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Get Out! This Week's Events Picks 

Festivals, baseball, parties, wine, racing, and more

WEDNESDAY, JULY 21

WINE BAR FUN

Welcome to Flight School

Let's be honest: Drinking wine is something of an art form. Attend any vino party and somebody's gonna proclaim "Ah, this smells like a mix of mahogany and rosemary" before you've even got your buzz on. Becoming a wine connoisseur takes years of dedication, but it's a wonderful addition to you arsenal against snobs in sweater vests. Wine Bar Rocky River's Flight School shows students which wines go best with specific foods to bring out their true flavors. Tonight, five sparkling wines will be paired with five different corresponding foods. Flight School takes place every Wednesday night from 6-7 p.m. at Wine Bar Rocky River, 1313 Linda St. in Rocky River. Admission is $20-$35. Call 440-799-4300 or visit winebarrr.com for more information. — Jordan Zirm

THURSDAY, JULY 22

AUTO RACING

Fan Night at Sandusky Speedway

Sure, it's nuts driving a car at 150 mph around an enclosed track. Perpetually within inches of the cars next to them, these adrenaline junkies are only one slip of the wheel from careening into the concrete wall. But for you? It's a carefree night of sheer intensity, plus cheap beer and eats: Today is fan-appreciation day at Sandusky Speedway, host of the Supermodified Nationals. That means the best racing around throughout the weekend — plus $1 beer and hot dogs tonight. And it all starts with a mere $1 admission! Gates open at 3:30 p.m., with qualifying at 6:30 and the featured race at 7:30. Sandusky Speedway is at 614 W. Perkins Ave. in Sandusky. Call 419-625-4084 or visit sanduskyspeedway.com for the entire weekend schedule. — Zirm

CLASSICAL MUSIC

Lunch and Listen Recital

At the Cleveland Institute of Music, "alumni relations" doesn't just mean cocktail parties. Conservatory graduates also fill out the "Lunch and Listen" concert series. Clarinetist Luiz Coelho — whose day job is teaching music in the Shaker Heights schools — offers a woodwind recital with friends this week. You can bring your lunch — just don't crinkle your brown bag or crunch those chips too loudly. The free event happens at 12:30 p.m. Thursday at the Institute's Mixon Hall, at 11021 East Blvd.; call 216-791-5000 or visit cim.edu.— Michael Gill

FOOD FESTIVAL

Taste of Akron

A genuine "taste of Akron" might lead some to wonder what the hell they signed up for. But in a city where sauerkraut balls are the piece de resistance, a wide array of local and ethnic restaurants will set up camp in Hardesty Park for the annual Taste of Akron celebration. This year features samples from 25 Akron-area restaurants, with culinary works ranging from Thai food to chocolate. There's also live music and entertainment — including a cooking competition — and you can even enter the Finest Cut Steak Cook-Off. Get your piece of Akron flavor at Hardesty Park (1615 W. Market St., Akron) from 6-10 p.m. today. Admission is free, and food samples will be priced at $2, $4, and $6. Visit akronartsexpo.org or call 330-375-2836 for more. — Baker

COMEDY

Ralphie May: Large and Laughing

Ralphie May has known funny ever since he was a kid growing up in Arkansas, where a self-deprecating sense of humor always helps. After slugging it out on the Houston comedy circuit, he paid his dues the old-fashioned way: in Los Angeles. "I remember playing some out-of-the-way places that would pay you in weed," recalls May, whose wife is the sexy comic Lahna Turner. After killing on Last Comic Standing, May broke out thanks to his constant road work and his topical and personal humor. Among his favorite targets: white trash, celebrities, and sports. Count on the basketball junkie spending considerable time riffing about LeBron's departure when he plays Hilarities tonight through Saturday. "There are no sacred cows when I get up there onstage," says May. "I have fun with everything. That's the way it should be for guys like me." Tickets are $23 for tonight's 8 p.m. show. It's $25 for Friday's 7:30 and 10:15 shows, and $28

for Saturday's 7:30 and 10:15 tilts. Hilarities is at 2035 E. 4th St. downtown; call 216-736-4242 for more info. — Ed Condran

