Why? Weekends!

What a beautiful weekend in CLE! Here’s what we were up to:

Lola Bistro

On Friday night, Mom and I met up for dinner at Lola Bistro. It was the perfect night to sit outside and take in the great weather and the game night crowds on East 4th Street.

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Lola Bistro is in the process of unveiling a new menu. Our server told us Chef Symon was recently in town to help develop the new dishes. For our appetizers, we selected one new dish and one classic one.

The Beef Cheek Pierogi, with mushrooms and horseradish crème fraiche, is still on the menu and is so delicious!

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We also enjoyed the seasonally-perfect Tomato Salad, with fresh and pickled tomato, peaches, almonds, dill, and farm cheese.

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Mom had the Strip Steak, with stilton au poivre, frisee, pickled shallots, and chives. The steak was perfectly done, simple, and delicious.

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I had the Duck and Foie Gras Meatloaf, with celery root puree. The slices of meatloaf were thin, almost like terrine, and the flavor was smoky and rich, with just the right amount of foie gras.

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For dessert, I couldn’t pass up the 6am Special, another item I’m so glad stayed on the menu. This decadent dessert has brioche French toast, maple-bacon ice cream, and roasted apple.

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Mom had the My Dad’s Favorite Cake, with lemon cake, strawberry buttercream, lemon curd, raspberry jam, and vanilla bean ice cream. I love the combination of berries and lemon!

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It was a fantastic dinner! The new menu at Lola Bistro is definitely worth a visit or two!

House of Blues Foundation Room

Then we headed down the street to the Foundation Room at House of Blues Cleveland.

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The Foundation Room is a membership-based space at House of Blues, with a great menu of cocktails and food;

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a funky vibe, with lots of cozy spaces;

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and a gorgeous new flower wall from CLE Flower Walls on the patio overlooking East 4th Street.

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Foundation Room membership benefits range from food and beverage discounts to exclusive presale access to backstage tours. Click here to learn more about the various membership levels and elevate your House of Blues experience.

***I was invited to a complimentary event at the Foundation Room, with cocktails, food, discounted parking, and a swag bag. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Cleveland Garlic Festival

On Saturday, Jeffrey and I had a stinkin’ good time at the Cleveland Garlic Festival.

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This annual event is a fundraiser for North Union Farmers Market and supports not only the markets around town, but also their Access Programs, Mighty Locavores, and more.

I had the cool opportunity to be a judge for the beef competition of the Top Chef Garlic Grill-Off. Chefs from Nomad Culinary, CLE Kraut, and EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute presented their beef and garlic creations.

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I was blown away by the creativity, plating, and downright deliciousness of all the food!

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Congratulations to Nomad Culinary, who won the competition. It was a tough choice picking a favorite, for sure!

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We also checked out all the varieties of garlic for sale, the live entertainment, and the kids area! There is so much to do at the Cleveland Garlic Festival! This is definitely an annual tradition for us.

***Disclosure: I was asked by North Union Farmers Market to help promote the Cleveland Garlic Festival and to judge the Top Chef Garlic Grill-Off. In exchange, I received four weekend passes to the Garlic Festival. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

We actually had a few other things this weekend, including another festival, stopping by Matthew’s regatta, and a baptism, so you get the picture…it was a busy weekend!

Since Jeffrey starts school this week, I’m glad we squeezed in so much fun! How was your weekend?

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Why? Allison Rose Foundation Rascal Flatts Giveaway!

When Michael and Rebecca Suhy lost their daughter, Allison, to a food allergy reaction in 2017, they turned their tragedy into purpose by founding the Allison Rose Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to changing the lives of food allergy families through education, awareness, research, and advocacy.

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I had the opportunity to attend the inaugural ARF Founder’s Event, which drew more than 600 people and raised over $100,000.

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It was a powerful evening seeing the community come together to support the Suhy family and help make the Allison Rose Foundation’s goals a reality.

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In the past year, the Allison Rose Foundation has had national reach and is now educating teens and young adults in high schools and colleges, as well as school staff, on food allergy severity, signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis and how to manage a food allergy emergency—especially as teens begin to transition to their own independence.

The Allison Rose Foundation has also granted a scholarship to an Independence High School senior who is starting her freshman year at Ohio University, begun work on changing legislation and created a video guide on how to set up and access the Medical ID on smartphones.

On Saturday, January 25, 2020, the Allison Rose Foundation will be holding its second annual fundraising event at the Embassy Suites in Independence: The Yellow Brick Road Celebration. You won’t want to miss this inspirational and fun evening. Stay tuned here for more details!

As a supporter of Allison Rose Foundation, I have the opportunity to give away two pavilion seats to the Rascal Flatts concert at Blossom Music Center on Friday, September 20! 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 Rascal Flatts song (mostly because I cannot decide which one I love the most).

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

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

4. Follow @allisonrosefdn 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 @rascalflatts tickets from @allisonrosefdn and @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2019/08/23/why-allison-rose-foundation-rascal-flatts-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, August 28 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the Allison Rose Foundation. In exchange, I will receive two tickets to the Rascal Flatts concert for myself and two tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? It’s Still Summer at Legacy Village!

