10 Things to Do in Cleveland This Weekend

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Friday, July 17: Blues Explosion - Now in its seventh year, the Kent Blues Festival offers blues lovers the chance to check out some of the best local talent. At today's event, acts perform at 23 different venues in Kent. Highlights include veteran Cleveland blues singer-guitarist Austin Walkin' Cane. He performs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Pufferbelly. And Kent's underground rock act 115-60-75 (The Numbers Band) makes an appearance at the Kent Stage from 8 to 11 p.m. Other venues such as Ray's Place, Venice Cafe, Water Street Tavern and Zephyr Pub are participating as well. Admission is free. Find more information on the website. kentbluesfest.com. (Niesel, photo by Michael Gallucci)
Friday, July 17: Blues Explosion - Now in its seventh year, the Kent Blues Festival offers blues lovers the chance to check out some of the best local talent. At today's event, acts perform at 23 different venues in Kent. Highlights include veteran Cleveland blues singer-guitarist Austin Walkin' Cane. He performs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Pufferbelly. And Kent's underground rock act 115-60-75 (The Numbers Band) makes an appearance at the Kent Stage from 8 to 11 p.m. Other venues such as Ray's Place, Venice Cafe, Water Street Tavern and Zephyr Pub are participating as well. Admission is free. Find more information on the website. kentbluesfest.com. (Niesel, photo by Michael Gallucci)
Friday, July 17: Party Time - Last year, the annual Painesvile Party in the Park drew crowds of more than 55,000 people. People came from all over the state and country to attend the free event. The musical lineup features a diverse set of acts, including bluesman Eric Lindell, jam rockers Turkauz, the alt-country act the Delta Saints from Nashville and local reggae heroes Carlos Jones and the P.L.U.S. Band. More than 40 food vendors will be on hand and there will be a beer garden featuring Great Lakes Brewing Co., Oskar Blues, Miller and Guinness. The family friendly event will also feature a Kidzone with inflatables, A stunt bike show has been added to the mix this year as well. The event takes place today from 11 a.m. to midnight at Veteran’s Park. It continues through Sunday. Admission is free but $40 VIP tickets are available if you’re looking for reserved seats and private restrooms. partyparkinfo.com. (Niesel, photo by Emanuel Wallace)
Friday, July 17: Party Time - Last year, the annual Painesvile Party in the Park drew crowds of more than 55,000 people. People came from all over the state and country to attend the free event. The musical lineup features a diverse set of acts, including bluesman Eric Lindell, jam rockers Turkauz, the alt-country act the Delta Saints from Nashville and local reggae heroes Carlos Jones and the P.L.U.S. Band. More than 40 food vendors will be on hand and there will be a beer garden featuring Great Lakes Brewing Co., Oskar Blues, Miller and Guinness. The family friendly event will also feature a Kidzone with inflatables, A stunt bike show has been added to the mix this year as well. The event takes place today from 11 a.m. to midnight at Veteran’s Park. It continues through Sunday. Admission is free but $40 VIP tickets are available if you’re looking for reserved seats and private restrooms. partyparkinfo.com. (Niesel, photo by Emanuel Wallace)
Friday, July 17: A Special Reception - This Third Friday, on your way to or from 78th Street Studios, be sure to stop by Toast CLE in Gordon Square starting at 6 p.m. for a special reception in celebration of Cleveland-based artist Mallorie Freeman. Freeman’s highly rendered paintings, drawings and prints adorn Toast CLE’s walls. Freeman studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Cleveland Institute of Art, but considers herself mostly self-taught. She recently exhibited Tomorrow is Forever at Micro Art Space at 78th Street Studios. Her work has previous been exhibited at Zygote Press, SPACES, The Morgan Conservatory, Ingenuity Fest, the Gallery at Lakeland, Cleveland West Art League (78th Street Studios), William Rupnick Gallery, Wall Eye, Proximity, Asterisk and more. Enjoy dinner and a drink surrounded by Freeman’s accomplished, engaging work. (Usmani, photo courtesy of Instagram user @malloriefreemanart)
