The Devil Strip’s Guide to Summer | July & August

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Though our summer selves hibernate all winter, somewhere in the back of the mind of every Akronite there’s the small, comforting knowledge that no matter how bitter the chill or how deep the snow, one day we’ll get to play outside again. From this knowledge springs a small kernel of hope, which itself may be the core of this city’s seemingly boundless optimism, the faith that Yes, this may be bad but it’s going to get better so keep moving forward. And now, here we are, at our reward. The summer.

REOCCURRING EVENTS

Brew at the Zoo ($14-$31)
“Christmas in July”
Wednesday, June 15 at 6 – 9 pm
Enjoy a casual beer tasting from local breweries as you stroll through the zoo. Tastings are included and full-size beers will be available for purchase at $4 each. This first one kicks it old school with an 80s theme. Football Tailgate Night (September 9) follows. Buy tickets online at akronzoo.org

Akron Racers
Firestone Stadium
1575 Firestone Parkway, Akron
When the Racers returned to Firestone Stadium to open their season at home, Browns legend Bernie Kosar threw out the first pitch. But there’s a lot more going on than that. They’ve already had Superhero and Princess Day (June 14), Trick or Treat Night (June 17) and Summit Co. Softball HOF night (June 21) so check out the schedule for more fun nights. Visit akronracers.org for details and tickets. Season runs through August 11.

Akron RubberDucks
Canal Park
Whether it’s “Two for Tuesdays” tickets, “Thirsty Thursday” draft beers, “Friday Night Fireworks” or their many special promotions, the RubberDucks always have something for you to enjoy. Plus, baseball! Home games continue through September 3. Get details, merch and tickets at akronrubberducks.com

WONE’s Rock the Lock
Fridays, May 22 – September 4 (FREE)
Tribute bands perform free at Lock 3, including the aural doppelgangers for Rush, AC/DC, Bruce Springsteen and George Thorogood with local opening acts like Angie Haze, Shivering Timbers, Elipsus, the Whiskey Kings and more. Gates open at 6 pm and the concerts start at 7 pm. For more information lock3live.com

Hardesty Park Concerts (FREE)
Mondays, June 8 – August 10 at 7-9 pm
Featuring Wanda Hunt Band, Howard Street Blues Band, Acid Cats and more.
1615 W. Market St., Akron
akronohio.gov/communityevents

Firestone Park Concerts (FREE)
Tuesdays, June 9 – August 11 at 7-9 pm
Featuring The Kingbees, The Juke Hounds, Swizzle Sticks and more.
1480 Girard St., Akron
akronohio.gov/communityevents

Shadyside Park Concerts (FREE)
Wednesdays, June 10 – August 12 at 7-9 pm
Featuring Conestoga, Southbound, JiMiller, Mystic Taxi and more.
1235 Kenmore Blvd., Akron
akronohio.gov/communityevents

Lock Bottom Blues & Jazz Club (FREE)
Wednesdays, July 8 – Sept. 2
Lock 4 (off Bowery St, behind the Civic)
Enjoy great blues and jazz acts like Dan Wilson, the Wanda Hunt Band, Horns & Things and The Stingers in one of Akron’s best outdoor (and most overlooked) venues. For more information, visit lock3live.com

Flicks on the Falls (FREE)
Falls River Square, Cuy Falls
Thursdays, June 4-August 13
Family friendly film fare for free from the new “Annie” (June 18) to “Paddington” (July 9) to “Muppets Most Wanted” (August 13). Cartoons start just after dusk and the feature presentation starts at dark.
Stadium-style seating is available but you can bring your own chairs and strollers for the kiddos. Just don’t bring your pets. More at cfo.cityofcf.com/web/our-city/falls-river-square/flicks-falls

Downtown@Dusk (FREE)
Thursdays, June 18 – August 6 at 6:30-8:30 pm
Outdoor concerts featuring The Numbers Band, Mo Mojo, Umojah Nation, Ryan Humbert and more.
Akron Art Museum
One S. High St., Akron
akronartmuseum.org/calendar/list/downtowndusk/34

Goodyear Heights Metro Park Concerts (FREE)
Fridays, June 12 – August 7 at 7-9 pm
Featuring Horns & Things, Dixie Soul, Juke in the Box, Gary Shreve & Memphis Prowlers and more
2077 Newton St., Akron
akronohio.gov/communityevents

Saturday Night Concerts at Lock 3 (up to $10)
Saturdays, June 27 – September 5 at 6 pm
The series opens with “Old School Soul,” includes tribute bands of the Stevie Wonder Experience and the Beatles then ends with the real Sheila E. For more information, visit lock3live.com

Summer Biking Spree
July 1 – August 31
Explore by bike the multipurpose trails managed by Summit Metro Parks – and earn rewards during this third annual event! Cycling forms with the list of trail sections available June 15 at summitmetroparks.org.