FRIDAY, JULY 23

FUN WITH HISTORY

Hale Farm's Historic Hot Rods

Hale Farm & Village (2686 Oak Hill Rd., Bath, 330-666-3711, wrhs.org) offers visitors an education in how Ohioans lived, worked, and played 150 years ago. Farming, blacksmithing, basketweaving, and wool spinning are among the activities regularly demonstrated there. This weekend, you can see how people got around back before there were cars when the farm presents Carriages in the Park. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, tomorrow, and Sunday, carefully re-created 19th-century-style carriages will be on display. They'll also parade through the village and compete in a driving event that won't exactly provide the heart-stopping action of NASCAR, but also won't subject you to the tobacco spit and hillbilly chic fashions. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for kids ages 3-12. — Anastasia Pantsios

FESTIVAL

The Irish Cultural Festival

For 28 years, the Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival has offered up everything from pipe bands to corned beef in its celebration of all things Emerald Isle. This year features more than 20 performers on nine stages, more than 50 vendors slinging Irish goods, foods, and crafts, an Irish coffeehouse, and performances of award-winning Irish plays. There’s even a Celtic rock stage, the better to serve up some modernity. The Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival takes place at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds in Berea (164 Eastland Rd) from 4:30 p.m.-midnight on Friday, from 1 p.m.-midnight on Saturday, and from 1 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Sunday. Visit clevelandirish.org to learn more. — Baker

URBAN ADVENTURE

Party Under the Bridge

Given our current economy, the invitation to "party like it's 1929" at this weekend's Speakeasy 2.0 could lead to some queasy stomachs. It's a lead-up party to the sixth annual Ingenuity Fest, a weekend-long celebration of arts and technology that is moving from its usual July to September 24-26 this year. Tonight's Speakeasy fund-raiser takes place at one of Cleveland's finest hidden spaces: the sheltered subway level of the Detroit-Superior Bridge, which once carried commuter trains across the Cuyahoga River. High rollers ($100 a ticket) are welcome at 6 p.m. for food, drinks, cabaret performances, and cocktail classes. It's followed by a more casual — and more affordable — party at 9 p.m. Dubbed the Skyline Speakeasy, the action will be serenaded by DJs Misterbradleyp, Stout XTC, Fuzz, and P-10. It costs $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Go to ingenuitycleveland.com or call 216-589-9444 for more info. — Pantsios

SATURDAY, JULY 24

Scene's 2nd Annual Ale Festival

Your friends here at Scene can agree on two things: We enjoy our beer and we enjoy our shameless self-promotion, so you can thank us for this one later. The second annual Scene Ale Festival features more than 100 brews, live music by Cleveland's own Breakfast Club, outdoor games like cornhole, and a slew of local food vendors. Pony up for VIP access and be treated to a new area featuring Beer Cocktails, a hip trend of mixing beers with dessert liquors. Proceeds from the event benefit Tremont West Development Corporation and St. Augustine Rainbow Camp, so rest assured that you are celebrating in the name of two fine causes. The Scene Ale Festival happens at Lincoln Park in Tremont from 1-5 p.m. today. There will be 100 VIP tickets sold for $50 each, and general admission is $20. The event is 21 and over only. Call 216-241-7550 or visit clevescene.com for more info. — Nick Baker

FESTIVAL

Celebrate Our Flaming Waterways

Sure, sure, the burning of the Cuyahoga River in 1969 is one of those legendary moments that wound up in the Cleveland punch-line bin. But with a little historical perspective and plenty of Great Lakes brew, we've managed to flip the whole scene around into a celebration of the dawning of the eco-friendly age. That's exactly what the Burning River Fest aims to do: The party, which features tapped beers from Great Lakes Brewing Co., two days of live music, food from local farms and restaurants, and educational environmental exhibits, benefits the Burning River Foundation, a local nonprofit that works for the sustainable future of our waterways. A number of eco-friendly groups will be on hand as partners and exhibitors. The Burning River Fest heats up at the Historic Coast Guard Station on Whiskey Island from 6-11 p.m. Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the gate, and free to kids 12 and under. Weekend passes can be purchased for $15. Go to burningriverfest.org for more information. — Baker

FOOTBALL

Browns Backers Kickoff Party

The July and August months are always best for Browns fans. Their team is undefeated, the excitement of training camp is freshly under way, and unabashed optimism can be seen throughout Berea and beyond. It is truly a time when all Browns fans are happy. And how do happy football fans celebrate? With beer and cornhole, of course! Scoundrels Bar and Grill is hosting today's Browns Backers Kickoff Party, a day of unlimited Bud and Bud Light, a pig roast dinner, cornhole tournament, raffle, and other manly things. There will be appearances by Browns players, and if you are lucky, President Mike Holmgren just might grace the crowd with his presence. It all benefits the Berea Childrens Home, and it runs from 6-9 p.m. at Scoundrels Bar and Grill, 826 Front St. in Berea. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Call 216-233-0807 or visit B3Kickoff.com for more information. — Zirm

