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Born to be Plaid 

Get yourself kilt at the Ohio Scottish Games

Playing Braveheart can get tricky. Swords are dangerous, bagpipes are tough to master, and not everyone can rock a kilt. But you can thrust yourself into the Scotland of yore at the 33rd Ohio Scottish Games, where competitions range from caber and sheaf tossing to hammer throwing and bagpipe showdowns. There'll also be Highland-dancing competitions, Scottish music galore — even sheepherding demonstrations. And merchants will sell authentic items like wool sweaters and meat pies (prepared separately, we trust). You can also swing through the Clan Village's genealogy booth to see if you're really descended from the Highlands. Best of all, kilts are optional. Action starts at 10 a.m. Thursday with a golf outing, 5 p.m. Friday (with dinner and concert), and 8 a.m. on Saturday (for the actual games) at the Lorain County Fairgrounds (23000 Fairgrounds Rd., Wellington, 440-835-9794, ohioscottishgames.com). Tickets are $13 advance, $15 at the gate, $2 for kids ages 6-12, and free for the wee ones. Nick Baker

Wednesday, June 23

Car Night at the Boneyard

Our favorite part of summer is showing off our souped-up minivan. Actually, that isn't our favorite part, because we always get laughed at. But if you have a pretty cool set of wheels, a warm summer night is the perfect time to take 'em out for a spin. And every Wednesday during the summer you can swing by the Boneyard's Car Night and park alongside dozens of other hot rods in search of boasting rights. Hosted by the Boneyard Girls, the events also include prizes, drink specials, and the shiniest rims in Northeast Ohio. Car Night starts at 6 p.m. at the Boneyard, 5900 Mayfield Rd., Mayfield Hts. It's free. Call 440-995-0500 or visit boneyardusa.com for more information. — Jordan Zirm

Man v. Melt

On February 27, Man v. Food star Adam Richman tried to conquer a ginormous sandwich at Melt Bar & Grilled, the extremely popular grilled-cheese restaurant in Lakewood (which recently opened a second spot in Cleveland Heights). The episode is finally airing on the Travel Channel tonight, and both Melt locations are throwing viewing parties. If eating the tastiest sandwich in town and watching our city on national TV isn't enough for you, there'll be $1 off all beers to sweeten the deal. The show airs at 9 p.m. at Melt — 14718 Detroit Ave. in Lakewood (216-226-3699), 13463 Cedar Rd. in Cleveland Hts. (216-965-0988). Admission is free. Visit meltbarandgrilled.com for more information. — Zirm

Ruben Studdard

American Idol season two winner and human teddy bear Ruben Studdard will appear at John Hay High School today to talk about the importance of education. He'll also discuss how we can support our youth so that one day, someone other than Ryan Seacrest can host American Idol. Studdard will also show off his booming vocal cords. It all starts at 6:30 p.m. at John Hay High School, 2075 Stokes Blvd. Admission is free. Visit opendoorsacademy.com to register. — Zirm

Thursday, June 24

Brian Posehn

Brian Posehn doesn't mess around. When the towering, burly comic-actor wears an Iron Maiden T-shirt, it's not an ironic gesture; it's a very real tribute to one of his favorite bands. And Posehn's comedy is as straightforward as his love of metal and Dungeons & Dragons. On stage, the 43-year-old Posehn riffs on what he knows: his marriage, pop culture, and headbanging bands. The Sarah Silverman Program co-star is at his best discussing his über-geek lifestyle. "Real nerds understand," he says. "My nerd rage is so real. I've gotten mad at people just because I had this pent-up anger from getting picked on. I work it out from the stage." Fortunately, Posehn doesn't work it out on the street anymore. "I fought this kid at the bus stop," he recalls. "We took our glasses off at the fight. At one point, the glasses fell. I was so mad. I stomped on these glasses that I thought were his, and they were mine. It served me right for going cheap and stomping on the glasses." Posehn performs at 8 tonight and at 7:30 and 10:15 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday at Hilarities (2035 E. 4th St., 216-241-7425, pickwickandfrolic.com). Tickets are $20 to $25. — Ed Condran

Friday, June 25

Boston Mills Artfest

The 39th Boston Mills Artfest has so much going on that it takes two separate weekends to get it all in. More than 300 artists will pack into the Cuyahoga Valley National Park ski resort to show off their work this weekend and then again the first week in July. There's also a hoity-toity beer and wine tasting tonight, complete with butler-served hors d'oeuvres and the Calypso Gypsies Steel Drum Band. On Saturday and Sunday, 160 artists will display and sell everything from paintings and metal pieces to glasswork and furniture. You'll also hear live music all weekend long. Tonight's shindig starts at 6 p.m. at Boston Mills Ski Resort (7100 Riverview Rd., Peninsula, 330-467-2242, bmbw.com). Tickets are $50. You can check out the art from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. tomorrow and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $6-$8; kids get in free. The second Artfest runs July 1 through 4 and features a completely different group of exhibiting artists. — Nick Baker