Friday, July 17: A Special Reception - This Third Friday, on your way to or from 78th Street Studios, be sure to stop by Toast CLE in Gordon Square starting at 6 p.m. for a special reception in celebration of Cleveland-based artist Mallorie Freeman. Freeman’s highly rendered paintings, drawings and prints adorn Toast CLE’s walls. Freeman studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Cleveland Institute of Art, but considers herself mostly self-taught. She recently exhibited Tomorrow is Forever at Micro Art Space at 78th Street Studios. Her work has previous been exhibited at Zygote Press, SPACES, The Morgan Conservatory, Ingenuity Fest, the Gallery at Lakeland, Cleveland West Art League (78th Street Studios), William Rupnick Gallery, Wall Eye, Proximity, Asterisk and more. Enjoy dinner and a drink surrounded by Freeman’s accomplished, engaging work. (Usmani, photo courtesy of Instagram user @malloriefreemanart)
Saturday, July 18: A California Childhood: The Art of James Franco and Tom Franco - So, why is James Franco having an art exhibition in Cleveland? You may not know this, but James actually has family roots in Cleveland. His maternal grandparents, Dan and Mitzie Verne, founded the Verne Collection: A Gallery of Japanese Prints and Paintings on Murray Hill in Little Italy in the mid 1950s, after living in Japan for two years. Now retired, the couple has passed the gallery down to their son, Michael (James and Tom’s uncle), who now serves as President of the Verne Collection. The exhibit opens at the Verne Collection with a reception Saturday, July 18, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Both Tom and James Franco will be in the gallery Saturday evening for the reception. On Sunday, July 19, Tom Franco will present a gallery talk at 2 p.m. The Verne Collection is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by appointment. The exhibition remains on view through Saturday, Aug. 8. The show and related events are free and open to the public. (Usami, photo courtesy of Instagram user @jamesfrancotv)
Saturday, July 18: A California Childhood: The Art of James Franco and Tom Franco - So, why is James Franco having an art exhibition in Cleveland? You may not know this, but James actually has family roots in Cleveland. His maternal grandparents, Dan and Mitzie Verne, founded the Verne Collection: A Gallery of Japanese Prints and Paintings on Murray Hill in Little Italy in the mid 1950s, after living in Japan for two years. Now retired, the couple has passed the gallery down to their son, Michael (James and Tom’s uncle), who now serves as President of the Verne Collection. The exhibit opens at the Verne Collection with a reception Saturday, July 18, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Both Tom and James Franco will be in the gallery Saturday evening for the reception. On Sunday, July 19, Tom Franco will present a gallery talk at 2 p.m. The Verne Collection is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by appointment. The exhibition remains on view through Saturday, Aug. 8. The show and related events are free and open to the public. (Usami, photo courtesy of Instagram user @jamesfrancotv)
Saturday, July 18: Caught Up in Arena Football - The Cleveland Gladiators haven't had the magical season they had last year but they've been playing at least .500 ball. They go up against the Orlando Predators in tonight's Arena Football League matchup that takes place at 6 at Quicken Loans Arena. The concert will also include a special post-game concert courtesy of classic rockers .38 Special, a Souther rock act that churned out hits such as "Hold On Loosely," "Caught up in You" and "If I'd Be the One" in the '80s. Tickets start at $9. (Niesel, photo by Scott Sandberg)
Saturday, July 18: Caught Up in Arena Football - The Cleveland Gladiators haven't had the magical season they had last year but they've been playing at least .500 ball. They go up against the Orlando Predators in tonight's Arena Football League matchup that takes place at 6 at Quicken Loans Arena. The concert will also include a special post-game concert courtesy of classic rockers .38 Special, a Souther rock act that churned out hits such as "Hold On Loosely," "Caught up in You" and "If I'd Be the One" in the '80s. Tickets start at $9. (Niesel, photo by Scott Sandberg)
