Category Archives: Life

Alamo Bowl Road Trip: The Tall Chief

Jesse and I left for the Alamo Bowl at about 7 AM on Thursday, December 27.

Our first stop was at a Casey’s in Peculiar, Missouri. It was noteworthy mostly because gas there was $1.75 a gallon. A good 20 cents cheaper than in the Cyclone State:


Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Our second stop was at Red Hot & Blue a blues themed barbecue in Joplin, Missouri. Every time I get just a little bit south into the Civil War participant ribbon part of the country I try to drink almost exclusively sweet tea.

There is a thing about southerners where they don’t think us yankees know anything about sweet tea. A point that was hammered home by a Waffle House waitress in Mississippi during the Liberty Bowl Road Trip.


Liberty Bowl Road Trip

It is a myth that all yankees don’t know about sweet tea. I am somewhat of an expert on sweet tea. I design and make Thick Soul Sweet Tea for Baby Got Rack Barbecue, an award winning competitive barbecue team of some note.

When we posted up in Red Hot & Blue I ordered up a sweet tea. This became a story in 3 acts.

Sweet Tea: Act 1

The first glass of sweet tea hit the spot. It had almost the perfect amount of sweetness. Almost.

Sweet Tea: Act 2

The refill was decidedly less sweet. Maybe about 45% as sweet as the first glass of goodness.

Sweet Tea: Act 3

They gave us a glass of sweet tea for the road. This final insult to sweet tea was an insult to sweet tea. It was little more than brown water. Did you have an aunt growing up that put so little sugar in Kool-Aid that it was little more than colored water? That wasn’t just me? It was an abomination.


Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Our next stop was at the Conoco One Stop Food Mart in Big Cabin, Oklahoma. The thing that stands out about the Conoco One Stop Food Mart is that in the front of its parking lot is a 46 foot tall statue called The Tall Chief.

It might be the best art in Oklahoma, if this gas station clock of Taylor Swift is any indication:


Alamo Bowl Road Trip

I pulled out the real camera and took some photos of “The Tall Chief”:


Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip
Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip
Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

After paying our respects to “The Tall Chief” we hit the open road heading towards San Antonio, but uncertain what we would see between there and there.

To be continued…

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Reminder that this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is ART:


WEEK 174 - ART
ART

An ART photo is any photo of a piece of ART or of somebody engaging in making a piece of ART. A truly confident person could argue that any photo they take is a piece of ART.

Happy photo harvesting!

Alamo Bowl Road Trip – Phonetos

Last week Jesse and I hopped in a rental car and headed to San Antonio to watch the Iowa State Cyclones play against the Washington State Cougars and the worst refereeing crew from the Big Ten in the Alamo Bowl.

While the game didn’t turn out the way that we had hoped, it was still an amazing trip full of precious moments. Even though, we willfully drove by the Precious Moments Museum and did not stop.

Here are some pictures from the trip I took with my trusty Pixel 2:


Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

I will have more commentary on these photos in upcoming posts.

2019 Photography 139 Calendar

Yes Virginia, there was a Photography 139 Calendar this year. However, I didn’t sell them this year. I just made a small run and gave them out to a very few small group of select people.

Here are the pictures from the 2019 Photography 139 Calendar:


2019 Calendar - Cover

The front cover is a picture of William McAlpine peering through the hole in a brick. It was taken in the backyard of the Photography 139 Studio. It was taken for the FRAMED theme of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE.

This photo was entered into the 2018 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon. It was accepted for display.

Willy is the first person to appear in a Photography 139 Calendar since the 2012 Calendar featured a final rendition of THE 9 EMOTIONS PROJECT that included images of AmyJunck-Wallendal, William McAlpine, Derrick Gorshe, Shannon Bardole, Jesse Howard, Jennifer Gorshe, Sara Junck, Jill Gorshe, and Jay Janson.