Gospel Sundays
Sundays, July 26 – August 30 at 5 pm – 7 pm
Lock 4 (off Bowery St, behind the Civic)
Featuring Henry Dunn’s Road to Glory on the Road, the Gospel Tracks and First Apostolic Faith Church. For more information, visit lock3live.com

Brunch on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
Every Saturday and Sunday through summer
The Brunch Train (“…you’re on a gravy train with biscuit wheels…”) departs Akron-Northside Station at 10:45 am. Special breakfast and lunch menus for Father’s Day on June 21. Details at cvsr.com/calendar

The Market at Lock 3
Fridays, June 19 – Sept. 11 (except. July 3 or 10)
Load up on fresh, local produce and specialty food items while SummaCare provides recipes and healthy eating tips. Prizes every week.

Summer Concert Series (prices vary but include camping)
Nelson Ledges Quarry Park
12001 Nelson Ledge Rd, Garrettsville
(440) 548-2716 | nlqp.com
July 10 – July 12: Blue Oyster Cult and David Allen Coe
July 17: Grateful Fest 2015
August 14: Willie Nelson and Old Crow Medicine Show
Sept 4: Summerdance 2015

Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival (FREE)
Interactive kid’s program by UA Dance Institute at 7:45 pm
Performances following at 8:45 pm
July 24-25 – NEOS Dance Theatre at Firestone Park
July 31-Aug 1 – GroundWorks Dance Theatre at Glendale Cemetery
August 7-8 – Verb Ballets at Hardesty Park
August 14-15 – PHILADANCO! at Goodyear Hts. Metro Park
Akrondancefestival.org

Akron Symphony Orchestra Sundays
July 26 at Firestone Park
August 2 at Glendale Cemetery
August 9 at Hardesty Park
August 16 at Goodyear Hts. Metro Park

MONTH OF JULY

Italian-American Festival (FREE admission)
Thursday, July 9 – Saturday, July 11 at 11 am to 11 pm
Lock 3
A family-friendly festival with an “infectious Italian atmosphere” and lots of food to enjoy. Nightly concerts, including Bon Jovi tribute band Crush and Journey tribute band Separate Ways. Details available at it-am.org

Festa Italiana!
Friday, July 17 – Sunday, July 19
Falls River Square
2085 Front St., Cuy Falls
Authentic Italian food, grape stomping, Italian language lessons, morre, bocce tournaments and much more! The Festa 5k on Saturday morning with a Zumbathon from 10:30 am to 2 pm and mass at 11 am on Sunday. Details at festaitalianacf.com

African-American Festival ($10 after 5 pm)
Sunday, July 19 at 11 am-9 pm
Lock 3
All day festival concludes with a performance by rock band WAR at 8 pm. For more information, visit akronafricanculture.com

Taste of Akron
Thursday, July 23 at 6-10pm
Get the full flavor of Akron by sampling appetizers, entrees and desserts from a variety of area restaurants and food trucks. Admission is free but samples’ll cost ya. Food tickets are $2 each.
Hardesty Park
1615 W. Market St., Akron
akronartsexpo.org/taste_of_akron.html
h/t – Daniel Stitzel

TubaSummer
Sunday, July 26 at 7 pm
Guzzetta Ampitheater
University of Akron
224 E. Buchtel Ave., Akron
If you love the tuba like we love the tuba, we know you’re going to love TubaSummer.

Summit County Fair
July 28 – August 2
From rides, pig races and a petting zoo to the lemon-eating contest and the Rock ‘n Country Cloggers, the Summit County Fair has something for everyone who is interested in the kinds of family-friendly you can typically find at a county fair. Rides & concessions open at 12 pm. Admission is $6 (ages 8 and older). An all-day ride pass will set you back $14.
229 E. Howe Rd., Tallmadge
(330)633-6200 | summitfair.com

MONTH OF AUGUST

Bridgestone Invitational
August 5-9
Firestone Country Club
In case you want to see some of the world’s best doing their thing in person without taking too long a drive from home. Details at PGAtour.com

National Hamburger Festival ($5)
Saturday, August 8 – Sunday, August 9
Lock 3 Park, Downtown Akron
At this point, who cares whether Akron’s Menches Brothers really invented the hamburger? We have the National Hamburger Festival with its live music and more than 50 different ways to enjoy a good burger. Learn more at hamburgerfestival.com

Flair Fest (FREE)
Friday, August 14-Saturday, August 15
Lock 3 at Main Street, Akron
This LGBT festival, featuring art, food and entertainment, brought the Indigo Girls to Akron last year, coinciding with 2014 Gay Games. It’s back this year to celebrate and commemorate the success of the games, featuring Four Swedes (ABBA tribute), Mystic Taxi and *the* Taylor Dayne with Alex Newell, Rachel Roberts and the Ruthless.