Saturday, July 18: Pinball Party - The Who once wrote a song about a "pinball wizard" who "plays a mean pinball." That concept will be celebrated from noon to 5 p.m. today when an outdoor pinball party is slated to take place on Coventry Road along the sidewalks throughout the Coventry Village Special Improvement District. Each game will be staffed with pinball experts from the Cleveland Pinball League, so if you’re an amateur player, you can pick up some tips on how to improve your game. Additionally, the B-Side Liquor Lounge & Arcade will be open to all ages and all their classic arcade games will be free to play. From 1 to 3 p.m., School of Rock Cleveland will present “Rock Apocalypse,” a set of classic and contemporary rock and pop tunes. They’ll play in the Coventry Outdoor Courtyard, located at the corner of Coventry Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard. Jason Haley, the Rock Hall’s director of education and author of We Rock! Music Lab for Kids, will be in the Mac's Backs-Books On Coventry tent (located in the Coventry Outdoor Courtyard) to sign books and give a short talk between School of Rock sets. All events are free. coventryvillage.org (Niesel, photo courtesy of Facebook user Brian Michael Hill)
Saturday, July 18: Pinball Party - The Who once wrote a song about a "pinball wizard" who "plays a mean pinball." That concept will be celebrated from noon to 5 p.m. today when an outdoor pinball party is slated to take place on Coventry Road along the sidewalks throughout the Coventry Village Special Improvement District. Each game will be staffed with pinball experts from the Cleveland Pinball League, so if you’re an amateur player, you can pick up some tips on how to improve your game. Additionally, the B-Side Liquor Lounge & Arcade will be open to all ages and all their classic arcade games will be free to play. From 1 to 3 p.m., School of Rock Cleveland will present “Rock Apocalypse,” a set of classic and contemporary rock and pop tunes. They’ll play in the Coventry Outdoor Courtyard, located at the corner of Coventry Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard. Jason Haley, the Rock Hall’s director of education and author of We Rock! Music Lab for Kids, will be in the Mac's Backs-Books On Coventry tent (located in the Coventry Outdoor Courtyard) to sign books and give a short talk between School of Rock sets. All events are free. coventryvillage.org (Niesel, photo courtesy of Facebook user Brian Michael Hill)
Saturday, July 18: Final Exam - The late, great Roberto Ocasio was a real catalyst on the local music before his untimely death. Each year, the Roberto Ocasio Foundation hosts a Latin Jazz Music Camp. Tonight at 7 at the Cleveland Institute of Music, the kids will perform as part of the 11th annual Roberto Ocasio Foundation Latin Jazz Concert. The free concert is the finale to the Foundation’s 2015 Latin Jazz Music Camp with Camp Artistic Director/Artist-In-Residence, Bobby Sanabria, a world renowned drummer/percussionist, composer, director, educator and seven-time Grammy nominated recording artist. Tonight’s repertoire will feature classic and contemporary music from the Latin-jazz continuum, utilizing Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, and Puerto Rican rhythms. http://robertoocasiofoundation.org. (Niesel, photo courtesy of Facebook user The Robert Ocasio Foundation Latin Jazz Camp)
Saturday, July 18: Final Exam - The late, great Roberto Ocasio was a real catalyst on the local music before his untimely death. Each year, the Roberto Ocasio Foundation hosts a Latin Jazz Music Camp. Tonight at 7 at the Cleveland Institute of Music, the kids will perform as part of the 11th annual Roberto Ocasio Foundation Latin Jazz Concert. The free concert is the finale to the Foundation’s 2015 Latin Jazz Music Camp with Camp Artistic Director/Artist-In-Residence, Bobby Sanabria, a world renowned drummer/percussionist, composer, director, educator and seven-time Grammy nominated recording artist. Tonight’s repertoire will feature classic and contemporary music from the Latin-jazz continuum, utilizing Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, and Puerto Rican rhythms. http://robertoocasiofoundation.org. (Niesel, photo courtesy of Facebook user The Robert Ocasio Foundation Latin Jazz Camp)
Sunday, July 19: Fabulous Food - Today, you can come and enjoy great food and drinks at the 12th annual Taste of Tremont, a free event that seems to get bigger and better each year. The event takes place between Professor, Starkweather and Fairfield streets in Tremont. Adult beverages will be served, and Portside Distillery will be selling rum drinks for $5. Food vendors that will be on site include Flying Monkey Pub, Lucky's Cafe and Press Wine Bar. Local bands are slated to perform and street parking will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Free parking will be located at the Westside Market where a shuttle service will take you to the event. It runs from noon to 8 p.m. tasteoftremont.com. (Alexandra Hintz, photo by Emanuel Wallace)