2019 Calendar - January

The January image was taken on a very foggy Christmas Eve morning. It was taken facing northeast from the road in upper Ledges State Park.

This image was entered in the 2018 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon. It was selected for display.


2019 Calendar - February

The February image of a red hibiscus was taken in the Photography 139 Flower Garden in 2017.

Unfortunately, the hibiscus did not survive the winter and did not return to the Photography 139 Flower Garden in 2018.


2019 Calendar - March

The March image is of a lily is located in the Photography 139 Flower Garden. It is located in a designated lily patch near the birdbath.

While this macro photo might appear to be one image, it is actually the product of a technique called focus stacking. This image is actually 7 images with different focus ranges stacked one on top of the other.

This photo was nominated for the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest, but it lost the popular vote and was not entered.


2019 Calendar - April

The April image was taken at The Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend, Iowa. It was taken on a road trip with my Office Buddy Joe Lynch. It was taken with the in-camera black & white HDR setting.

This image was taken for THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT. The theme of the image was to go some place “touristy” and take a “non-touristy” picture.

The picture of Mary holding a crucified Jesus was selected for April to coincide with the celebration of Easter.

This image was entered in the Photoshop category of the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest. It won 1st Place.


2019 Calendar - May

The May image is of the sculputre Skallagrim by Peter Lundberg. Skallagrim is located in the Franconia Sculpture Park near Shafer, Minnesota.

I took this photo on a trip there with Bethany, Dae Hee, and Nora.

The image is HDR toned and is used as the base image for a Small World image.


2019 Calendar - June

The June image was taken on Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee. It was taken on the Liberty Bowl Road Trip I took with Russell Kennerly and Jesse Howard to watch the Iowa State Cyclones defeat the Memphis Tigers.

The image was originally taken in color and was transformed into black and white in post production.


2019 Calendar - July

The July image is of a hollyhock from the Photography 139 Studio Flowerbed. This pink hollyhock grew in the dedicated hollyhock patch along the north fenceline.

This macro image was taken while experimenting with a new set of extension tubes.

This image was nominated for the flower category for the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest, but was not entered.


2019 Calendar - August

The August image was taken in the midway of the Iowa State Fair. It was taken for THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT. The theme of the picture was to take a picture of something that is “nondescript during the day.”

The image was taken when I was able to sneak away during a break in the action of Baby Got Rack’s competitive barbecue competition.

The image was HDR toned in post-production.


2019 Calendar - September

The September image was taken of a grasshopper at Big Creek State Park near Polk City, Iowa. The image was taken for THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT. The theme for this image was to create a playlist and listen to it while taking pictures. The playlist I selected was the BABY DRIVER SOUNDTRACK. I was listening to the song “Bongolia” by Incredible Bongo Band when I took this image.

2019 Calendar - October

The October image of a ram lounging was taken in Badlands National Park in South Dakota. The image I was taken on the way home on a road trip I took with my Mom to Mount Rushmore.

This image was voted to be entered in the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest in the Nature Category.


2019 Calendar - November

The November image was taken at the Iowa State Fair in the Discovery Garden. It was originally taken in color and converted to black and white in post-production.

It was nominated for the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest in the Nature Category, but it was not entered.


2019 Calendar - December

The December image of an abandoned dump truck was taken in Boone, Iowa near the south terminus of Division Street.

The image was color processed through the Color Efex Pro 4 plugin during post production.

The image was nominated for the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest in the Hidden Treasures of Boone County category, but was not entered.

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There are a few calendars to handout, but for the most part delivery has finished. Almost on time this year.

Post #3252 – 2018 Year in Review

Happy New Year to people who celebrate such things.

I like to look at some meaningless statistics every 250 posts and I also look at fairly meaningless year end statistics.

Just so happens that I get to combine them today!!

Here is both a year in review and a celebration that I have made it to 3252 blog posts. I was on the Alamo Bowl Road Trip visiting submarines, cults, and reality television stars when post #3250 came around, so I hope you can excuse the tardiness.

