CATCH A SHOW
In Northeast Ohio’s crowded summer concert and show lineups, here are 10 standouts.
Taylor Swift, June 3, Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland. The top-selling recording artist on the planet these days is getting personal with fans on her 1989 World Tour. theqarena.com
Tommy Castro & the Painkillers, June 12, and Albert Castiglia, June 13, Canton Blues Festival, downtown Canton. These are the evening headliners for this 14th annual free festival, but all-day lineups will feature 17 blues acts total.
Miranda Lambert, June 13, the Country Fest, Clay’s Park Resort. The hit-making country spitfire has plenty of rock ’n’ roll in her sound. Trace Adkins and Josh Thompson will open. This is an adult-friendly event. Thecountryfest.com
Kevin Hart, June 21, Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland. One of the hottest comic actors in Hollywood takes his stand-up show on the road to the country’s biggest
Sam Smith, July 27, Wolstein Center, Cleveland State University. The Grammy Award-winning British soul crooner has been described as the male Adele. wolsteincenter.com
Kid Rock, July 30, Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls. How cool is this? The rappin’ country rocker is charging a mere $20 for all tickets on his summer Cheap Date Tour. ticketmaster.com
Van Halen, August 3, Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls. The often-contentious bandmates Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth, both now 60, are making nice for a hit-filled summer tour.ticketmaster.com
Aerosmith, August 7, Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, Canton. Has there ever been a bigger rock show in Canton? The Rock Hall inductees will arrive smack dab in the middle of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival. ticketmaster.com
One Direction, August 27, FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland. Let’s all hope and pray that this scream-inducing U.K. boy band recovers from the departure of key member Zayn Malik. ticketmaster.com
Luke Bryan, September 5, FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland. This country music superstar will bring his easygoing party vibe to Cleveland’s largest venue, with special guest Florida Georgia Line along for the ride. ticketmaster.com
—By Dan Kane
Nothing beats watching live music, especially in the summertime. Have dinner, grab a drink and stay for the show. Stop in at one of these places this summer for a live show.
Gervasi Vineyard 1700 55th St. NE, Canton 330-497-1000
See Ryan Humbert on June 20, July 12 and September 20, and see Yankee Bravo on June 27, August 14, September 4.
Bud’s Corner 5750 Columbus Rd. NE, Nimishillen Twp. 330-454-0235
Buzzbin Art & Music Shop 339 Cleveland Ave. NW, Canton 330-826-1439 buzzbinshop.com
See Cape Fear! on June 6.
Jerzee’s Sports Grille 5260 Dressler Rd. NW, Jackson Twp. 330-497-4100 jerzeesgrille.com
See Buffalo Native on June 19.
Jimmy’s on Portage 4262 Portage St. NW, North Canton 330-494-9096 facebook.com/jimmys.onportage
Market Square (special events) 301 Market Ave. N, Canton
The Auricle 601 Cleveland Ave. NW, Canton 330-353-8694 facebook.com/auriclevenue
CATCH A FLICK
By Kelli Young
With more than 20 located across the state, Ohio is among the top states in the country for drive-in theaters.
Stark County, which had at least eight outdoor theaters at one time, still has two drive-ins within a 30-mile radius.
So, grab the family, the popcorn, some lawns chairs and blankets. Here’s where you can watch the stars under the stars:
Lynn Drive-in Movies at 9735 state Route 250 NW in Strasburg (19 miles from Canton).
As the oldest drive-in theater in Ohio—and the second-oldest continuously operating drive-in in the world—the Lynn Drive-in has been encouraging families to “Come as you are in the family car” since 1937. It also is one of the few existing grass drive-ins.
Operated by the Reding family, the two-screen drive-in shows the latest family films to hundreds of people each weekend from April through October.
Cost is $6 per person and includes two movies. The cost is $2 for children 5 to 11 when accompanied by an adult and free for children younger than 5.
No pets are allowed, but feel free to bring in a boombox if your car doesn’t have its own radio. The show goes on, rain or shine.
For show times and information, call 330-878-5797 or visit lynndrivein.com.
Magic City Drive-In, 5602 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road in Barberton (29 miles from Canton).
Built in 1953, the drive-in expands its hours beginning June 1 to seven days a week. It, too, shows the latest films, but unique to Magic City is that both of its screens face west.
