Sending kids outside to play can result in costly hospital visits and feelings of alienation from a once beloved magnolia tree. Unlike their cold, hard cousins, inflatable playgrounds offer the joy of climbing without the worries of falling or landing in a swarm of fire ants. For children under the age of 11, Funtime has multiple play areas in which to slide, roll, and moonwalk bounce away. Attractions include crayon-cornered bouncers, rainbowtastic obstacle courses, ball pits, and a variety of plastic tubing perfect for aspiring spelunkers. And as the signage indicates, the play area is one of the few places outside of Japanese teahouses and nail salons where customers with no shoes won’t be refused service.
Cleveland Rock of Ages, a night of live classic rock mastery held at the stadium of the class A affiliate for the Cleveland Indians, opens with the lead singers of Rare Earth, Sugarloaf, Blues Image, and Iron Butterfly all joining forces as the Classic Rock All-Stars and performing songs in the style of rock’s golden era. After a preliminary injection of sonic heaviness, prepare for shock rock’s one-man governing body, Alice Cooper. The heavily mascaraed maestro, well-known for mega-hits like “School’s Out,” “Poison,” and “All I Want Is a Jar of Nickels (For Christmas! For Christmas!),” will take to the stage bearing gifts of rock.
The Rock Allegiance Tour pledges adherence to the forces of electric thunder, harnessing a slew of heavy-hitting acts in a day chock-full of head-banging euphoria. Buckcherry and Papa Roach co-headline a wrecking crew of rock monsters, launching mach-speed riffs about love and annihilation that render pacemakers obsolete and librarians fatigued from shushing. Joining the on-stage armada, Puddle of Mudd buries sentimentality in the soggy soil with merciless post-grunge guitars, and Alien Ant Farm carries 10 times its own weight in alterna-metal. Further engorging eardrums, Red churns out C.S. Lewis–inspired mosh fodder, Crossfade instigates nu-metal trepanation, and Drive A unleashes sonic clauses about heartfelt misanthropy and philandering gravy.
Surrounded by roaring crowds of hoops fanatics, the Erie BayHawks shoot for glory during thrilling basketball matches as the official minor-league team of the New York Knicks in the NBA Development League. Head coach Gene Cross manages a roster of young and veteran talent that recently included overnight sensation Jeremy Lin. Buzzers announce the beginning of four quarters' worth of dazzling slam dunks, three-point shots, and Final Jeopardy lightning rounds as players hone their talents in preparation for upcoming games and potential rise to the NBA ranks.
Cheer on the first-place Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, the New York Yankees' Triple-A affiliate and mahjong partners, as they seek to trounce their in-state rivals, the Lehigh Valley Ironpigs. The Yankees get their run support from catcher Jesus Montero, currently batting .327, and incisive pitching from right-hander David Phelps—whose fastball has been known to punch small holes into the space-time continuum—helping him maintain a miniscule 3.19 ERA through 42 innings pitched. Ballgame attendees wash down their hot dog with a 22-ounce Pepsi product (a $6 value) while sporting a new, limited-edition SWBY Yankees T-shirt (an $11 value) and cap (an $18 value) with which to catch foul balls or small meteors from 300-level seats (a $10 value). Stick around after the last out has been recorded for a dazzling postgame display of fireworks.
Since 1913, the Erie Philharmonic has been on a melody-driven mission to enrich its surrounding communities with live concerts and stirring performances. Tchaikovsky's symphony begins by spotlighting one of America's most successful composers, Christopher Theofanidis, as he conducts "Rainbow Body," an evocative movement inspired by medieval mystic Hildegard of Bingen and her propensity to lead chants at high-school football games. Next, guitarist Ana Vidovic continues her drag race to the top of the classical genre by cramming the swaying, syncopated rhythms of a Spanish concerto into open ears. Pathétique closes the evening with a spirited rendition of Tchaikovsky's final symphonic piece. Fueled by the juxtaposition of varying emotions, Pathétique tows listeners to the top of triumphant crests, only to yank them back into the darkened valleys of personal upheaval and frustration over uncertain weather forecasts.