Sunday, July 19: Fabulous Food - Today, you can come and enjoy great food and drinks at the 12th annual Taste of Tremont, a free event that seems to get bigger and better each year. The event takes place between Professor, Starkweather and Fairfield streets in Tremont. Adult beverages will be served, and Portside Distillery will be selling rum drinks for $5. Food vendors that will be on site include Flying Monkey Pub, Lucky's Cafe and Press Wine Bar. Local bands are slated to perform and street parking will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Free parking will be located at the Westside Market where a shuttle service will take you to the event. It runs from noon to 8 p.m. tasteoftremont.com. (Alexandra Hintz, photo by Emanuel Wallace)
Sunday, July 19: Tedeschi Trucks Band - Helmed by guitarists Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, TTB carries a hefty badge of honor in the blues and soul communities. The band has been around long enough to become a must-see staple for those who enjoy good music, and their talents back that up onstage. (Trucks’ lead work, for those not yet in the know, is just astounding in a live setting.) Following the band’s last show in Cleveland, in 2013, we wrote: “With songs like ‘Misunderstood’ and ‘Bound for Glory’ rounding out the set, it was clear that what brought everyone together for the show was a love of good music and a total lack of airs.” Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, the openers for this tour, have been coming out and joining TTB onstage for medleys of blues classics during the encore. Tonight should be a fine trip through soulful American music on the shores of the Cuyahoga. (Sandy, photo by Deborah Edson)
Sunday, July 19: Tedeschi Trucks Band - Helmed by guitarists Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, TTB carries a hefty badge of honor in the blues and soul communities. The band has been around long enough to become a must-see staple for those who enjoy good music, and their talents back that up onstage. (Trucks’ lead work, for those not yet in the know, is just astounding in a live setting.) Following the band’s last show in Cleveland, in 2013, we wrote: “With songs like ‘Misunderstood’ and ‘Bound for Glory’ rounding out the set, it was clear that what brought everyone together for the show was a love of good music and a total lack of airs.” Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, the openers for this tour, have been coming out and joining TTB onstage for medleys of blues classics during the encore. Tonight should be a fine trip through soulful American music on the shores of the Cuyahoga. (Sandy, photo by Deborah Edson)
Sunday, July 19: Oberlin Summer Theater Festival: All's Well That Ends Well by William Shakespeare - The ambitious ward of the Countess Rousillion, Helena, defies great obstacles to marry her son, Bertram; but the young Count would rather run off to war with his braggart side-kick, Parolles, than be forced to marry beneath his high station. In this sophisticated yet bawdy comedy, Shakespeare pits merit against class, women against men, age against youth, and honesty against hypocrisy until… all ends well. Or does it? Appropriate for ages 10 and up. Admission is free, but reservations are recommended. Show on Sunday is at 7 p.m. at the Hall Auditorium in Oberlin. www.oberlinsummertheaterfestival.com. 440-775-8169.
Sunday, July 19: Oberlin Summer Theater Festival: All's Well That Ends Well by William Shakespeare - The ambitious ward of the Countess Rousillion, Helena, defies great obstacles to marry her son, Bertram; but the young Count would rather run off to war with his braggart side-kick, Parolles, than be forced to marry beneath his high station. In this sophisticated yet bawdy comedy, Shakespeare pits merit against class, women against men, age against youth, and honesty against hypocrisy until… all ends well. Or does it? Appropriate for ages 10 and up. Admission is free, but reservations are recommended. Show on Sunday is at 7 p.m. at the Hall Auditorium in Oberlin. www.oberlinsummertheaterfestival.com. 440-775-8169.