Cleveland Wine Festival

Top off the first week of summer by topping off a glass of wine at the fifth annual Cleveland Wine Festival. It has a new home this year at the Nautica Pavilion, but there's still more than 200 international, domestic, and local vinos for you to sip, spit, or swallow. There's plenty of food on tap from local bistros, who'll offer tastings and cooking demonstrations. Experts will also fill you in on Belgian beers. That'll certainly come in handy at the Belgian Beer Cafe, where a beer sommelier (basically, a dude who pairs food with drinks) will show you proper pouring technique and glassware use. Your ticket includes ten tastings and a souvenir glass, so even if you tend to forget things after these sorts of events, the memories will last each time you fill 'er up. The fest runs from 4 to 10 p.m. today and from 3 to 9 p.m. tomorrow at Nautica Pavilion (2014 Sycamore St., 877-772-5425, clevelandwinefestival.com). Tickets are $25 in advance, $35 at the gate. If you're a designated driver, you get in for $10. — Baker

Come to the River

The local baroque music ensemble Apollo's Fire occasionally performs a rootsier side of musical history, covering songs from American folk traditions — especially ones influenced by the British Isles. The group returns to early America today for Come to the River, a collection of tunes that paints a portrait of rural southern living via dance music and hymns. Apollo's leader, Jeannette Sorrell, has enlisted a few ringers for this outing, including singer and actors Abigail Lennox, Scott Mello, and Sandra Simon, baroque and folk flautist Kathie Stewart, and hammered dulcimer whiz Tina Bergmann. The ensemble makes its Cain Park (Superior and Lee roads in Cleveland Heights) debut with a family concert at 1 p.m. today, followed by a performance at 8 p.m. Tickets are $4 and $7 for the afternoon performance; $25 advance, $28 day of show for the evening concert. Call 216-371-3000 or visit apollosfire.org for more info. Michael Gill

Dive-In Movie!

Fill a huge-ass hole in the ground with water, add a movie screen, and wait until dark to let the kids loose. Wild? You bet. And as Max takes to the waves to discover a bevy of ferocious creatures in last year's big-screen adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are, you and your family can set sail in the Metroparks' Ledge Pool on inner tubes or just relax on the lawn and watch the movie. Bring your own food or buy something from the Ledge's café. Doors open at 8 p.m., with the movie starting around 8:45 at the Metroparks' Hinckley Reservation, 1151 Ledge Rd. in Hinckley. Call 330-239-2911 to reserve an inner tube (you're not allowed to bring your own flotation device). Admission is free. Visit clemetparks.com for more info. Erin O'Brien

Saturday, June 26

Cleveland Pride

Whether you're gay, straight, or something else, Cleveland's annual Pride festival is the place to be today. The celebration is always loud, proud, and colorful, with entertainment on multiple stages, dozens of booths representing everything from local churches to sex-toy vendors, food, and one of the most diverse crowds you'll find at any summer festival. It kicks off at noon with a parade. Find a viewing spot along the Lakeside Avenue route from West 3rd to East 9th Street, then follow the parade north on East 9th to Voinovich Park for the festivities. A main stage will feature acts ranging from the multimedia Angie Haze Project to local singer-songwriter Maura Rogers. Another stage will present an all-day lineup of DJs for dancing. Numerous drag performers, dance ensembles (like Kali's Fire), and burlesque groups (like the Rubber City Bombshells) will add their flash to the proceedings. The festival runs from 1 to 8 p.m. Admission is $10. Go to clevelandpride.org for more information. Pantsios

Dugway Brook Watershed Festival

Running nine miles through Cleveland Heights and East Cleveland — with small portions of it flowing through Shaker Heights, South Euclid, and Bratenahl — the Dugway Brook Watershed is a little-known piece of our city's history. If you're feeling somewhat clueless about this winding body of water, today's Dugway Brook Watershed Festival will fill you in. Join other curious Clevelanders on a tour of the brook around Lake View Cemetery, hearing about composting, rain barrels, and gardening along the way. There will also be raffles and T-shirts to go with all that environmentally conscious community stuff you'll learn about. It takes place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Forest Hills Park (at the corner of Lee Road and Forest Hills Boulevard in East Cleveland). Admission is free. Call 216-201-2001 or visit ccbh.net for more information. — Zirm

