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Thursday | 16

Family Fun

Sweet on Strawberries

What started in 1960 as a small homecoming has grown into the annual Kirtland Kiwanis Strawberry Festival, a four-day celebration of hometown values and, of course, strawberries. Fresh and juicy, Ohio's favorite berries will be served up in all their glory: on sundaes, in shortcakes, and even dipped in chocolate. If strawberries aren't your thing, there are plenty of fruit-free activities to keep you busy, including rides, a midway, a flea market, and a craft show. The big parade on Friday evening officially kicks off the festivities, although tonight's 7:30 strawberry shortcake eating contest is a don't-miss in our book. Admission is free, and it all happens tonight through Sunday at Kirtland High School, 9150 Chillicothe Rd. in Kirtland. Call 440-256-1181 or visit kirtlandohio.com to learn more. — Max Hayden

Food for Thought

Garlic Mashed Thoughtatoes at Spaces

It's a mash-up for the mind tonight at SPACES Gallery, when artistic types from assorted backgrounds come together for two hours of free-range conversation. Tonight's version of the gabfest (officially known as Garlic Mashed Thoughtatoes) finds Akron collective Rainbow Lightening guiding audience members through their cavescape installation. Also on the menu: staffers from local urban oases Gather 'Round Farm and Let It Bee Garden digging into agricultural conversation with Cleveland puppeteer Diana Sette. And adding his own lagniappe to the proceedings is Michael Ruhlman, Cleveland Heights' culinary authority, food-television celebrity, pal to Tony Bourdain, and author of The Soul of a Chef among many other books. "Mostly, we have no idea where the conversation will go," says SPACES director Christopher Lynn. "It's always exciting to see what comes up." Plus, there are real mashed potatoes! It's all free and open to the public at SPACES, the region's premier public forum for artists who explore and experiment. Find them from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at 2220 Superior Viaduct. For more info, phone 216-621-2314 or visit spacesgallery.org. — Elaine T. Cicora

Friday | 17

Sticky Business

Duct Tape Time in Avon

Admit it: Duct tape plays a central roll in your day-to-day life, mending everything from your sneakers to that cracked laptop case. So why not pay homage to the ubiquitous binder during this weekend's Eighth Annual Avon Heritage Duct Tape Festival? Like most summer shindigs, this one features rides, food, games, parades, floats, a beer tent (there is always a beer tent!) and other entertainment. The difference is that here, everything — except possibly the beer — is centered around Ohio-made, Duck Tape-brand duct tape. The festival opens today at 4 p.m., and the first 500 attendees get a free roll of the sticky stuff. Disney Radio will be hanging around the main stage at 5:30 p.m., and '80s cover band the Breakfast Club plays at 8:30 p.m. The fun continues through Sunday; admission and parking are free. It all happens at Veterans Memorial Park, 3701 Veterans Memorial Parkway in Avon. For more information, visit ducttapefestival.com. — Ryan Young

No Rhythm Required

Transform Yourself with Jim Donovan

Got about as much rhythm as an out-of-balance Maytag? Jim Donovan is looking for you! In recent years, the percussionist and founding member of Pittsburgh's Rusted Root has expanded his reach beyond the band and into transformative workshops centered on drumming and chanting. "I specialize in people who say they don't have any rhythm!" laughs the easy-going musician, teacher, and Reiki practitioner. "I empower them. Drumming brings people together and reminds them what's important: being present, being connected, and sharing in an experience that they've helped to create. It moves people — and it doesn't matter if they have rhythm or not!" Donovan presents his workshops around the world; tonight at 7 p.m., he'll be at River's Edge in Cleveland for a Drum and Chant Transformation workshop, where he'll teach rhythms, mantras, personal growth concepts, and relaxation techniques. No experience is needed, and Donovan provides the drums. Cost is $35 in advance and $45 at the door. River's Edge is at 3430 Rocky River Dr. Find out more at riversedgecleveland.com or by calling 216-688-1111. — Cicora

Saturday | 18

Chew & View

Trek in Tremont

The region's most popular progressive dinner party returns tonight to Tremont. Combining three of Clevelanders' favorite things — food, wine, and a chance to peer inside other people's homes — the annual Tremont Trek walking tour is a banquet for the senses, beginning with 5:30 apps inside the Tremont Place Lofts to the 9 p.m. dessert reception at Paul Duda Gallery/Hartshorn Studios. In between, you'll tour six homes and enjoy six courses created by the neighborhood's hottest restaurants, including Fahrenheit, Lolita, Fat Cats, Lago, Parallax, and Ty Fun; each course is accompanied by wine, of course. As for the homes, organizer Kerry Capwell says they are a diverse mix that spans the neighborhood; one certain stop is the Christmas Story house, where Chinese food (what else?) is on the menu. Tickets are $100 in advance at 216-575-0920; if they're still available, snag 'em for $110 on the night of the tour at the Tremont Place Lofts, 710 Jefferson Ave. For more information, visit tremonttrek.org. — Lydia Munnell

