Last weekend we hosted the Texas Playboys from Austin, Texas. The baseball club made up of artists, architects, musicians, photographers and entrepreneurs joined us for a weekend of great music, food, cocktails, and baseball. We were thrilled and honored they voted to visit Florence, Alabama for this year’s travel game (see ballot above) and flattered they challenged our not-too-shabby Billy Reid + Alabama Chanin team in Barnstorm2013.
The Playboys roster includes some of Austin’s most innovative and gifted makers, including friend and Playboy manager Jack Sanders of Design Build Adventure, center fielder Robert Gay of Thoughtbarn, and out fielder and musician Dan Dyer, who performed a few songs Thursday evening as part of our ongoing Visiting Artist Series.
Thursday evening at the Factory kicked off the weekend with dinner for the crew by The Front Porch Revival, a group of young Alabama chefs who gave their time and talents, serving an impressive spread of signature dishes like Snapper ceviche on Bon Secour (Alabama) oysters and chicharrones, sweet potato and collard green tamales with merguez sausage and beet “hot sauce,” and Alabama smoked catfish dip on homemade crackers: everything handmade, everything fresh and local, and everything we love about the new Alabama cuisine.
Gin and tonic cocktails (handmade tonic by Chef Wesley True), Alabama handcrafted beer from Back Forty Beer Co., and Mountain Valley Spring Water accompanied the spread and kept spirits high as guests from the Shoals community, many of whom are artists themselves, arrived to meet the Playboys.
Billy Reid hosted the Playboys Friday evening at his flagship store in downtown Florence with music by Shoals songbird Shelly Colvin and more hospitality by the Front Porch Revival.
To say the Saturday afternoon Barnstorm was friendly is mostly correct. Adrenalin flowed while the competitive edge in everyone grew a tad sharper. Our Alabama Slammers, with the raucous Alabama Slammerettes cheer leading squad behind them, had the game until the seventh inning. Sadly, the Slammers lost (just barely).
A post-game pot luck, BBQ, and Cracker Jack ice cream from the Shirey brothers sated all and finished out an awesome weekend. Watch for the Slammers in Austin next year – rumor has it there’s a revenge game in the works. Playboys, bring your Icy Hot. Y’all are going to need it.
Thank you again to all who came out to support the Texas Playboys and the Alabama Slammers and to everyone who contributed to such an amazing weekend.
Friends and Contributors, Thank You:
The Front Porch Revival
Chef David Bancroft of Acre
Chef Wesley + Bobbi True of Midtown Kitchen and True Montgomery
Chef Leonardo Maurelli III of Central
Caroline Rosen of Mountain Valley Spring Water and EatEasyMGM
Brent Rosen of MADE Paper
Brad Wilson of Back Forty Beer Co.
Magpie + RUTH
University of North Alabama Baseball
And thank you to all the dedicated ballplayers:
The Playboys Roster:
The Slammers Roster:
*And a special thank you to everyone who took these awesome Instagram photos of #Barnstorm2013.
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