Why? Tours of Cleveland!

Even when you think you know a place, there are always stories you haven’t heard before. This week, I had a chance to hear some new Cleveland stories as I went on a walking tour with Tours of Cleveland.

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I took the Cleveland From the Inside Walking Tour, which takes you around to several Cleveland landmarks to explore the interiors of those buildings.

Scott, our tour guide, was both personable and knowledgeable, with a ton of great facts and anecdotes at his fingertips. As a former college tour guide, I was also impressed with his ability to walk backward while talking to the group without falling over!

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While I don’t want to give away what you’d see and hear on the tour, I will highlight the places we went…

We started at the Old Stone Church, which I had never been inside before.

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Next was the Society for Savings building, which has some fascinating murals with a message.

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Then we explored the impressive lobby of the Federal Reserve Bank. It was neat to hear stories of the security measures installed with the original building in 1923.

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Our next stop was the Cleveland Public Library, which is celebrating its 150th year.

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If you haven’t been up to the third floor of the library, there is an amazing collection of chess sets, miniature books, and more that is worth a look.

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Then we meandered through the Arcade, the country’s first indoor shopping mall.

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We stopped in the Cleveland Trust building, which now houses the downtown Heinen’s.

And the tour ended at Playhouse Square, with stops in the Ohio Theatre and Connor Palace Theatre lobbies, as well as the house of the KeyBank State Theatre.

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It was fun to step inside buildings that sometimes I just walk past and also to hear more of the history of the art and architecture of the buildings. Cleveland has a rich and storied past and Scott did a wonderful job bringing that to life.

Tours of Cleveland offers two different public walking tours: Downtown Highlights and Cleveland From the Inside. Both tours are approximately two hours long and cost $22 per person. You can also book Tours of Cleveland for corporate or private groups. Click here to book a public or private tour and learn more about our amazing city!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Tours of Cleveland to help promote their walking tours. In exchange, I received a complimentary tour admission. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Weekends!

Other than stuffing ourselves at B Spot Burgers, there was more fun to be had this weekend. Here’s what we were up to…

Cleveland Public Library Street Fair

On Friday, Jeffrey and I attended a Media Preview for the Cleveland Public Library‘s Street Fair, celebrating the library’s 150th anniversary.

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The Reading Garden was filled with artwork, puppeteers, and Glen Infante creating a mural.

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We also got to meet Eric Litwin, author of “Pete the Cat.” Jeffrey loves that book, so it was fun for him to get to chat with the author!

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The Cleveland Public Library’s Street Fair really brought the community together to celebrate such a vital part of our history and culture. Here’s to another 150 years!

Date Night

On Saturday night, Matthew and I had a date night. We started with dinner at Burntwood Tavern. I enjoyed the lobster ravioli and Matthew had the mahi mahi special.

Both were delicious!

Then we were off to see “Come From Away” at Playhouse Square. The last show of this season’s KeyBank Broadway Series was funny, heartwarming, sad, and thought-provoking.

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It not only took the audience back to their own memories of September 11 and the days following, but also made us examine how we welcome each other as members of the human family.

When we arrived at the theater for the show, the man ahead of us in the Will Call line had two extra floor seats that he generously gave us. It was so unexpected and the perfect way to start a show about the kindness of strangers!

***Disclosure: I have a partnership with Burntwood Tavern and received a Burntwood Tavern gift card. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Cedar Point Shores

On Sunday, we went to Cedar Point Shores for a day of splashing and swimming.

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It was the perfect summer day to be at a water park!

On the way home, we stopped at Krieg’s Farm Market and Custard for some frozen custard.

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Krieg’s offers weekly seasonal frozen custard specials. I had the red raspberry and chocolate swirl and it was delicious! It’s a bit off the beaten path, but worth a visit!

So, that was our weekend? How was yours?

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Why? Ohio State Fair Giveaway!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend the Ohio State Fair. In exchange, I received complimentary tickets, a parking pass, food vouchers, and compensation. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Hello from Columbus! We spent the night in the 614 after a fun-filled day yesterday at the Ohio State Fair. The Fair opened yesterday and continues through August 4. And while there are tons of fairs and festivals in the summer, there are lots of things that make the Ohio State Fair unique and worth the drive!