CLASSICAL MUSIC

Gil Shaham With the

Cleveland Orchestra

The Cleveland Orchestra has binged on violins over the last couple of weeks, with a run of four consecutive concerts featuring monumental concertos for the instrument. This week the fiddle fandango continues with the biggest name player so far — Israeli American Gil Shaham — performing the Samuel Barber Violin Concerto (which, as it happens, was commissioned by the early 20th-century soap magnate Samuel Fels, who gave us Fels naphtha soap). Its sweetly lyrical opening and contrasting, relentlessly virtuosic final movement make it a great way for the stars to show off. Speaking of which, Shaham has been playing the piece all over the world for the past year as part of his "Violin Concertos of the 1930s" project. He performs with the Cleveland Orchestra in a program that also includes Beethoven's Symphony No. 2, and Manuel de Falla's Suite Nos. 1 and 2 from The Three Cornered Hat. It happens at 8 p.m. Saturday at Blossom Music Center (1145 West Steels Corners Road, Cuyahoga Falls, 216-241-6000, clevelandorchestra.com). Tickets are $19 to $83 — Gill

SUNDAY, JULY 25

URBAN ADVENTURE

Walk + Roll in Slavic Village

The annual summertime Walk + Roll events encourage you to get out your bike and explore the lesser known corners of the city. The final event of 2010 takes place from 1-4 p.m. today in Slavic Village, an area ravaged by foreclosure that's working hard to make a comeback. There will be things to see and do all over this south-side neighborhood. Start at the event information table at 3844 Washington Park, where you can find out what's going on, get a map, and head out to find what interests you or join the guided bike tours setting out every half-hour from 1 to 3 p.m. Among the activities are tours of the spectacular Shrine Church of St. Stanislaus, folk music at Shipley's Coffee House, a putting contest at the Washington Golf Learning Center, bike polo, performances by neighborhood kids in Washington Park, tours of the pioneering 30-year-old Morganic Community Garden, and the annual Morgana Little League Festival. It's all free; go to walkroll.com for more information. — Pantsios

MONDAY, JULY 26

FOOD

Vegetarian Mondays

in Tremont

It seems to be sweeping the nation, this concept of becoming a "vegetarian." And Lago is taking advantage of that fact every Monday stuffed peppers, veggie pizzas, salads covered in goat cheese, and vegan strawberry shortcake for dessert? Maybe it's time we all decided to go veggie for a day. It happens every Monday at Lago Restaurant and Wine Bar, 2221 Professor St. Call 216-344-0547 or visit lagotremont.com for more information. — Zirm

TUESDAY, JULY 27

BASEBALL

Beat the Yankees Party

Yeah, the Yankees are really good. Every year the men in pinstripes spend ungodly sums of money on free agents to create a team so stacked, even the Monstars from Space Jam would have a tough time with them. So while our underdog Indians have a shot at defeating the big bad ballplayers from the Big Apple perhaps once or twice this weekend, you might as well start drinking early just in case the Bombers go medieval on us. Luckily, Metromix is hosting a pre-game party tonight at the Clevelander with enough beer to give you the confidence to tell A-Rod that his girlfriend is ugly. There'll be $4 Bud and Bud Light bottles along with $3 shots, as well as Indians ticket giveaways. The fun begins at 5:30 p.m. before the Tribe game at Clevelander Bar and Grill, 834 Huron Road. Admission is free. Call 216-771-3723 or visit clevelanderbar.com for more information. — Zirm

ART

Artists' Night Out

Making art is usually a solitary pursuit. Once you've graduated from art school, the feedback you craved from professors and fellow students can be harder to come by. So from 7 to 9 p.m. on the last Tuesday of each month, the art-promoting organization Lakewood Is Art! sponsors Artists' Night Out at Mars Bar (15314 Madison Ave., Lakewood, 216-228-4500), where artists — that's you — can share and talk about their work with each other. Drink specials and munchies help create a friendly, supportive environment. The bar provides laptops to display digital portfolios, or feel free to bring your own. The event is free; e-mail info@artwoodohio.org to find out more. — Pantsios

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