For the fourth race on its 2012 tour, the American Drag Racing League returns to Gateway Motorsports Park's 1/8-mile drag strip for the first time since 2010. Piloting dragsters separated into seven all-professional racing classes, from Top Sportsman to Pro Extreme, drivers rocket down the track so quickly that they finish each race younger than when they began. The SuperCar Showdown—a new feature on the 2012 circuit—pits the latest consumer automobiles against one another in no-holds-barred drag race free from the usual handicaps, performance restrictions, and rules against fiddling with rival drivers' preset radio stations. After reopening under the helm of former Indy driver Curtis Francois, Gateway Motorsports Park has stepped up its devotion to motorsports of all kinds, looking beyond the drag strip to fill its amphitheater-style seats with fans of everything from hot rods to world-class stock cars.
When it first opened its doors in 1949, The Huron Playhouse saw its first performance in the form of John Loves Mary, a wartime comedy. In the prevailing years, the venue and its company have run productions of across all genres, from Shakespearean tales to children's theatre. The company puts on five shows a year, filling the space with musicals, dramas, and migratory box fans within the space of an eight-week summer season.
Field of Dreams Drive-In Theater offers communal, car-friendly film gazing as well as prefeature entertainment. At the Liberty Center location, around 250 vehicles sidle up next to each other to take in double features rain or shine, and the newly renovated Tiffin location can accommodate up to 500 sedans, stretch station wagons, and highway-ready riding lawnmowers. The flickering glow of Hollywood blockbusters joins forces with the twinkling stars overhead to illuminate clear, cloudless nights, helping to direct hungry movie goers to and from the full-service concession stand, and light the way for made-to-order pizzas delivered straight to each car’s drivers side door.
In addition to its first-run films, Field of Dreams features free, family-friendly games including corn hole toss, ladder golf, and putt-putt golf. Four-legged family members can also watch from the safety of a leash or their very own car seat, and portable coolers and grills are permitted on the grounds with the purchase of a $4 outside-food permit.
• For $9, you get one mezzanine ticket to The Fairy Forest on Saturday, August 20 at 2 p.m. (up to an $18 value). • For $11, you get one orchestra ticket to the "Season Encore Performance" on Saturday, August 20 at 7:30 p.m. (up to a $22 value).
An old-fashioned pair of comedy and tragedy masks greet drivers pulling up to the marquee of Aut-O-Rama Drive-In. The vintage aesthetic is fitting for an establishment that’s been in business since 1965 and is now in its third generation of being operated by the Sherman family. Although the cinematic lot prides itself on being the first in the area to offer AM-radio sound, today, Dolby FM stereo bathes cars in field-filling acoustics as audiences take in a library of contemporary flicks. From the start of April to the end of September, first-run and well-worn films alike await vehicular cinephiles, who can munch on burgers, subs, and pizza, along with desserts such as ice cream and funnel cake. A food permit grants guests the privilege of toting their own snacks or gnawing on their own steering wheels.