The Butter Sculptures

OK, seriously, these are some crazy works of art, all made out of butter. Also, if you’re a West Wing fan, you can do the entire “butter cow” bit.

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This year’s theme celebrates the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, with butter astronauts and more.

In the same building, you can also snag some of the special Moon Landing Ice Cream: orange ice cream with a marshmallow swirl and brownie chunks.

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Which leads me to…

The Food

Sure, there are all your standard fair food options: deep-fried this and that, corn on a stick, etc.

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But there’s also the Taste of Ohio Cafe, with Ohio chicken, pork, and beef farmers serving up delicious eats.

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The pork tenderloin sandwich is my absolute favorite. It’s tender, juicy, and doesn’t need any sauces or extra seasonings to make it mouth-watering.

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In the Taste of Ohio Cafe, you can also find Ohio wines and craft beers.

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Just outside the Taste of Ohio Cafe, grab a buckeye funnel cake from KG Concessions.

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This Ohio-shaped fried marvel is topped with powdered sugar, peanut butter, and chocolate.

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So decadent!

The Rides

The sheer volume and variety of rides at the Ohio State Fair is enough to keep everyone happy, from the smallest to the most adventurous.

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The all-day ride wristband is a great deal and will let you explore all the rides as much as you want.

The Entertainment

From acrobatics and stage entertainers

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…to a daily parade…

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…to a slew of big-name concerts and smaller musical acts, there’s always something to see and hear at the Ohio State Fair!

The Animals

Cows! Sheep! Horses! Pigs! Row after row of critters, winning prizes, being shown, and just hanging out in their farm-animal cuteness.

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One of the big reasons we love the Ohio State Fair is that it brings together city and country so well. You can see the pride that generations take in their livestock and honestly learn more about farming, raising animals, alternative fuels, and sustainability.

So, have I convinced you yet to hop in the car and cruise down 71 South to visit the Ohio State Fair? (Hey, you can always stop at Grandpa’s Cheesebarn on the way!)

The Ohio State Fair is open daily through Sunday, August 4. Tickets are $10 for adults ages 13-59, $8 for seniors 60+, $8 for children ages 6-12, and free for children 5 and under.

You can enter to win a four-pack of tickets to the Ohio State Fair right here! Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, three, four, or all five entries, just leave a separate comment for each entry):

1. Leave a comment here telling me which part of the Ohio State Fair you’re most excited to experience.

2. Visit Ohio State Fair and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

3. Follow @ohiostatefair and @whycle on Instagram and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

4. Follow @OhioStateFair and @WhyCLE on Twitter and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

5. Tweet the following phrase and leave a comment here letting me know you tweeted:

I want to win @OhioStateFair tickets from @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2019/07/25/why-ohio-state-fair-giveaway-2/

You can tweet once per day for additional entries, just leave a separate comment here each time you tweet.

The giveaway will close on Sunday, July 28 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

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Why? Si Jolie: French Fashion in Cleveland!

A new exhibit is opening this Tuesday, July 16 at the Cleveland History Center of the Western Reserve Historical Society.

Si Jolie: French Fashion in Cleveland celebrates the influence of French designers on Clevelanders, both from their visits to Paris and from local stores and boutiques carrying French fashion.

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The exhibit begins in the 1880’s, with Clevelander Helen Cowles, who often traveled to Paris. Her Louis Vuitton trunk stands open to be packed with all the garments necessary for a fashionable trip.

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The exhibit travels through time from flapper styles in the 1920’s that women would wear to Playhouse Square which was coming into its first heyday…

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…to changing silhouettes in the 1950’s…

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…to modern-day haute couture.

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From Dior to Hermès to lesser-known designers…

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…and from boutiques such as Quinn-Maahs to Higbee’s…

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…Si Jolie explores the relationship between Clevelanders and the most romantic city on earth, as told through their clothing.

Si Jolie: French Fashion in Cleveland opens to the public on Tuesday, July 16 and makes the Cleveland History Center an even more “ooh la la” destination.

***Disclosure: I received a media preview tour of Si Jolie: French Fashion in Cleveland. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Cleveland Tall Ships Festival!

This weekend, you have a chance to step back in time and explore Cleveland’s maritime history at the Cleveland Tall Ships Festival. This is the first time the Tall Ships have been in Cleveland since 2013.

