the BPM at a steady RPM while “In Heaven” and “Romanian Drinking Song” bump and run into a stroke of pure awesome.

The talent and creativity naturally pulled from Vulfpeck’s bag of genius are champion-sized, full-tilt celebrations of sonic mastery that properly bring the swing into spring.

– Chris Rucker