You can't miss Howard Weiss. He's the guy pulling a "blaster blender" out of his oversized backpack, preparing for Saturday's Players Extreme Party at Spy. "It starts off its life as a weed whacker in a Home Depot," says Weiss of his contraption. "Then it turns into a gas-powered blender. It's got a chain-saw weed-whacker engine on a stainless steel mount with a trigger."
Once he fires up the two-foot-tall gadget, Weiss can mix six-cup batches of free drink samples that are based on Players Extreme's cherry-flavored vodka. Like the Cherry Lover, a one-ounce shot of cherry brandy and cherry liqueur with a half-ounce splash of maraschino liqueur and vodka. "You can do it the same way as a margarita," Weiss says. "We've done Frozen Cherry Bombs, which is Players Extreme cherry vodka and Red Bull frozen, to make a kind of slushy drink."
And for his grand finale, he blends Blavod, the world's only black vodka, with orange juice to make Screwdrivers. "You end up with this black-and-orange concoction," says Weiss. "It's really cool." Players Extreme Party starts at 11 p.m. at Spy, 1261 West 6th Street. Admission is $5. Call 216-621-7907 for more information. -- Cris Glaser
Hip to Be at the Square
Open Air fest takes it outside.
Plump wieners and exotic fare: Open Air in Market Square's got it covered. "This one vendor has these really good hot dogs, but the Indian food is really good too," says Jim Miller, guitarist in the Jimiller Band, which will be performing at the weekly Ohio City festival, kicking off the summer season on Saturday. "And we're the perfect outdoor band." Two groups play each week at the family-friendly fresh-air fest, while approximately 30 artisans and vendors hawk their wares (from homemade jewelry to antiques) at the square. All this free stuff adds up to plenty of fun in the sun, says Miller. "People should really take advantage," he suggests. "There are all the other places in the area too. Have dinner. Have a drink." Open Air in Market Square begins Saturday and runs every Saturday through September 4 at the corner of West 25th and Lorain. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 216-781-3222 for more info. -- Nadia Michel
Getting fit for the Circle celebration.
You say you want to march in Parade the Circle, but don't have a thing to wear? The Cleveland Museum of Art's Basic Workshops can help you make a costume or mask (or even a giant puppet, if that's your thing) for the big event on June 12. "It's amazing how unbelievably creative people will be who don't have any training," says Robin VanLear, artistic director for community arts. "The parade showcases many different points of view and ways of doing things." Workshops are held 6 to 9 p.m. Friday and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through June 5 at the art museum, 11150 East Boulevard. Fee is $30 and includes parade registration; call 216-707-2483. -- Diane Sofranec
Bold and Cold
Sir Ernest Shackleton led a heroic, doomed expedition to the Antarctic that stranded his ship in treacherous, icy waters -- it's a story made for the super-big screen. Omnimax's Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure documents his perilous two-year journey through a series of photographs and film clips. It opens Saturday and runs through September at the Great Lakes Science Center's Omnimax Theater, 601 Erieside Avenue. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily. Admission is $7.95, $5.95 for kids. Call 216-694-2000 for show times. -- Michael Gallucci