The first thing I want to look at are the most popular CATEGORIES in the history of “An Artist’s Notebook”.

Top 10 Journal Entry Categories

1. Portrait – 527
2. Weekly Photo Challenge – 504
3. Flowers – 497
4. Animals – 405
5. Jesse – 361
6. Photography – 355
7. Shannon – 320
8. Teresa – 296
9. Black & White – 291
10. Carla – 280

Top 10 People Categories

1. Jesse – 361
2. Shannon – 320
3. Teresa – 296
4. Carla – 280
5. Jay – 279
6. Mom – 277
7. Derrick – 256
8. Willy – 227
9. Vest – 221
10. Jen – 209

Top 10 Not-People Categories

1. Portrait – 527
2. Weekly Photo Challenge – 504
3. Flowers – 497
4. Animals – 405
5. Photography – 355
6. Black & White – 291
7. Road Trip – 262
8. Personal Photo Project – 261
9. Life – 234
10. Nature – 215

“Photography” and “Life” are general categories that I have been working on eliminating as I go back and restore historical “An Artist’s Notebook” entries to their original glory. Hopefully they will have both dropped off the Top 10 Lists by journal entry #3500.

If you are wondering how to become a Top 10 person on this list. The easiest way is to submit to the Weekly Photo Challenge. After that, the best way is to volunteer to model and photo assist for photography projects. Then after that, I would suggest going on road trips with me or attending Iowa State athletic events with me or going on road trips to Iowa State athletic events with me.

The people that are right outside of the Top 10 are:: Sara, Kim, Dawn, Becky, and Nader.

If you are looking for a goal for 2019, you could do worse than trying to crack the Photography 139 Top Ten People Category List. You obviously could do way, way, way, way, way, way, way better too.

Now we will turn out eye towards 2018.

Top 10 Most Popular Photography 139 Galleries of 2018 by Views

1. 9 EMOTIONS PROJECT – 48,722
2. WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE YEAR 5 – 37,614
3. WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE YEAR 5 – ALTERNATES – 33,622
4. 2008 – JANUARY – JUNE – 26,032
5. SELFIE PROJECT – 2017 – 23,141
6. HOUSTON MISSION TRIP – 2018 – 22,046
7. SOUTH DAKOTA TRIP – 2017 – 21,868
8. BOONE COUNTY FAIR CONTEST NOMINEES – 2018 – 17,211
9. SAYDIE HOWARD – CLASS OF 2017 – 14,808
10. IOWA STATE CYCLONES FOOTBALL – 2018

The 10 Most Popular Photography 139 Images by Views


Selfie Project - January 27
1. 2524

01-01-08
2. 2386


3. 2327

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
4. 1958

No. 45
5. 1621

No. 43
6. 1456

No. 12
7. 1445

July 15, 2017
8. 1321

WEEK 110 - REFLECTION - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
9. 1293

No. 38
10. 1241

On the Instagram, these were my 9 Most Popular Photos based on Likes:


My theme for my 2018 Instagram posts was Black & White. My theme for 2019 will be HDR Toning. Also, I will be bringing back THE SELFIE PROJECT to Instagram in 2019.

You can follow me on Instagram here:

@christopherdbennett

I entered 3 photo contests with the following results:


Boone County Fair - 2018
Red Ribbon – Boone County Fair

Boone County Fair - 2018
Purple Ribbon – Boone County Fair

Boone County Fair - 2018
Blue Ribbon – Boone County Fair

Boone County Fair - 2018
Blue Ribbon – Boone County Fair

Boone County Fair - 2018
Blue Ribbon – Boone County Fair

Iowa State Fair Entry - 2018
Selected for Display – Iowa State Fair

Iowa State Fair Entry - 2018
Not Selected for Display – Iowa State Fair

Iowa State Fair Entry - 2018
Selected for Display – Iowa State Fair

Iowa State Fair Entry - 2018
Not Selected for Display – Iowa State Fair

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2018
1st Place Photoshop – Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2018
1st Place Photojournalism – Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2018
Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2018
3rd Place Hidden Treasures of Boone County – Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2018
Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2018
Pufferbilly Days

Last note:

My goal for 2019 is the same as it was in 2018:

I’m gonna step my game up and get what is coming to me.