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I had the unique opportunity to be aboard the Denis Sullivan during the Parade of Sail, which kicked off the Tall Ships Festival yesterday.

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The Denis Sullivan is a replica of a Great Lakes schooner and operates as a floating classroom and goodwill ambassador for the state of Wisconsin.

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The Parade of Sail featured boats from Canada, the United States, and New Zealand, some of which were crewed by children as young as 13! It was quite an impressive display!

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After the Parade of Sail, I attended the Captain’s Reception and Opening Ceremony, with music from Opus 216, food, and drink.

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What an amazing way to kick off the Tall Ships Festival!

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Through Sunday, July 14, you can explore the festival and fleet for yourself. There will be public boarding of the ships, exhibits, live music, rock climbing, performances from the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Asian Lantern Festival, and much more fun for the whole family.

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Tickets are available at Marc’s Stores and online. General admission is $13.95 and a family four-pack is $49.95. Come aboard the Tall Ships for an amazing way to experience Cleveland history!

***Disclosure: I was invited by the Downtown Cleveland Alliance to attend the Parade of Sail and Captain’s Reception. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? DANCECleveland BalletX Giveaway!

DANCECleveland is going all out for the 2019 National Dance Day on Saturday, July 27, with an ADF in CLE Summer Dance Festival that includes free community dance classes, a Take a Hike Tour, and Community Dance Day around the Playhouse Square district. Classes are for all ages and abilities and free, although registration is encouraged.

DANCECleveland’s celebration of National Dance Day will conclude with the dance company that is the darling of the Vail International Dance Festival and their own hometown of Philadelphia: BalletX.

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BalletX will make their Cleveland debut in an evening of works by some of the most exciting choreographers creating work today. Founded in 2005, the company has been applauded for their athleticism, emotion, and grace while challenging the boundaries of classical ballet. Having toured to prestigious venues around the world, it is so exciting to welcome them to Cleveland.

The performance will take place at 7:30pm on Saturday, July 27 in the Ohio Theatre. There is a pre-performance chat in the theatre that begins 45 minutes before the show.

BalletX Tickets range from $20-$45 and can be purchased online. Or you can enter to win two tickets to BalletX right here!

Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, three, four, or all five entries, just leave a separate comment here for each):

1.Leave a comment here telling me your favorite style of dance.

2. Visit DanceCleveland and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

3. Follow @dancecleveland and @whycle on Instagram and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

4. Follow @DANCECleveland and @WhyCLE on Twitter and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

5. Tweet the following phrase and leave a comment here letting me know you tweeted:

I want to celebrate National Dance Day with @DANCECleveland thanks to @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2019/07/05/why-dancecleveland-balletx-giveaway 

You can tweet once per day for additional entries, just leave a separate comment here each time you tweet.

The giveaway will close on Wednesday, July 10 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by DANCECleveland to help promote the BalletX performance. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary tickets for myself and two tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Tri-C Jazz Fest!

Last night, the 40th anniversary year of Tri-C Jazz Fest kicked off at Playhouse Square in swinging, soulful style.

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Tower of Power opened the festival with a funky, raucous performance that brought the audience to their feet several times.

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With a fantastic horn section and an easy-on-the-eyes lead singer who also is insanely talented, this concert certainly set the stage for a weekend of “le jazz hot.”

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After the concert, we popped over to the VIP after party, with sips and nibbles and more live music.

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That’s the theme of the weekend for Jazz Fest: anywhere you go in the Playhouse Square District, you’ll hear live music. From free outdoor performances on Friday and Saturday to ticketed concerts in the theaters to kids activities to cooking demos to local food and craft vendors, you can spend two full days enjoying a fully immersive cultural experience.

For me, Tri-C Jazz Fest is one of those annual events that really illustrates the breadth and depth of Cleveland’s cultural might. The festival commands performances from jazz legends and brings all walks of life together to celebrate what is called “the original American art form.”

For a swinging good time, head to Tri-C Jazz Fest this weekend!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Tri-C Jazz Fest. In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets to the concert of my choice, as well as access to the VIP After Party. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Moon Cleveland!

You’ve probably read Douglas Trattner‘s writing over the years, from Cleveland Scene Magazine to co-authoring four of Michael Symon’s cookbooks to Eater to Food Network Magazine.