While the stores are starting to stock pumpkin spice and Halloween decorations, there is still plenty of time to enjoy summer at Legacy Village.

Dine on a Patio

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to dine al fresco. Legacy Village has four great patio options surrounding their Lawn, where you can enjoy a meal outdoors, along with some people-watching and summer breezes.

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Stop in to Bar Louie, Brio Tuscan Grille, Wild Mango, or California Pizza Kitchen and snag a patio table to soak in the summery vibes of eating outside. Then pop over to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory to cool down with some ice cream.

Bonus if you can do this on a night when Legacy Live is happening, so you can enjoy the live music, too!

Outdoor Events

Legacy Village’s outdoor events are a great way to hang on to that summer feeling. Legacy Live, a free outdoor concert series, continues every Friday and Saturday evening through Saturday, August 31.

Food Truck Mondays continue through Monday, August 26 to give you a tasty, picnic-atmosphere lunch option.

Legacy Village

Yoga in the Village has two more events this summer to get your downdog on outdoors: tonight (Tuesday, August 20) and Tuesday, September 17.

And the North Union Farmers Market continues its outdoor market packed with seasonal deliciousness at Legacy Village every Sunday through Sunday, September 29.

The Generous Pour

If you have never experienced The Generous Pour at The Capital Grille, don’t let your summer end without giving it a try!

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The event includes unlimited pours of seven wines that you can add on to your meal at The Capital Grille. It’s a perfect way to toast to the end of a fabulous summer! You can enjoy The Generous Pour through Sunday, September 1.

Lilly Pulitzer

Lilly Pulitzer is the quintessential summer wardrobe, so stop by the store at Legacy Village to grab that perfect dress, romper, or accessories to end your summer in style!

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Get a Pedicure

Before you stash the flip-flops away, treat your feet to a pedicure at Anthony Vince Nail Salon, Ladies and Gentlemen Aveda Salon and Spa, or Sola Salon Studios.

No matter how you send out your summer, there are great ways to do it at Legacy Village!

***Disclosure: I have an ongoing relationship with Legacy Village, for which I receive compensation in the form of Legacy Village gift cards. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom!

We all know that The Cleveland Orchestra is a world-class orchestra. But seeing The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Music Center is also a world-class experience.

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On Sunday, Matthew and I attended a show with the Blossom Festival Orchestra and Brian Wilson, celebrating the iconic “Pet Sounds” album (as well as lots of Beach Boys classics). This was so exciting for me, since my first concert was seeing The Beach Boys at Blossom.

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But before the music even starts, there are new features at Blossom that make an evening there with The Cleveland Orchestra even more spectacular! The newly-opened Tasting Room offers wine, beer, and desserts to enjoy in the Tasting Room or take with you to your seats in a handy, yours-to-keep carafe.

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At all The Cleveland Orchestra concerts, the featured wines in the Tasting Room are themed on what the orchestra is playing. So, at Sunday’s show with Brian Wilson, the wines were from California.

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You can also order boxed lunches or picnic baskets from the Tasting Room to enjoy on the lawn or in one of the cute new seating areas.

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Beyond The Tasting Room, the Blossom Grill offers full-service, sit-down dining or you can enjoy one of the many food truck vendors lining the lawn.

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Matthew and I grabbed dinner from The Shuckin’ Shack. The BBQ pulled chicken was delicious, as was the garlic parmesan roasted corn.

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If you’re a season subscriber to The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom, you get exclusive access to Kulas Plaza, which includes a bar, food vendors, seating, restrooms, and easy access to the pavilion.

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We also got a glimpse of all the backstage action. The backstage set-up at Blossom is truly impressive and massive, with practice rooms, dressing rooms, catering services, and everything to keep shows from The Cleveland Orchestra to rock ‘n roll up and running.

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Then it was time for the show! It was such a cool throwback for me to see Brian Wilson and hear music that I enjoyed at my first concert ever. The Blossom Festival Orchestra added such great depth to the music too.

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From taking us through the entire “Pet Sounds” album to an encore dance party of Beach Boys favorites, it was a wonderful night!

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The Cleveland Orchestra has three more concerts left at Blossom this season: Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances on Saturday, August 17; South Pacific in Concert on Saturday, August 24 (a collaboration with the Baldwin Wallace Music Theatre Program); and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back on Friday, August 30 through Sunday, September 1.

Of course, you can also catch The Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall. Learn more about the 2019-2020 series here.

For a magical night of music, food, and fun, don’t miss your chance to see The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Music Center!

***Disclosure: I was invited by The Cleveland Orchestra to attend a show at Blossom Music Center. I received two complimentary tickets to the show, a parking pass, and drink vouchers. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Legacy Village Meet the Machines!

On Sunday, August 11 from 12pm-4pm, Legacy Village will host a monster-sized touch-a-truck event that will allow children and their families to get hands on with safety vehicles, school buses, construction equipment, service vehicles, and more.

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Meet the Machines is fun for the whole family! There will be vehicles from the City of Lyndhurst Police Department, Fire Department, and Service Department; the Cleveland Police Museum; the Cleveland Cavaliers; the Cleveland Monsters; W.B. Mason; and more.

