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BATTLE CREEK BLAZE


BINDER PARK ZOO


Other sports are represented as well. The BATTLE CREEK BLAZE semi-pro football team is led by Rockin’ Robbie Crockett at running back and Nathan (Pink Slip –“When he hits you, you are gone”) Kiefer at linebacker. With support from the adorable Blaze Belles dance team, the Blaze play in the Interstate Football League at Athens High School June through September. The BATTLE CREEK REVOLUTION is a Single A hockey team that plays in the All American Hockey league. Called the Big Blue and Red, the Revolution was founded in 2008 and scrums at the Revolution Arena in Battle Creek. Look for star right winger Hironori Kobayashi’s mad dashes to the net. He is like Akira on skates. The BATTLE CREEK KNIGHTS play roundball at Kellogg Arena. Guided by coach Downtown Dale Beard and sparked by Terrell (Oh No He Didn’t) Orum out of Moraine Valley Community College at forward, the hoopsters play a 20-game schedule from mid-November to mid-January in the International Basketball League.


We conclude our epicurean tour of Battle Creek with KELLOGG’S FROOT LOOPS and ARCADIA LOCH DOWN SCOTCH ALE. The creamy, chocolate-colored ale has a thick head and a smoky aroma that is windswept Highland sepia to the neon- colored sugar bombs of suburban America. My stomach is glad I’m almost done with the column.


The first-ever LEILAPALOOZA will be held on July 30 at the Leila Arboretum (928 Michigan Ave. W). The arboretum was founded in 1922 when Leila Post Montgomery, widow of cereal magnate C.W. Post, donated 72 acres of the for- mer country club to the city. The daylong music festival will feature 30 bands per- forming music ranging from hard rock/ punk to jazz to bluegrass on three stages.


Many of the bands will be drawn from the local commu- nity. Leilapalooza will have a VIP section, arts and food vendor areas, and a beer tent. Planners anticipate more than 5,000 to attend the festival throughout the day.


Families will also enjoy BINDER PARK ZOO (7400 Division Dr.), which is located outside of Battle Creek on 433 acres of natural forests and wetlands. Over the last 34 years, the original 80-acre zoo has expanded to include a conservation education center, 40-acre natural wetlands exhibit and 50-acre Wild Africa exhibit. More than 60,000 people visit the zoo every year, making it one of the most popular cultural attractions in the region. Look for the two Red Panda cubs, Flynn and Sorrel, which were born to mommy Delilah last June. Red Pandas are endangered animals native to China, Nepal, India, Bhutan and Tibet, so these new additions are very special indeed. No less important, the zoo has cared for nearly 1,800 animals, from Snapping Turtles to Leopard Frogs, which were threatened


by the Kalamazoo River oil spill. The Binder Park Zoo season runs April 22, 2011 to Oct. 2, 2011.


Save some of your beer money to gamble away at FIREKEEPERS CASINO (11177 E. Michigan Ave.). What? You’ve spent your allotted gambling money in 10 minutes? That’s not a problem. Console your losses with an adult beverage at one of the multiple restaurants and bars inside the casino. Or stick around for some live entertainment at Kabaret Lounge, where Wednesdays host a free comedy night, Thursdays are karaoke nights, and country, rock and oldies bands stop by every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.


Get active at FULL BLAST (35 Hamblin Ave.), Battle Creek’s fun and fitness center. The center includes the FLASH FLOOD WATER PARK (open Memorial Day to Labor Day) and the SPORTS FORUM COMMUNITY RECREATION CENTER. Flash Flood features two 200- foot outdoor water slides, two 100-foot indoor water slides, zero depth entry pools and a water playground. Additional attractions include Trampoline Thing, Bungee Run, basketball hoops and Water Wars. The Sports Forum Fitness Center is open year-round and hosts a wide variety of athletic programming featuring an indoor walking track, three large gymnasiums, batting cages, golf nets and Rosario’s Boxing Academy. Get the Family 4 Pack for $220 for nonstop fun. n


Send your invitations for me to hang out in your neigh- borhood at stevendepolo@revuewm.com.


REVUEWM.COM | MARCH 2011 | 15


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