Mulberry Creek Herb Fair

Gardeners across the region cherish Mulberry Creek Herb Farm, a family-owned all-organic farm that boasts a staggering assortment of herbs and a rapidly expanding selection of vegetables to satisfy the growing horde of backyard and community gardeners in the area. While it's past the optimal planting season, you can still pick up something you'd never find at a local garden center. And there's no better time to do it than at this weekend's 13th annual Herb Fair. This year's theme is Japan and other Asian influences, which will be incorporated in much of the food, talks, and entertainment. Learn how to prepare sushi or cook with Asian mushrooms, tour the farm's bonsai and Japanese gardens, watch a martial-arts demonstration or a Japanese tea ceremony, and listen to the Icho Daiko drummers. There's always a barn full of local vendors who spill out onto the lawn, offering garden tools, jewelry, pottery, antiques, and more. It runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and noon to 5 p.m. tomorrow at Mulberry Creek Herb Farm (3312 Bogart Rd., Huron, 419-433-6126, mulberrycreek.com). Admission is $5; kids get in free. Best of all, your admission includes a free herb. Pantsios

Pet Party at the fairgrounds

The local nonprofit group PAX: Peace for Animals recently established a food pet bank to serve the needs of animals that have been collateral damage in the unemployment and foreclosure crises. To benefit their work, the group is throwing a Pet Party at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds (164 Eastland Rd., Berea) from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. today and tomorrow. The event will feature booths from local animal-related organizations, vendors, contests, food, music, and kids' activities. Admission is $1. Call 440-888-3575 or go to peace4animals.org. Pantsios

Waterloo Arts Fest

At last year's Waterloo Arts Fest, Lakeshore Automotive's Kurt Gyorki painted a 1978 Ford F-100 pickup with chalkboard paint. He then invited folks to pick up some chalk and color his ride with creative doodles. He plans to bring a 2000 Dodge Neon to this year's fest. "There was a van that might work real nice, but that's a customer's car," he says. "The Dodge Neon doesn't have as much working area as the pickup, but it's still the best candidate." Festival coordinator Melanie Hershberger says this year's event marks the first time that they couldn't give space to everyone who wanted to participate — it's that popular. Outdoor stages return to the street this year, offering live music — polka, jazz, rock, you name it — all day long. The festival runs from noon to 7 p.m. along Waterloo Road in North Collinwood. Admission is free. Call 216-692-9500 or visit waterlooartsfest.com for more info. Gill

Sunday, June 27

Absolute Intense Wrestling and CHIKARA

Ah, professional wrestling. An event where families can get together and watch giant men hit each other with trashcans, chairs, and whatever else they can find. What better bonding experience is there? Absolute Intense Wrestling and CHIKARA are teaming up for today's wrestling extravaganza featuring Frightmare and Quackenbush (with names like that, you know these guys mean business). Four local grapplers will fight for titles, while Tyler Black and Chuck Taylor face off in a battle of former champions. We're going to set the over/under on the number of chairs thrown at five (and we're taking the over). AIW is the more gritty and violent of the two; CHIKARA's bouts are more family-friendly. CHIKARA's Faded Scars and Lines event begins at 4 p.m., immediately followed by AIW's Absolution 5 at the West Park Party Center, 3556 W. 130th St. Tickets are $20 and available at chikarapro.comZirm

Rock and Soul Festival

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame couldn't pass up a chance to put Michael Jackson at the center of its Rock and Soul Festival — a daylong event featuring music and programs that celebrate black artists' contributions to music. The fest coincides with the first anniversary of the King of Pop's death, and the Rock Hall has lined up a bunch of tributes to the late star. His life, music, and legacy are the focus of a Rock Hall exhibit, tribute performances by local and national artists including neo-soul singer Angie Stone, and a dance contest. So leave your left-hand glove at home, tilt your fedora down over your brow, and celebrate a time when the only volatile things about Jackson were his dance moves and hair products. The festival begins at noon at the Rock Hall (1100 Rock and Roll Blvd., 216-761-7625, rockhall.com). The fest is free, but museum admission is $22 for adults, $13 for kids. — Nick Baker

Tuesday, June 29

Cyndi Lauper

Hard to believe it's been 27 years since Cyndi Lauper rocketed to fame with her stratospheric debut album, She's So Unusual. The record stayed on the charts for more than a year, sold more than 10 million copies in the states, and yielded four consecutive Top 5 singles. Lauper never quite repeated that initial burst of success, but she's still one of our most distinctive singers. She's managed to maintain both a music career — her latest album, Memphis Blues, came out this week — and TV and movie work. She's also active in many charitable organizations, including her highly visible work for gay and lesbian rights. Lauper recently returned to the mainstream spotlight thanks to an appearance on The Celebrity Apprentice, which showed viewers that after three decades, 11 albums, several groundbreaking videos, an Emmy Award, motherhood, social and political activism, countless hair colors and styles, and induction into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame, Lauper is still passionate, committed, ditzy, and so very unusual. She plays House of Blues (308 Euclid Ave., 216-523-2583, houseofblues.com), with David Rhodes opening at 8 p.m. Tickets are $29.50 advance, $32 day of show, and $59.50 for reserved seats. — Brian Baker

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