Aside from all the vehicles to see and touch, Meet the Machines will also feature live entertainment, giveaways, crafts, and safety information. This event is free and is made possible with support from Hawken School, the City of Lyndhurst, iHeart Media, and Northeast Ohio Parent Magazine.

 

Fuel up and head on out to Meet the Machines at Legacy Village!

***Disclosure: I have an ongoing relationship with Legacy Village to promote their events. In exchange, I will receive compensation in the form of Legacy Village gift cards. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Twilight at the Zoo!

Friday night brought one of the wildest parties of the summer to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo: Twilight at the Zoo, a fundraiser for the Cleveland Zoological Society.

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We started out in the VIP area. Twilight at the Zoo is an event where the VIP upgrade is really worth it: you get reserved parking, more food options, and a full bar, as well as some additional bands to hear.

We noshed on nibbles from Bonefish Grill, Carabba’s Italian Grill, Cleveland Kraut, Graeter’s Ice Cream, and Aramark.

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And the Cleveland Whiskey bourbon lemonade was the perfect summer sipper.

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Then we headed to the main event to hear some of the best bands in Cleveland. We always love Billy Likes Soda

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…and Faction, both of whom keep the crowd singing and dancing all night.

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Plus, we got to check out the Asian Lantern Festival, which was all lit up for the party-goers.

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If you want to have a wild time at the Zoo yourself, you can grab tickets this morning for another great Cleveland Zoological Society fundraiser: Date Night at the ZOOvies. The event takes place on Friday, September 6 and includes complimentary beer, wine, and appetizers, along with a showing of “The Goonies” in the Zoo’s Savanna Theater (with movie snacks to enjoy during the film).

Tickets are $90 for a couple or $55 for an individual. This event always sells out quickly, so grab your tickets ASAP! They go on sale today (Monday, August 5) at 9am!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Zoological Society to help promote Twilight at the Zoo and Date Night at the ZOOvies. In exchange, I received four complimentary VIP tickets to Twilight at the Zoo and two complimentary tickets to Date Night at the ZOOvies. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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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!

jenclesig_pur

Why? Music Box Tiki Tuesdays!

It’s summertime and there’s no better place to be than on a patio enjoying a cool beverage. Music Box Supper Club wants you to do just that, at a great deal!

Today and every Tuesday this summer, head to Music Box from 4-8pm for Riverfront Tiki Tuesdays. First, you’ll get amazing waterfront views of the bustling Cuyahoga River…

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…and the Cleveland skyline.

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You’ll also enjoy awesome deals on food and beverage. Tiki Tuesdays offers $6 drinks, including piña coladas, margaritas, mai tais, and select Great Lakes Brewing Co. beers.

When we went last week, I enjoyed a refreshing Zombie, with light and dark rum, fruit juice, cinnamon-infused simple syrup, and bitters. My mom had the piña colada, which was light and delicious, without that think, milkshake texture.

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It’s easy to remember how much things cost on Tiki Tuesday, because all the food is also $6. You can choose from a cheeseburger, veggie burger, or kielbasa, all served with fries, or the Pu Pu platter, with meatballs, wings, and ribs.

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The burgers were juicy and the toasted brioche buns were a win in my book. And the Pu Pu platter offered a nice variety of sauces and flavors.

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To add to the fun, you can relax to the steel drum sounds of a Caribbean playlist. And Tiki Tuesdays are pup-friendly too, so you can make it a “yappy hour” deal.

Fun drinks, tasty food, great views, and awesome prices…don’t miss Tiki Tuesdays happening today and every Tuesday this summer at Music Box Supper Club!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Music Box Supper Club to help promote Tiki Tuesdays. In exchange, I received complimentary food and drinks. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

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.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Play Ball Park Giveaway!

The MLB All Star Game is coming to Cleveland this July. This event shifts the national spotlight to Cleveland and brings with it not only visitors and media, but some fun events for Clevelanders to enjoy.

One of these events is Play Ball Park, an interactive fan festival taking place inside and outside the Huntington Convention Center from July 5-9. This festival brings unique baseball experiences to Cleveland to delight fans of all ages.

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Play Ball Park offers free outdoor events including batting cages, pitching drills, meeting rising stars and former All Stars, and live music.

Indoor events at Play Ball Park are ticketed and include virtual reality and video game experiences, memorabilia from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, autograph stages, the World’s Largest Baseball, and more.

Tickets for Play Ball Park are $25 for adults and $18 for and children ages 2-12. You can purchase tickets online now. Or you can enter to win four tickets good for Friday, July 5 of Play Ball Park right here, courtesy of Destination Cleveland!

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 letting me know your favorite current or former All Star player.

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

3. Hop on over to @whycle on Instagram and follow the instructions with the PLay Ball Park picture.

4. Follow @TheCLE 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 attend Play Ball Bark thanks to @TheCLE and @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2019/06/19/why-play-ball-park-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 Sunday, June 23 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Destination Cleveland to help promote Play Ball Park. In exchange, I will receive 4 complimentary tickets for myself and 4 tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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