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City Slickers 

Local artists spout off on downtown fire hydrants.

A hydrant with a makeover at Sparx in the City.
  • A hydrant with a makeover at Sparx in the City.
FRI 6/20

Todd Volkmer doesn't have to report to his cubicle today. Instead of selling insurance, the Stowe artist gets to transform a downtown fire hydrant into a lush green tiki god, his memorial to disappearing rain forests. Volkmer is one of 24 winners of last month's Cleveland's On Fire! hydrant-painting competition, which received more than 100 artist entries. From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, the winning artists will mark their artistic territory on hydrants along Euclid Avenue, from Public Square to Playhouse Square. The hydrant-beautification project is the centerpiece of Sparx in the City, a daylong, square-to-square block party of music and performing arts, featuring roving fire-eaters, stiltwalkers, break-dancers, mimes -- and artists dolling up fire hydrants. Star Plaza hosts two big events: ArtSmart -- a bazaar of local artists' work -- and an evening smorgasbord of bands, beginning at 4:30 with the rockabilly group CapGun Cowboys. Call 216-685-1698 for more information. -- Eleanor Lebeau

Stacks o' Wax
You can't hold a candle to Don Billie's museum.

6/19 - 6/25

Don Billie waxes nostalgic about Ohio celebrities. No, really: In storefront #39 inside the Hyatt Regency at the Arcade, he's set up a teaser exhibit for his Ohio Wax Museum, which he hopes to see built in the next couple of years. The window display, full of memorabilia of famous Ohioans, features a six-foot wax figure of Johnny Appleseed. Billie, president of the museum's board of trustees, plans to oversee construction of a full-size museum. It'll consist of seven rooms for wax figures of celebrated Ohioans such as Drew Carey, Jesse Owens, and Thomas Edison. The idea, he says, is to "make it educational and learn stuff about Ohio." In coming weeks, Clark Gable, Bob Hope, and other paraffin Ohioans will rotate into the display. The Ohio Wax Museum exhibit is open daily at the Hyatt Regency at the Arcade, 420 Superior Avenue; call 440-886-9291. -- Cris Glaser

Hot Action Night

SAT 6/21

The members of Nashville's Hot Action Cop don't wear big hats, speak in lazy drawls, or sing cheesy ballads about how great our country is. The very un-Nashville-like quartet crafts a thoroughly modern style of pop-punk that includes a little bit of Limp Bizkit, a dash of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and a sprinkle of Avril Lavigne. Its self-titled debut can be juvenile (the cover art features a full-cheeked policewoman in short shorts), but Hot Action Cop rarely forces itself upon you. The single, "Fever for the Flava," even manages to bring fun back to the oft-overplayed funky-whiteboy genre. Hot Action Cop is at Peabody's (2083 East 21st Street) at 7 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $6; call 216-241-5555. -- Michael Gallucci

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