Monday, May 18, 2015

How to avoid hearing, "I'm bored..."

Tests are done, the last grades are being posted and the bell will soon ring for the last time, which can only mean one thing... SCHOOL IS OUT! As many city schools are winding down this week, kids and parents are ready for a break from homework, after school activities and all of the hussle and bussle that is the school year, and ready for the easy, breezy, laid back atmostphere of summer. If you are like most parents, you will have happy kids for the first few weeks, and then the dreaded, "I'm bored..." statement is back. Luckily, Auburn and Opelika are both prepared to take the burden off of you with the many camps for every interest. Below are just a few, but be sure to check for new camps added every day!

For the athlete:

Auburn University Football Camps: If your child is looking to brush up on some of his or her offensive, defensive, or kicking techniques, send them to the professionals... the Auburn Tigers that is. Head Coach Gus Malzahn and staff have put together a summer full of camps to benefit your child by improving their overall skills, and keeping them from sitting on the couch all day. For more information, visit

Auburn University Baseball Camps: Since baseball season is winding down for rec leagues and school ball, why not continue working on pitching or hitting that homerun on the off season. Under Coach Sunny Galloway, the Auburn Tigers have laid a great foundation for the future of AU Baseball, and they can't wait to share the excitement with your child. For more information, visit

Auburn University has camps in almost every other sport, including Equestrian, Golf, Swimming & Diving, Tennis and so much more. For information on all camps, visit

Auburn High School also has camps that may be more cost efficient and convenient. Below are dates for athletic camps at Auburn High School:

AHS Baseball Camp: May 26-29 (
Junior High Baseball Camp: June 2-4 (
Lady Tigers Basketball Camp: June 15-17 (
Boy's Basketball Camp: June 1-4 (
Fundamental Skills Basketball Camp: June 8-10 (
AHS Cheer Camp: May 26-28 (
AHS Softball Camp: June 1-3 (
AHS Track and Field Camp: June 16-20 (
AHS Volleyball Summer Camp: June 23-25 (

The City of Opelika has several athletic camps avaiable for all ages this summer. Below are dates for those camps, find detailed information in your copy of The Park Bench.

Basketball Camp: June 18-19 for ages 6-8, 9-10 and 11-12 at Covington Center.
Sports Camp: June 22-26 for ages 5-7 at the Opelika Sportsplex.
Sports Camp: June 29-July 3 for ages 8-11 at the Opelika Sportsplex.
Mini Tennis Clinic Session 1: June 16 & 18 for ages 6-12.
Mini Tennis Clinic Session 2: July 14 & 16 for ages 6-12.
Cheer Camp: June 15-16 for ages 3-12, taught by the Opelika Cheerleaders.
11th Annual Back to the Dawghouse Camp: Date is TBA, check for more information.

Also be sure to check out the City of Auburn's athletic camps at or pick up a summer brochure today, and the City of Opelika athletic camps at!

For the performer:

Auburn University Summer Band Camps: The award winning Auburn University Band is ready to help your child excel in every area this summer. They offer camps in percussion, symphonic band, majorette, colorguard and dance. These camps, while great for every skill level, is especially great for those interested in being involved in band in college. For more information, visit

Auburn University Cheer and Dance Camps: Auburn University is proud to partner with UCA, NDA, UDA and Half Time USA to bring you a summer packed with cheers, dances and stunts. These camps are packed with fun, team building and skill development. For more information, visit

Auburn University Musical Theater Camp: Musical Theatre Camp, conducted by faculty and staff from Auburn's Department of Theatre, is an exciting opportunity for rising 9-12 grade students interested in the field of musical theatre. For more information, visit

AHS Mini-Majorette Camp: The Auburn High School majorette line wants to share their passion with your child this summer. The camp is for Ages 4 through upcoming 8th graders. This camp is great for sparking interest in baton twirling or for 8th graders to perfect those basics before tryouts next year. The camp is June 8-10. Contact Holley Mullen at for more information.

Also be sure to check out the City of Auburn's theatre camps available all summer long for different ages. Visit or check out the summer brochure for more information!

For the artist:

City of Auburn Art Camps: The City of Auburn wants to help your young Picasso this summer. With camps for all ages, you can't let your child miss out. Below are camp dates, but for more detailed information, visit or check out the summer brochure!

Art For Young Children: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 10 a.m.-noon. Ages 4-6.
Mommy and Me Music & Art: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 9-10 a.m. (Ages 2-3), 10:30-11:30 a.m. (Ages 4-5.
Visual Arts Workshops for Children: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon. Ages 7-12.
Artworks Intensive Workshop-Create a Creature: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 9 a.m.-noon. Ages 9-14.
Masks and Movement: The Art of Masks and Character Development: Monday-Friday, 8:30-11:30 a.m. 6th Grad and up.