Porch Rokr (FREE)
Saturday, August 29
With bands, arts and lots of community, if Porch Rokr isn’t already Akron’s signature event of the summer, it’s fast on its way. This year, the party moves to a stretch along Merriman Road from Edgerton Road down to West Market. For details, keep checking porchrokr.org

What’s on your ‘It Isn’t Summer Until I Have Enjoyed…’ Bucket List?

How our friends are spending their Summer Vacation

“Disc golf, laying in the pool, walking the dogs in the Goodyear Metro Park and my very favorite hobby of kayaking and fishing.” – Vickie Uhl

“Karaoke at the Upper Deck!” – Michael A. Black

“Riding bikes on the Towpath or the Bike and Hike trail.” – Colleen Segedy

“Cheap seats, Rubber Ducks games.” – Dominic Caruso

“Picnic on the lawn at Blossom and listen to the orchestra under the stars.” – Arnold Tunstall

“Sitting on the rooftop patio at the Lockview.” – Joanna Wilson

“Just walking the streets I always find something new.” – Joey Schossler

“I love putting my kayak in the Cuyahoga near Szalay’s and paddling to Peninsula then stopping at the Lizard for dinner. Square Fest and Porch Rokr are a must. The Howe Meadow concerts, the performances outside the Akron Art Museum, biking on the Towpath and camping at NLQP (Nelson Ledges Quarry Park).” – Scott Taylor

“Rent pontoons from Pier 619. Taking youngsters around Akron to historical sites including the canal locks in CVNP (Cuyahoga Valley National Park) and through town, eventually going to Canal Fulton to experience riding the canal boat in the canal.” – Brenda St Clair

“Hiking the Cuyahoga River bed starting at Blue Hen Falls, ending at Buttermilk Falls.” – Alicia Wagner

“The Summit County Fair for sure!” – Sarah Emily Diaz

“Take a walk in Stan Hywet’s amazing gardens. Ohio Shakespeare Festival—awesome outdoor theatre. If it’s raining and you want unusual shopping, visit the Bomb Shelter! Eat breakfast at Blue Door for up-scale or at the Front Door for a taste of reality served with love.” – Carolyn Behrman

“The Soap Box Derby!” – Erin Stevens

“Rubber Ducks game, Portage Lakes fireworks, hamburger cook off, concert at Lock 3, hiking in the most beautiful state parks in the country.” – Peggy Jolly Weaver

“Blueberry picking at Greenfield Berry Farm!” – Lauren Garcia-Duplain

“Downhill longboarding” – Jonathon James Smith

“Outdoor dining with friends. Making things in the driveway. Towpath!” – Micah Kraus

“Rubber Ducks games, swimming at Water Works. Being outside!” – Rachel Elkins

“The Akron Zoo! …and the good old slip n’ slide, of course.” – Rebecca Wesley

“Hiking the Gorge with the grandkids and Countryside Farmers’ Market—my new favorite!” – Jeanne Tassiello Jordan

“Kayaking!” – Rachael Gilliland

“Porch Rokr, hike to Mary Campbell cave at Gorge Park, biking from Akron to Barberton on the Towpath with a stop for Hamburger Station’s lemonade.” – Rick Pavelko

“Ballet in the park.” – Laura Baker Cosentino

“I love the Saturday morning markets at Countryside Farmers’ Market at Howe Meadow. That defines summer and what is great about our area. It’s located within a National Park, and just 15 minutes from my house.” – Nancy Brennan

“Mini-golf and drive-ins.” – Stephanie Baker

“…since moving to Akron eight years ago, one of my absolute favorite summer pleasures is the Towpath Trail. When walking my dog there I see so many different kinds of happy people enjoying themselves, from teenage sweethearts holding hands to joggers and cyclists. Whether you want a quiet morning stroll like me or some place to have a nice family afternoon it’s a great Akron summer treasure.” – Eric Wasserman

“Hiking the Summit Metro Parks!” – John Vendetti

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