Summer days in Shelby County

Campers feed farm animals at Summer Days on the Farm (Reporter Photo/Ginny Cooper McCarley)

Campers feed farm animals at Summer Days on the Farm (Reporter Photo/Ginny Cooper McCarley)

By GINNY COOPER / Staff Writer

We got a little bit of respite from the heat this summer—with a deluge of spring rain lasting well into the time when Alabama is usually scorching—but lately the sun has been pretty oppressive.

Even though the temperatures have hovered in the low to mid-nineties, there is still plenty to do in Shelby County to beat the heat.

Last week, I had the opportunity to go to Old Baker Farm and enjoy a “Summer Day on the Farm” with students from Primrose School in Helena. We traipsed through the woods (which was surprisingly temperate, due to the shade from a variety of trees), fed the farm animals and took a hayride.

To cool off on one especially hot afternoon, I stopped by Steel City Pops’ new location on Hwy 280. With refreshing flavors such as blood orange, blueberry basil, cantaloupe, guava and coconut, it’s easy to enjoy the sun with one in hand.

I also had the opportunity to try the newest addition to Shelby County’s breakfast-scene, Big Bad Breakfast. Owned by chef John Currence of Oxford, Miss., and Nick Pihakis, the restaurant is delicious and unique. The menu boasts dishes ranging from egg plates, omelets and pancakes to inventive, Southern-inspired meals such as co-cola fried chicken and double friend pork belly quesadilla, and everything—that we tried, at least—is absolutely delicious.

On July 19, the Shelby County Arts Council will host the Shelby County Shingdig in Columbiana, which is sure to be a tasty treat. Amateur and “semi-pro” barbecue teams will compete for the title of Best Ribs in Shelby County. For $10, attendees can purchase a tasting armband to sample all of the goods. In addition, live music will go on throughout the afternoon and evening and Bernie’s on Main Street will host a beer garden.

Summer in Shelby County may be hot, but with a variety of fun activities and events, it sure is fun.