Also different from Lynn’s is that admission to Magic City is based on carload, not per person. It costs $18 per car—no matter how many people you stuff into your vehicle. The price also includes two movies.
Its concession stand includes a full menu, including hamburgers, cheeseburgers, pizza, hot dogs, nachos and cheese, s’mores, candy and ice cream. The show goes on, rain or shine.
For more information, call 330-825-4333 or visit magiccitydrive-in.com.
Admire beautiful cars at car shows and cruise-ins countywide—or statewide, if you feel up for a quick road trip. Many car shows are weekly events with much more than shiny vehicles. Many have food, entertainment and attractions for the whole family. Check out ohiocarshows.com for all of this summer’s shows. Metal Muscle Nites Cruisin’ the Vines at Maize Valley (maizevalley.com) happens every Thursday through September. More than just a car show, it is complete with a DJ, food packages, wine tastings and activities for the whole family.
HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE
Take in the views from high above in a hot-air balloon. Afraid of heights but still love watching the balloons? See a bunch of balloons lift off at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Balloon Classic Jackson-Belden Food Fest & Fireworks on July 31 and August 1 at Kent State University at Stark/Stark State College. The Balloon Classic is the kickoff to this year’s Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinment Festival. Visit profootballhofef.com for schedule.
HAVE A LAUGH
There’s no shortage of laughter in and around Cleveland. Just ask native comedian Bill Squire.
“The guys at Hilarities, the Funny Stop and the Improv worked their butts off to get those clubs where they are,” he said. “More people are aware of comedy because of the foundation they set, and it can be all kinds. It can be cheap, dark, clean … it can be anything.”
Squire and other Northeast Ohio stand-ups are enjoying a resurgence in comedy, and there’s no shortage of venues for patrons to catch a live comedy show on any night of the week.
The aforementioned clubs are the benchmark laugh factories in Cleveland, and because of their success, other area nightspots in addition to theaters are getting in on the action.
“There’s much more of a scene and a foundation than before I really started years ago,” Squire said. “It’s pretty awesome.”
A quarter-century comedy institution, the Improv (clevelandimprov.com), located in the West Bank of the Flats at Nautica, follows in the mold of the historic Improv chain that originated in Manhattan and Los Angeles. Spacious and easily accessible, the Improv continues to book some of the biggest names in stand-up. The club moved to a new location in the Flats in 2011 and nearly doubled in size. Current household names such as Ray Romano and Ellen Degeneres both got much of their Cleveland introductions via the Improv.
“The West Bank of the Flats has always been steady,” general manager Lee Herlands said. “People can come down on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday, and the parking lot is usually packed. We consistently book some of the funniest national acts. It’s a unique and wonderful setting for a comedy club.”
UPCOMING ACTS INCLUDE: John Morgan (June 4-7), Mo’Nique (June 12-13), Tony Roberts (June 19-20), Godfrey (July 16-19), Sommore (August 21-23), Tommy Davidson (August 27-30)
Located on the revamped E. Fourth Street in downtown Cleveland, Hilarities (hilarities.com) offers up plenty of laughs with its impressive stand-up roster. A tiered theater with 400-seat capacity, Hilarities also offers light eats during shows, and the Pickwick and Frolic complex houses five distinct spaces under one roof.
Owner Nick Kostis opened the E. Fourth Street location in 2002, and it houses not only Hilarities but also Pickwick and Frolic restaurant, Kevin’s Martini Bar and Tap Room, the Frolic Cabaret and Northeast Ohio’s only Champagne Bar.
UPCOMING ACTS INCLUDE: Louie Anderson (June 4-7), Finesse Mitchell (July 1-5), Dave Attell (July 31-August 1), Tom Papa (September 10-12)
Located in the Hard Rock Rocksino in Northfield, Club Velvet (hrrocksinonorthfieldpark.com) is an intimate lounge that houses acoustic acts and numerous comedians.
“We wanted to give Rocksino patrons more options when it came to entertainment,” said Rocksino President Jon Lucas about Club Velvet’s 2014 opening.
Partnering with national comedy club chain The Comedy Zone has allowed Club Velvet to book quality stand-up acts both new and veteran.