The City of Opelika Art Camp: The camp begins July 20 and lasting through the 24. This is the 12th year of this hands on art class and has quickly become a hit. Student will use various media to create masterpieces. for more information, please visit or pick up your copy of The Park Bench today!

For the explorer:

The Kreher Preserve and Nature Center has a summer full of camps to fulfill the need to explorer in your child. Be sure to check out for detailed information on each camp and to register. Below are the dates:

Camp Discovery: May 26-29
Young Naturalist I Camp: June 1-5
Junior Rangers Camp: June 8-12
Young Naturalist II Camp: June 15-19
Explorers Camp: June 22-26

Those are just a few of the many camps offered this summer. Although I couldn't list them all, make sure to check out Auburn University, Auburn City Schools, Opelika City Schools, City of Auburn and City of Opelika websites and social media pages for other camps and further information on all camps listed here. As always, if you have any questions, please give us a call at (334) 887-8747 or visit our website at

This week in Auburn-Opelika:

May 20: Landscape Watercolor Class at the Kreher Preserve & Nature Center.
May 21: May Concert Series from 6-7:30 from Town Creek Park.
May 23-25: GOALFEST at Chewacla State Park.
May 25-31: Bluegrass on the Plains at University Station RV Resort.

Monday, May 11, 2015


Big things are happening in Downtown Auburn. With new restaurants, retailers and brand new oak trees, Auburn is looking better than ever, but it doesn't stop there. Downtown Auburn is getting a makeover! Although things are going to be a little hectic for the next few months, we can't wait to show off our beautiful new downtown in the fall!

Today, May 11, marks the first day of the new Toomer's Corner Intersection Improvements Project. The intersection will close to allow for construction to begin. The renovation will bring several improvements to the intersection including raising the intersection to match the elevation of the sidewalks, new crosswalks and a permanent tiger paw made of paviers will be constructed. Aside from the road itself, the sidewalks of downtown will be included in the makeover with new trees, brick seat walls and overall general sidewalk improvements. New decorative traffic signal poles will be added as well to enhance lighting and overall appeal.

I know what your thinking, how in the world am I going to shop, dine and play in Downtown Auburn with all of this construction going on? Have no fear, downtown Auburn's retail stores, restaurants, and bars will remain open and fully functional throughout the whole process. Don't let gates and road closures stop you from enjoying all that Downtown Auburn has to offer. With free parking until August 17, there are no excuses. To make parking decisions easier, below is a list of all the available parking for the summer from!


Downtown parking will be free during the Corner Construction project. Parking will still be limited to two hours (on-street) and four hours (parking lots) during weekday business hours (Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) to keep parking as available as possible for everyone who wants to visit downtown. All three floors of the municipal parking deck will be opened for free parking to offset on-street parking that will be unavailable during construction. The municipal parking deck will be available for four-hour parking during businesses hours and will remain open on evenings and weekends.

Free, on-street parking will be available on Gay Street, Tichenor Avenue, Wright Street and as follows:

South College Street Parking: Even though South College Street will be closed to through traffic from Thach Avenue to Magnolia Avenue, normal on-street parallel parking will still be available. A cut-through will be created in the median to allow drivers visiting downtown to get back to Thach Avenue. New, temporary, on-street parking will be created on the campus side of the road.

North College Street Parking: North College Street will be closed to through traffic from Glenn Avenue to Magnolia Avenue. Some parking will be available up to about the mid-block crossing. A temporary cul-de-sac will be created with on-street striping to allow traffic to park and leave. Cars will still be able to access the University Inn during construction.

East Magnolia Avenue Parking: East Magnolia Avenue will be closed to through traffic from Gay Street to College Street. Some parking will be available up to the mid-block crossing. A temporary cul-de-sac will be created with on-street striping to allow traffic to park and leave. Cars will be able to access the Compass Bank parking lot from Gay Street.

West Magnolia Avenue Parking: West Magnolia Avenue will be closed to through traffic from Wright Street to College Street, with Wright Street serving as a detour for northbound traffic during the construction.

Don't let traffic stress you out. The City of Auburn has carefully created a traffic plan with you in mind. Below are the detour routes from


All traffic will detour around the Toomer's corner intersection.

Detour Routes:

Northbound and southbound traffic on College Street will detour to Gay Street via Thach Avenue and Glenn Avenue.

Eastbound traffic on Magnolia Avenue will detour via Wright Street, Glenn Avenue and Gay Street.

Westbound traffic on Magnolia Avenue will detour via Gay Street, Glenn Avenue and Toomer Street.