Manly Tastes

Blues, Brews, and BBQ

Among the many things guys crave, blues, brews, and BBQ have to come in somewhere near the top of the list. As luck would have it, Hudson is offering all three this weekend as part of its second-annual Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival in the First & Main Shopping District. Much as the name would imply, the fest features plenty of saucy meat from local restaurants and vendors, a tent's worth of domestic and craft beers, and a lineup of local performers laying down the blue notes on the Library Green. Come at 10 a.m. and catch the Backyard BBQ Competition, where amateur grill-masters attempt to impress celebrity judges. Stick around for performances by the Bluescasters, Kristine Jackson, and the Frankie Starr Band. Rain or shine, today's fun continues until 9 p.m.; Sunday hours are noon to 6 p.m. Adult admission is $5; kids younger than 18 are free when accompanied by an adult. For more information call 330-819-6461 or visit hudsonbluesbrewsandbbq.com. — Hayden

Family Fun

Art and Music Fest in Shaker Heights

It was a match made in heaven last year when the venerable Hathaway Brown craft fair joined forces with the Shaker Colonnade Summer Solstice Fest. The result? The Shaker Heights Arts and Music Festival: a two-day get-down featuring some of the region's best artisans and musicians. Open today from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the festival offers shopping, food and drink from local vendors, loads of music, and activities and entertainment for kids. Bring a blanket or a couple of lawn chairs, enjoy a cold brew or glass of wine, and dig performances by acts like Cats on Holiday and the New Barleycorn. Between sets, check out unique jewelry, photography, and gifts made by more than 150 artists. The best part? It's all free. Find it at the corner of Farnsleigh Rd. and Van Aken Blvd. in Shaker Heights. For more info, check out shakerartscouncil.org or call 216-561-7454. — Munnell

Sunday | 19

For Action-Hero Dads

Bullitt and Brunch at Gordon Square

Before Vin Diesel, before even Chuck Norris, there was Steve McQueen, the original action hero. The ladies wanted him, and the guys wanted to be him — and chances are, that includes your dear old Dad! Today, in honor of fathers everywhere, the Capitol Theatre is screening the 1968 action flick Bullitt, starring McQueen in his career-defining role. Presented in HD in the theater's main auditorium, it's the perfect way to help dad get in touch with his dormant inner bad ass. Admission to the 10 a.m. screening is $5; afterward, your ticket stub qualifies you for brunch-related discounts at one of the nearby partnering restaurants, including Luxe, Stone Mad, Reddstone, and Latitude 41n. The Capitol Theatre is at 1390 West 65th Street in the Gordon Square Arts District. Call 440-528-0355 for more info, or visit clevelandcinemas.com. — Young

For Ball-Playing Dads

Play Catch at Progressive Field

What's better than watching a Tribe game from the stands with Dad? How about heading to the outfield to play catch with the old man? After this afternoon's Indians vs. Pirates game, you can do just that. Besides 15 minutes of on-field fun, your $15 Play Catch! ticket gets you a commemorative Rawlings softball and a chance to conjure up sweet memories of your — and maybe Dad's — long-departed childhood. Three post-game sessions will be offered; ticket sales for each session are limited to 300 each. Get yours at the Progressive Field box office, at any Indians Team Shop, or online at Indians.com. For more information, call 216-420-4487 or visit Indians.com. — Kelly Maile

For Classic Dads

Car Show at Stan Hywet

Whether your dad is a classic or an antique, a visit to Stan Hywet's annual Classic, Antique & Collector Car Show could be the perfect Father's Day gift. With more than 350 cars to gaze upon and admire, the show — at 54, one of the oldest in America — delivers a reminder of what we used to drive before Priuses and Escalades. Judges will be awarding prizes to the shiniest and best-looking autos from 1896 to 1978 in 25 separate classes, and the exclusive "Inner Circle" display will feature Chrysler's classic Town & Country wagons, sedans, and convertibles from the 1940s. Meantime, refreshments will be available from the Winking Lizard, and small fry can chill out with special children's activities. General admission is $12, less for children and members. It all happens from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens, 714 North Portage Path in Akron; for more info, call 330-836-5533 or visit stanhywet.org. — Kerrigan

