Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Jupiter concludes annual bikini contest

Summer in the South just wouldn’t be the same without barbecues, beaches and those teeny bikinis. Although T-town is a few hours from the beach — and the coast might not be the best summer escape right now — The Jupiter Bar & Grill is working hard to bring residents a little bit of those summer classics with its annual bikini contest.

The contest has been held every Thursday in June, all culminating up to the big finale this week, July 1 at around midnight.

“The finals are always the biggest night,” said Jupiter owner and manager Jeremiah Jones. “We’re doing it in the small room this year, so we’re expecting to be at full capacity.”

With last year’s finals drawing over 500 people, there’s no doubt it will be a fun event for everyone involved.

The contest up until now has consisted of four preliminary rounds, with the top three contestants from each round moving on to Thursday’s final. Contestants will first be introduced by host DJ Pete in their “street clothes.” Each one will then compete individually, followed by all the girls on stage together. The contestants are judged after strutting their stuff, and the final winner will receive $500 cash.

“The contest has always done really well,” Jones said. “Thursdays are usually kind of a hit-or-miss night in the summer, so we try to do some smaller, but entertaining, events.”

Although it is still drawing a pretty good crowd, this year’s bikini contest has been less fruitful than last year’s, Jones said. This might be due to the event’s move from May to June, or due to the economy.

“This year it’s been a lot harder finding girls to participate,” said Kayla Perlstein, a Jupiter employee in charge of the bikini contest. “A few of the finalists are going out of town, but we should have eight to ten competing this week.”

One of the contestants, 23-year-old Heather Whitfield said she has had a lot of fun with the event.

“One of my friends was doing it, so I decided to just for fun,” Whitfield said. “I had never done it before. All the girls competing are really cool.”

Whitfield said she might not make it to Thursday’s finals, but that she had a blast doing the contest anyway.

“It was like being in front of 200 people in your underwear,” she said. “I figured that was a good fear to try and get over.”

Will Whitfield be competing in any more bikini contests? Probably not.

“It’s kind of my last hurrah,” she said. “But it was a really fun time.”

Drink specials will accompany Thursday’s festivities, with $1 Natural Lights and $3 Baby Bombs. There will be a $5 cover after 9 p.m., and you must be 19 or older to get in.

The bikini contest won’t be The Jupiter’s last cool summer event. Beginning July 8, the bar will be hosting its summer 2010 Battle of the Bands. Each Thursday in July, three bands will compete to move on to the finals and win stage time at the county fair, $350 in gift certificates and a demo recording at Old Capitol Recording Studio. All proceeds from the Battle of the Bands will go to aiding cerebral palsy.

Other upcoming events at The Jupiter include fall concerts from Citizen Cope, Drive-By Truckers and Brantley Gilbert, according to owner Jeremiah Jones. The bar is currently undergoing some major renovations, which Jones said he hopes will make the place much more inviting.

“Before it was just sort of an awkward space,” he said.

The new Jupiter will include much more standing room, 52-inch televisions and working garage doors, if approved by the city. The project will be complete by August 18, Jones said, and there’s one more big change, which hasn’t been decided just yet.

“I just can’t think up a name,” he said.

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