We are so excited to see how the improvements will impact our city and make shopping, dining and playing more enjoyable to residents and visitors. For updates on the Corner Construction, please visit and be sure to use the hashtag #cornerconstruction to easily find updates on Facebook and Twitter!

This week in Auburn-Opelika:

May 12: Discovery Hike at the Kreher Preserve & Nature Center at 3:30 p.m.
May 12: Auburn Baseball vs. Morehead State at 6 p.m. at Plainsman Park
May 14: Nature Walk at the Kreher Preserve & Nature Center at 8:30 a.m.
May 14: May Concert Series featuring SoulCo from 6-7:30 p.m. at Town Creek Park
May 16: Aviation Education Outreach Fly-In at the Auburn Regional Airport
May 16: 23rd Annual Fishing Rodeo from 8-11 a.m. at the Auburn Technology Park South Lake
May 17: 5K Trail Run, Tot Trot & Sunday Stroll at the Kreher Preserve & Nature Center at 1 p.m.
May 17: Spring Art Show & open House at the East Lake Estates Model Home from 1-4 p.m.

For more information on these events and more, visit!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Boda Getta BBQ

Summer is right around the corner, and what better way to kick it off than a good ole fashioned BBQ? Katie Tynes, Auburn Chamber of Commerce PR & Marketing Intern, is here to tell us all about it!
The Auburn Chamber of Commerce is hosting its third Boda Getta BBQ competition at University Station RV Resort off Highway 14 in Auburn on Friday, May 8 and Saturday, May 9. This Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned event will bring professional and amateur barbecue teams from all over the Southeast to the Plains to compete for the Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion titles. Event proceeds will benefit FACES- The Foundation for Auburn's Continuing Enrichment in Schools- a local non-profit that funds and encourages creative programs in classrooms within Auburn City Schools.

The two-day competition will boast barbecue in every style and form. For those who consider barbecuing more of a spectator sport, there will be live entertainment throughout the weekend, vendors such as Sweet Bones, Cindy Cakes, Snack Shack and Fork in the Road, LLC, sponsors, antique tractor exhibits, a kids' zone with inflatables and crafts and a children's one-mile Fun Run. General admission tickets will be $5 per person per day at the gate, while children age 15 and under accompanied by parents can attend for free.

Professional Teams will have the opportunity to compete for $11,000 in cash prizes along with the Grand Champion title. Amateur "tailgate" teams will compete for the chance to have their team announced as the "Best Tailgaters in Auburn" at the first home football game on the newest and largest college jumbotron in the country.
The weekend festivities will begin at 5 p.m. on Friday night, with entertainment from the Fountain City Players from 7 to 10:30 p.m. On Saturday morning, children from throughout Auburn City Schools will get an early start at the FACES one-mile fun run. The Kid's Zone will open at 9 a.m. when gates open back up to the general public.

Families can meet Travis the Camel and Fred the Alpaca from Fred the Alpaca from Farmer Brown's Party Animals petting zoo from 9 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. The Kid's Zone will also include a tractor exhibit, inflatables and more. Entertainment from the local Spicer's Music will begin at 11 a.m. and play until the competition winners are announced at 3 p.m.

Who is FACES?

All the proceeds from the event will go toward FACES, the Foundation for Auburn's Continuing Enrichment in Schools. FACES is a non-profit organization that promotes innovative opportunities that enrich the educational experiences of students at Auburn City Schools. The Foundation falls under the Auburn Chamber of Commerce and funds mini-grants of up to $600 to teachers promoting programs for classroom experience enhancement. With over 1,000 grand proposals received since its start in 1985, they have given a total of 567 mini-grants to teachers in the amount of over $224,000.

Event Sponsors:

Presenting Sponsor: Auburn Rotary Club
Pit Master Sponsor: Prewett Insurance Group
Pit Master Sponsor: Kinnucan's
Backyard Griller Sponsor: MAX Credit Union
Auburn Chamber of Commerce
Verge Pipe Media
Alabama Contract Sales
Country's Barbecue
For a detailed schedule of events or for more information, please visit!

This week in Auburn-Opelika:

May 5: Koresh Dance Company at the Opelika Center for the Performing Arts at 7:30 p.m.
May 7: May Concert Series at Town Creek Park from 6-7:30 p.m.
May 7 & 8: S'More Fun with Mom at the Kreher Preserve & Nature Center from 6-8:30 p.m.
May 8-9: Boda Getta BBQ at University Station RV Resort
May 8-10: Auburn Baseball vs. Alabama at Plainsman Park (F: 6 p.m., Sat: 3 p.m., Sun: 1 p.m.)
May 9 & 10: Auburn University Graduation ceremonies at the Auburn Arena
May 9: Garden in the Park at the Opelika Municipal Park from 8 a.m.- 3 p.m.