For three days in June, the Ohio Celtic Fest transports Midwesterners to the Emerald Isle with authentic music, dance, and merriment. Intended for Irish-Americans and non-Irish alike, the festival cultivates a connection with the old country through multiple performance stages filled with Irish musicians from the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Merchants offer an array of Celtic-themed gifts, jewelry, and embroidered goods, and a children’s area offers entertainment for the little ones, which can include puppet and magic shows, and a petting zoo.
Summertime breezes wander from the shores of Lake Erie to whistle through clinking glasses at the Lake Erie Winefest, where casual and seasoned sippers alike gather annually to discuss, learn about, and taste-test different wines from regional winemakers. Throughout the weekend, participating wineries showcase products to festival attendees, who can take their grape-fueled zest to the next level by absorbing viticulture lectures or promising to name their next child after a favorite sample. Food and wine demonstrations dish out tips for palatable pairing, and bands and craft stands amplify festive airs with live tunes and wine-related wares.
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 2011 Rock the Resort festival chutes fans through a two-day tunetopia of live rock 'n' roll paired with the watery fun of Clay's Park Resort and its adventure water park. Like Woodstock with even zippier ziplines, Rock the Resort offers a panoply of summertime activities complemented by ear-watering evening performances from an octet of popular artists. Headlining Friday night's jamboree, pop-punk pioneers New Found Glory break the waves at 8 p.m., followed at 10 p.m. by Third Eye Blind, the hit paraders behind "Semi-Charmed Life" and "Jumper." Saturday night marinates eardrums in even more dulcet notes, with Canadian bandoliers Three Days Grace polishing off the festival at 10 p.m. with a set of sandcastle-shaking shanties ready to be savored like fine wine from a scrimshaw flagon.
To keep the spirit of its musical roots ever near, House of Blues Houston keeps a metal box of mud from the Delta Mississippi beneath its stage and proudly displays the traditional crazy quilt. As the only venue in the revered chain to be built vertically rather than free floating, House of Blues Houston stands as a pillar of entertainment in the Houston Pavilions complex. The hot spot’s Bronze Peacock Room commemorates Houston's rich history and the blues clubs where Lightnin' Hopkins and Big Mama Thornton held sway, and features an enormous hand-painted mural depicting other local legends such as Albert Collins and Johnny "Guitar" Watson.
Run or Dye is making race running a little more colorful, one major city at a time. This 5K is divided up into four separate courses of varying lengths, each designated by a separate color??which also reflects the color of safe, eco-friendly powered dye the participants get splashed with. At the end of the race, they'll cross into the aptly-named Dye Zone?a polychromatic free-for-all, where fluorescent color is thrown freely from all sides, allowing runners to splash their fellow runners or get colorful revenge on their friends, family members, and any cranky art-history teachers that happen to be walking by.
Unlike some races that rank runners by time, Run or Dye only measures success in color and fun. While the safe-to-eat dyes should wash out of clothing, runners are encouraged to wear things they don't mind getting dirty, preferably in white, gray, or another neutral color to give the dyes maximum visibility.