This prolific local author has just written a new Cleveland guidebook: “Moon Cleveland.” The guidebook is easily broken down into sections that will help both locals and visitors find their perfect Cleveland experiences.

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Start with the “5 Top Experiences,” for the must-do, top-level Cleveland things, like food, sports, and beer.

Visiting (or entertaining visitors) for a weekend? The “Three-Day Best of Cleveland” will have you hopping all over town hitting some impressive highlights that will certainly leave your guests wanting to come back again and again.

Just moved to Cleveland or to a new location in your hometown? The Neighborhood Guide can help you find the best spots in your new locale.

From Sights to Restaurants, Nightlife to Recreation, “Moon Cleveland” covers it all, with digestible, but still informative descriptions, prices, hours, websites, and maps.

Love Cleveland, but want a quick trip away? The “Day Trips” section shares Trattner’s favorites from Amish Country to the Lake Erie Islands.

I like to say that Cleveland has so much to see, do, eat, and explore that it can be impossible to keep up with it all. But Douglas Trattner certainly does an impressive job in “Moon Cleveland.” The book can help you ease into learning about Cleveland or give even a seasoned local some great suggestions of new places to try.

“Moon Cleveland” is on sale now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Google Play, Kobo, and Ebooks.com. Click here to order your copy and start (re)-exploring Cleveland!

***Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of “Moon Cleveland” from the author. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

 

Why? Dancing Wheels!

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend a rehearsal as the Dancing Wheels company prepares for “Reverse*Reboot*Reveal” on Friday, June 14 at the Allen Theatre at Playhouse Square.

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Dancing Wheels is the nation’s first and foremost physically integrated dance company that pairs disabled dancers with non-disabled dancers.

“Reverse*Reboot*Reveal” will feature four world premiere pieces by internationally-acclaimed disabled choreographers. I got a glimpse at these pieces at the rehearsal and was amazed by the beauty, grace, and haunting emotion of the company’s performances.

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Dancing Wheels also provides in-studio classes, K-12 in-classroom education, and a summer Youth Arts Camp, so the organization is truly in the community creating greater understanding and acceptance of those with disabilities and fostering integrated partnerships with the non-disabled.

Dancing Wheels’s founder, Mary Verdi-Fletcher, is world-renowned as a wheelchair dancer and has a passion not only for the art form, but for the organization she founded in 1980.

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Attending “Reverse*Reboot*Reveal” will not only provide an evening of entertainment, but will support the Dancing Wheels mission and programming.

Tickets are $40 for general admission, which includes the performance and after party. VIP tickets are $125 and include a Gala Celebration with pre-performance hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, silent auction, prime seating for the concert, and meet & greet dessert and champagne after party.

Join Dancing Wheels for an inspirational night of dance on Friday, June 14!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Dancing Wheels to help promote Reverse*Reboot*Reveal. In exchange, I will receive compensation for this post. I declined two tickets to the show due to scheduling conflicts. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Engage Cleveland Young Professionals Week!

Cleveland is a great town for young professionals, with lots of organizations and activities to take advantage of. Engage Cleveland is a community organization that brings together young professionals and leaders, all of whom are passionate about making Cleveland a lasting home for the next generation.

Engage Cleveland is hosting it’s 6th annual Cleveland Young Professionals Week from June 22-29.

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The week will feature morning, afternoon, and evening events ranging from fitness to networking/mentorship to socializing. You’ll have the chance to get inside looks at Cleveland businesses, meet community leaders, and connect with other young professionals.

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Photo Credit: Kamron Khan Photography

Highlights of the week include Rooftop Yoga at Tremont Athletic Club, Fat Head’s Tasting and Tour, Community Service at the Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank, Beat Box at GrooveRyde, Speed Networking, Lunch with Leaders, Campbell’s Sweets Factory Tour, an address on the State of the YP Community, and much more.

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Photo Credit: Maria Sharp Photography 

You can see the complete list of events and register for as many as suit your schedule and interests here. Engage Cleveland Young Professionals Week is a wonderful chance to experience the Cleveland community in volunteering, fitness, professionalism, and friendship.

***Disclosure: I was asked by Engage Cleveland to help promote Cleveland Young Professionals Week. In exchange, I will receive complimentary admission to two events of my choice. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***