“The Comedy Zone is comedy done right,” Lucas said. “It’s an upscale, intimate environment that allows the audience to see acts in a comfortable, up-close, personal setting.”
THE FUNNY STOP
A casual joint with big-name comics, The Funny Stop (thefunnystop.com) in Cuyahoga Falls consistently books the funny—and at affordable prices. The club opened in 1985, but when a fire gutted the venue’s original location, co-owner Pete Barakat moved it to its current spot.
“If you look around, a lot of comedy clubs die,” Barakat said. “We’re lucky that we have really loyal customers who have known us a long time. They come in and bring friends, and it builds. I always bring in good comedians. I know who’s funny and who’s not.”
UPCOMING ACTS INCLUDE: Dustin Diamond (June 26-27), Jim Tews (July 7-11), Angel Salazar (July 17-18), Tim Cornette (July 21)
Want something closer to home? Don’t miss Canton’s premier improv troupe: Scared Scriptless! (facebook.com/scaredscriptlessimprov)
While the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival remains Stark County’s most prominent summertime festival, there are plenty of other community celebrations to get excited about this year.
If classic cars are your thing, visit the Cruise-On-In & Dance Party in downtown Massillon on June 20.
In its 26th year, the regional classic and antique car show draws thousands of visitors not only for its cars, street rods, trucks and motorcycles, but also for its food, musical entertainment and fireworks. (espn990.com/cruise/cruise.html)
If you’re looking for great fireworks, go to the Jackson Community Celebration on June 27 in Jackson Township’s North Park.
The outdoor festival, which spans June 24-27, includes food concessions, games, children’s rides and entertainment each day. A 3.1-mile Night Glow race and a kid’s half-mile fun run and car show will be held June 26. (jacksontwp.com/CommunityCelebration.aspx)
If you like bocce or enjoy watching feisty Italians in competition, get on over to the Italian-American Festival at the Stark County Fairgrounds in Canton on July 9-11.
The festival hosts a bocce tournament, but you often can find spirited games after the tournament is over, too. Festival-goers also can enjoy amusement park rides, games, carnival foods, line dancing, Ferraris and other Italian vehicles, craft vendors and a casino. (cantonitalianfesta.org)
If you’re looking for an event with a little bit of everything, try the Greater Alliance Carnation Festival, running August 6-16.
The 10-day festival is packed with food and activities, including hot-air balloons, a vintage baseball game, a movie at Silver Park, a princess tea party, kiddie tractor pulls, a community gospel songfest, a pet show and a three-day Rib Fest. The ever-popular Carnation Days in the Park begins August 12 and features food, craft displays and free live entertainment. (carnationfestival.com)
And of course, no list of festivals would be complete without the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival, a one of a kind celebration, now featuring 23 diverse events all surrounding the enshrinement of the latest class of football legends. (profootballhofef.com and profootballhof.com)
More Stark County festivals:
Taste of Perry and Community Vendors—June 6
Hartwick Park in Massillon.
More information at perrytwp.com/taste-perry/.
Olde Canal Days Festival—July 9-11
St. Helena Heritage Park and downtown Canal Fulton.
More information at DiscoverCanalFulton.com.
Fun Fest in Massillon—August 8
More information at massillonmuseum.org/fun-fest.
39th annual Grecian Festival—August 20-23
Canton Memorial Civic Center, 1101 Market Ave. N, Canton.
More information at htgoc.net.
Richville Homecoming Festival—June 24-27
Richville Community Park, 6655 Navarre Road SW, Perry Twp.
Includes a kickoff parade, childrens amusement park rides, live music, local vendors, concessions and fireworks.
North Canton Main Street Festival—August 22-23
Downtown North Canton.
More information at northcantonchamber.org.
Village Art Fest in Navarre—August 22
More information at facebook.com/VillageArtFest.
It doesn’t have to be Independence Day to celebrate with a fireworks show. Catch some beautiful bursts at the City of Canton’s Monumental 4th (July 4), North Canton Celebration in the Park (July 4), Clay’s Park Resort Fourth of July (July 4), Olde Canal Days (July 11), Jackson-Belden Food Fest & Fireworks (August 1) and Greater Alliance Carnation Festival (August 15).