For Father's Day:

Gnomes on the Roam Sunday | 19

Who gnew? Garden gnomes are a symbol of good luck! No wonder the Holden Arboretum chose the chubby lawn ornaments to star in its summer public-art exhibition, beginning today from noon to 4 p.m. Visitors — like you and Dad, maybe? — will find 20 larger-than-life gnomes hidden among the arboretum's gardens and woodlands; each one has been custom decorated to showcase the talents of a local artist. The result is a colorful cadre of little bearded dudes sporting everything from daisy-decorated booties to Scottish uniforms, à la Ferguson Tuck (right). Today's festivities feature performances by Musical Mark (delivering positive messages on earth-saving activities) and the Gnome Parade led by the clown also known as Gnature Gnome. Meantime, those with gnome phobia need not fear: Author Chuck Sambuchino will offer self-defense tips and readings from his book How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack at 12:15 p.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3 p.m. The exhibit continues through September 25. Admission is free with regular gate admission of $6 for adults, and less for children, seniors, and members. The Holden Arboretum is at 9500 Sperry Road in Kirtland. For details, call 440-946-4400 or visit holdenarb.org. — Courtney Kerrigan

Monday | 20

Big Ideas

Welcome Home, Smarty

Imagine a house that has no furnace, but stays warm with less energy than it takes to operate two hair dryers. Hard to believe? Well, the PNC SmartHome Cleveland, which opened this month at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, is full of energy-saving suprises. Built to demonstrate how humans can create an environmentally sound future, the structure is the most advanced, energy-efficient house in the country. Among its features: 12-inch insulated walls, ultra high-performance windows, and air-tight construction to keep out drafts. The SmartHome boasts three bedrooms, two and a half baths, and 2,500 square feet of living space — and once the exhibit is over, it'll be for sale. The SmartHome is open today from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tours cost $5 in addition to regular museum admission; snag your timed ticket at the ticket office at 1 Wade Oval Drive; call 216-231-4600 or visit cmnh.org. — Kerrigan

Lunch Break

Music on Star Plaza

If the sun shines today, move your lunch to Star Plaza for a much-needed dose of Vitamin D and a heaping helping of midday music. Local musicians Mary Beth Ions (violin) and Linda Atherton (cello) will be giving a free recital in the plaza as part of Playhouse Square's Summer Garden Music Series. They'll play from noon until 1:30 p.m.; come and go as your schedule and your boss's patience demands. Incidentally, today's show is just part of more than 100 free events taking place at Star Plaza this summer. For more info, visit playhousesquare.org/summer or call 216-771-8403. — Munnell

Tuesday | 21

Fit for Foodies & Music Fans

Summer Fête at Bistro du Beaujolais

Today marks the summer solstice: the official start of summer and the longest day of the year. To celebrate, Georges and Claudie d'Arras, owners of Le Bistro du Beaujolais, are hosting an all-day fest of music, drink, and fine French fare at their Olmsted Falls restaurant. The festival has been an annual event for the couple since 2006 and is modeled after the French Fête de la Musique, a world-music showcase that has spread internationally. "We wanted to share this experience with the community and allow the promotion of so many talented local musicians," explains M. d'Arras. Among the eclectic musical performances, you'll find folk, pop, jazz, bluegrass, alt-rock, and more, running from noon to at least 10:30 p.m. Lunch and dinner seating is available indoors or out on the tented patio. Other than the price of your food and drink, the entertainment is free. Drop by for lunch, drinks, and music at your convenience; come evening, dinner reservations are recommended. The restaurant is at 8134 Columbia Rd. Learn more at lebistrodubeaujolais.com or call 440-235-8883. — Cicora

Wednesday | 22

Ohio Chautauqua

Living History in Lakewood

As the nation marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, you can hardly wave a flag around these parts without smacking it up against yet another interpretive program. But this one — the Ohio Chautauqua in Lakewood — is special, with a five-day lineup of high-caliber activities and entertainment aimed at the entire family. Each day begins with a children's program at Beck Center for the Arts, like today's program on the everyday life of a Civil War soldier. Next up is a midday Civil War-themed movie at the Lakewood Public Library (today it's Shenandoah), followed by an adult workshop on related historical issues. In the evening, the infotainment moves to a striped tent in Lakewood Park, where you'll find a concert followed by a dramatic presentation from a costumed interpretor; tonight's replicated guest of honor is Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman. The program continues in a similar fashion through Sunday, June 26. It's all free and open to the public; for a complete schedule and list of venues, check out lakewoodhistory.org. — Maile

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