May brought beautiful weather and newsworthy happenings to the Magic City! From critical funding for animals to new legislation and everything in between, there were plenty of headline-grabbing developments in Birmingham this month that deserved their very own space. Here are just a few things that got our attention.

Local Sports Hero Gives Back

For he’s a jolly good fellow! NBA Hall of Famer and Leeds High School alum, Charles Barkley, recently gifted each employee in the Leeds school system $1,000 to honor their hard work during this past school year. The sports legend has consistently donated money, supplies, and his time to his alma mater since his graduation in 1981. Way to go the extra mile and support your community, Charles!

The Birmingham Zoo Welcomes Two New Animals

Everyone say ‘awww’! This month, the Birmingham Zoo welcomed two beautiful new animals. Gizmo, a 2-year-old male red panda, first arrived at the Birmingham Zoo on December 2, 2020, from the Sacramento Zoo. He recently completed his routine quarantine to get comfortable and ensure his health and safety. He is now ready to relax in his new habitat and meet all the guests at the zoo.

Additionally, the Birmingham Zoo welcomed a baby howler monkey. Eight-year-old mother, Matea, gave birth on Monday, May 3. Both are being cared for by the zoo’s amazing team and doing well. The baby is not yet named, and it is too early for the gender to be determined, but we are in love. How adorable!

Birmingham Zoo - What's New in Birmingham

New howler monkey mom, Matea, holding her new baby | Image: Danielle W., Zoological Manager of South America/Primates at the Birmingham Zoo

Summer Festivals are Coming in Hot

After a long year of cancellations and festival hiatuses, this month we’ve started to see the triumphant return of Birmingham’s favorite festivals. Here are just a few to save the date for this summer:

Saturday, June 12: Magic City Brewfest
Saturday, June 19: Euphonious Music Festival
Saturday, June 26: Birmingham Margarita & Taco Festival
August 6-7: Secret Stages Music Discovery Festival
August 23-29: Sidewalk Film Festival

RELATED: 13 Birmingham Events & Happenings: June 2021

Cahaba Brewing Announces Cicerone Certified Beer Server Scholarships

To break down the barriers faced by women with an interest in craft beer, Cahaba Brewing Co. offer Cicerone Beer Server Scholarships. The scholarships are open to all women who have an interest in expanding their craft beer knowledge.⁠ Following the 2020 “Pour Us Another: Celebrating Women and Craft Beer” event, Cahaba Brewing was able to award nine women from across the country with the scholarship. With the funds raised from t-shirt sales during the 2nd Annual “Pour Us Another” event, Cahaba Brewing is excited to award another round of applicants. Applications can be accessed here and will close on Sunday, June 6, 2021, at 6 p.m. CST. These scholarships are one of several ways the brewery continues to break down barriers for minorities and work with the local community!

Cahaba Brewing Company - What's New in Birmingham

Cahaba Brewing Co. is a staple in the Birmingham craft beer scene and has always celebrated diversity. For the second year in a row, Cahaba Brewing Co. will fund several scholarships for women interested in learning more about craft beer! Image: Cahaba Brewing Co.

It’s Going to be All the Rage

Need to release some stress? Have some built-up energy from the past year? A new Birmingham company is coming in June to help alleviate all your stressors in a fun way. Birmingham Rage Room and Games offers rage rooms where you can (safely) throw, break, and smash items likes plates, old TVs, and more. After you’re done letting off some steam, head outdoors for games like archery tag, Nerf wars, dodgeball, and more. This is definitely something to add to your summer bucket list!

Historic Rucker Place to Become a Chic New Restaurant

Exciting news for Historic Rucker Place! This historic home is now under new ownership and set to become a multifaceted high-end restaurant. T Squared Holdings LLC purchased the property from Jack and Gail Thompson, who hosted elegant weddings and events in the home since extensively renovating it in 2002. The purchase price was $1.22 million and new ownership plans to invest another $2 million in future renovations. The dream for this space is to create a multidimensional restaurant concept that combines a traditional restaurant and bar, a late-night bar and al fresco event space, pâtisserie and café for breakfast and lunch, full-service catering options, and e-commerce meal delivery for businesses and families. Cheers to new endeavors in the Magic City!

RELATED: Worth the Drive: 4 New Restaurants in the South

Have a great start to the summer, Birmingham! We’ll be back next month with a round-up of all the newsworthy happenings from June.

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