Good luck in 2019 everybody!

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 172 – FRIENDS

I have to confess that this is one of the saddest blog posts I’ve ever had the solemn duty to post. It seems that next to nobody out there has any FRIENDS. At least not any FRIENDS that they would be willing photography.

Or perhaps the fault lies in me and I have very few FRIENDS. I do have many failings. Sorry Clarence.

Due to the extreme simplicity of this theme, I refuse to accept the “holidays” as an excuse. Perhaps I should throw a birthday party (for myself) in 2019 just to establish that I do in fact have FRIENDS and to help out the many people out there that apparently don’t have any FRIENDS.

Despite the general lack of camaraderie that is out in the world today, “An Artist’s Notebook” will break new ground today. Today marks the first ever joint submission, at least that I can recall.

But you didn’t come here to listen to me talk about the lack of participation rates. You came here to see the lack of submissions:


WEEK 172 - FRIENDS - KIM BARKER/MICHELLE HAUPT
Kim Barker/Michelle Haupt


Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 172 - FRIENDS - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 172 - CARLA STENSLAND - FRIENDS
Carla Stensland

WEEK 172 - CARLA STENSLAND - FRIENDS
Carla Stensland

WEEK 172 - CARLA STENSLAND - FRIENDS
Carla Stensland

But enough dwelling on the past. Time to look to the future. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future! This week’s theme:


WEEK 173 - ABSTRACT
ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT! What a great theme! This is one of the easiest things on the big board. Not as easy as FRIENDS, but pretty darn tooting easy! An ABSTRACT image is an image where there isn’t a clearly defined subject. Taking pictures of things like lights out of focus or that are moving are excellent ways to make an ABSTRACT image.

I look forward to seeing your interpretations!

HOUSEKEEPING

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 RULES DIVISION

The picture has to be taken the week of the theme. This isn’t a curate your pictures challenge. This is a get your butt off the couch (my personal experience) and put your camera in your hands challenge. Don’t send me a picture of you next to the Eiffel Tower, when I know you were in Iowa all week. I will point out that I have let that slide some in the past. I will not in the future. Since it is literally about the only rule.

Your submission needs to be emailed to bennett@photography139.com by 11 AM on the Monday of the challenge due date. It should be pointed out that this blog auto-publishes at 12:01 on Mondays. So it wouldn’t hurt to get your picture in earlier.

That is it, them’s the rules.

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION DIVISION

Nobody showed class, taste, and sophistication this week by signing up for a Photography 139 email subscription. I’ll try and do better next week.

+++++++

That’s all I got for today, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will commune right here again next Monday. Hopefully it will be a very abstract Monday.

Blow Up!

Back on the 4th of July Willy and I got together to blow up some stuff and photograph the result.

I didn’t turn out exactly as one had hoped. Almost as soon as we started, the sky became overcast. Then it became dark. Then it started to rain. The worst possible conditions for short exposure photography.

I’ll add that even our timing didn’t seem to be up to its normal levels. However, there are a few photos that are worth sharing from the day.

Have a look:


Independence Day Explosions - 2018

Independence Day Explosions - 2018

Independence Day Explosions - 2018

Independence Day Explosions - 2018

Independence Day Explosions - 2018

Independence Day Explosions - 2018

Independence Day Explosions - 2018

Independence Day Explosions - 2018

Independence Day Explosions - 2018

Independence Day Explosions - 2018

When we tackle this project again in 2019, we will take a totally different tact. I expect superior results.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Week 169 – Family

There was somewhat of a rebound for FAMILY and this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. There is still hope!

But you didn’t come here to listen to me talk all tommyrot about participation rates. You came to see the submissions!

Cathie Raley

Kim Barker
Micky Augustin
Angie DeWaard
Christopher D. Bennett
Tamara Peterson
Michelle Haupt
Andy Sharp
Andy Sharp
Andy Sharp
Becky Parmelee

But enough dwelling on the past. Time to look to the future. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future! This week’s theme:

SPORTS/GAMES

SPORTS/GAMES! What a great theme! But what is a SPORTS/GAMES picture? A SPORTS/GAMES picture is any picture that that involves people that are engaged in SPORTS/GAMES. Or a picture of anything used in SPORTS/GAMES.

I look forward to seeing your interpretations!

HOUSEKEEPING


A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 RULES DIVISION

  1. The picture has to be taken the week of the theme. This isn’t a curate your pictures challenge. This is a get your butt off the couch (my personal experience) and put your camera in your hands challenge. Don’t send me a picture of you next to the Eiffel Tower, when I know you were in Iowa all week. I will point out that I have let that slide some in the past. I will not in the future. Since it is literally about the only rule.
  2. Your submission needs to be emailed to bennett@photography139.com by 11 AM on the Monday of the challenge due date. It should be pointed out that this blog auto-publishes at 12:01 on Mondays. So it wouldn’t hurt to get your picture in earlier.

That is it, them’s the rules.

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION DIVISION

Nobody showed class, taste, and sophistication this week by signing up for a Photography 139 email subscription. I’ll try and do better next week.

+++++++

That’s all I got for today, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will commune right here again next Monday. Hopefully it will be a very sporty Monday.

That’s Life

If you’re not in the parade, you watch the parade. That’s life.
-Mike Ditka

Last Thursday was the annual lighted parade in Boone. I’m sure it has a proper name, but I don’t know what it is.

As a member of the Outreach Committee, I was part of the team that put together the “float” for the lighted parade. Unfortunately, we didn’t garner very many volunteers and I had to call a couple people last minuted just to borderline half fill our “people carrier”.

Although most people would not consider it a failure, I sorta do. That is okay. We learn more from our failures than we do from our successes. That means at the 2019 lighted parade, we will be back with a vengeance!

Here are some pictures from the event:


Boone Lighted Parade - 2018

Boone Lighted Parade - 2018

Boone Lighted Parade - 2018

Boone Lighted Parade - 2018

Boone Lighted Parade - 2018

Boone Lighted Parade - 2018

Boone Lighted Parade - 2018

Boone Lighted Parade - 2018

Boone Lighted Parade - 2018

Boone Lighted Parade - 2018

Boone Lighted Parade - 2018

Boone Lighted Parade - 2018

Boone Lighted Parade - 2018

Santa was infatuated with my beard. He really wanted me to join the Santa union or something. Told me I could make $100 an hour as a “real beard Santa”. Maybe sometime, but I’m not ready for the Santa gig yet.

2 Corinthians 9:11

For the last, oh, 15 or so years, my church has hosted a free Thanksgiving dinner.

It is open to anybody and it is 100% free. We don’t ask for an “at will donation”. We don’t put out baskets for donations. It is 100% free.

I went down there for the first shift to take some photographs to submit to the newspaper.

Here are a few pictures from the day:


Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

Boone First United Methodist Church's Free Thanksgiving

You can check out more pictures from the event by clicking on the link below:

Boone First United Methodist Thanksgiving

If you are looking for a church where you can serve and worship and awesome God, I attend Boone First United Methodist Church.

We have 2 worship services on Sundays.

A Traditional Service at 9 AM.
A Contemporary Service at 11 AM.

We also have a variety of Youth Groups on Wednesdays. The night begins with a meal at 6 PM and ends at varying times, depending on the age of the youth.

Come check us out!