Category Archives: Giveaways

[UPDATE] GIVEAWAY: Cleveland’s Great Big Home + Garden Show

home and garden show

UPDATE: After removing two duplicate entries and placing the remaining number in Random.org, congratulations go to entry #15 – Laura B! Please reply to my email by 2/4 at 5pm to confirm you can attend.

home show winner

When I’m stuck inside for more than a few days, my eyes drift to those home improvement projects I need to tackle. With the snowy weather, I’ve been eyeing the bedroom and bathroom updates we need to finish.

Fortunately, February’s Great Big Home and Garden Show, March’s Cleveland Home + Remodeling Expo, and my giveaways for both are perfectly timed to my need to tinker!

Mark your calendars for two weeks of home and garden inspiration when the Great Big Home and Garden Show returns to the Cleveland I-X Center February 6 through 15. (And save the date for the Home + Remodeling Expo March 27-29 – I’ll be giving away those tickets later.)

This year’s Great Big Home and Garden Show will include:

Tom Silva (This Old House and Ask This Old House’s), Matt Muenster (Bath Crashers and HGTV’s 2015 Dream Home), and nationally recognized design/build contractor Ramsin Khachi will be among the guests appearing on the combined Main Stage and Loretta Paganini Cooking Stage.

The brand-new Danny Vegh’s Break Room will serve up pub food and give guests a chance to compete in ping pong and other table games.

This year’s model homes include a 2,400 square foot Idea Home by Blossom Homes, a 1,500 square foot Xtend Technologies Entertainment Home with an in-ground pool, and a Weaver Barns house.

More than 1,000 home industry experts and 600 exhibitors will be on hand showcasing their techniques and tips for cooking, gardening, home improvement and more.

My favorite part of every year’s show is the Garden Showcase, and it sounds like this year’s showcase will rock, literally. Northeast Ohio landscapers will tackle some of Cleveland’s landmarks with the theme Cleveland Rocks.

Photos from my favorite garden at last year's show themed around Ohio beer.

Photos from my favorite garden at last year’s show themed around Ohio beer.

See the show features and stage schedule for more details.

Tickets at the I-X Center box office cost $15, but buy them online and save. Online tickets cost only $12, plus take another $1 off by using promo code CLUECLE15 when you check out online.

I’m also giving away a pair of general admission tickets to the event. How to enter: Do one, some, or all five of the entries. A separate comment is needed for each. 

There are 5 Easy Ways to Enter the Giveaway
**You must leave a separate comment on this post for each entry**

1) What home improvement or gardening project is on your to-do list this year? Leave a comment on this post with your answer.

2) Follow @GreatBigShow and @ADHicken on Twitter and leave one comment on this post telling me you did both.

3) If you’re a fan of Clue Into Cleveland and Home and Garden Events on Facebook, leave one comment on this blog post letting me know. If you’re not yet a fan, you can become one here and here.

4) Tweet the following and leave one comment letting me know you tweeted:

I want to go to @GreatBigShow. Enter @ADHicken’s giveaway to win 2 tickets to #Cleveland’s home and garden show: http://wp.me/p2Ukr0-2DI

You can tweet once per day for additional entries. Just leave a separate comment each time you tweet.

5) Subscribe to Clue Into Cleveland via a feed tracker like Bloglovin’ or Feedly and leave one comment letting me know you did. This can also include signing up to receive email notifications in the top-right “Subscribe” section of this page.

You have until February 2 at 11:59pm to enter. Random.org will select the winner, which I will announce on February 3. Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry – good luck!

Disclosure: I was invited to attend The Great Big Home and Garden Show with a guest in exchange for hosting a giveaway. My choice to post about this and any opinions are 100% my own.

Giveaway: Win 2 Tickets to Cleveland International Film Festival’s Get Shorty Film Feast

CIFF39

UPDATE: Congratulations, entry #34 – Megan Kilway! Random.org’s generator selected you as the winner of this giveaway. Please reply to my email by January 26 at noon ET to confirm you can still attend.

CIFF Winner

The thawing of ice, the sound of chirping birds, the return of the Cleveland International Film Festival. These are all signs that spring has come to Cleveland.

As much as I’ll welcome the warmer weather, I think that CIFF is the sign of spring I’m most excited for.

If you haven’t been to the festival before, here’s a post I wrote a couple of years ago about it.

If you have been, you’re probably saying to yourself: “But, CIFF39 doesn’t start til March. We still have two, long winter months to get through.”

And you’d be right. The 39th Annual Cleveland Film Festival runs March 18 – 29, when 350+ films will take over Tower City Cinemas. (Even better — some of this year’s screenings will be coming to a neighborhood venue near you like the Beachland Ballroom, Cedar Lee Theatre, Chagrin Cinemas, the Akron Art Museum and more.)

However, although the festival is a couple of months away, you and a friend have the chance to enjoy an evening of films and food on January 29th for free!

On January 29 at 7pm, CIFF will host the Get Shorty Film Feast at the Capitol Theatre, and I have a pair of tickets to give away.

CIFF’s Film Feasts are a series of parties to celebrate the arts, cultivate new film buffs, and help raise money for the festival.

Get Shorty is an extra special (and one of the most popular) feasts because it gives you the chance to help program some of the short films that will play at the 39th CIFF.

That’s right: During Get Shorty, CIFF will screen a selection of short films; audience members will cast their vote for each; and the top scorers will be screened at the festival in March. 

And don’t worry about doing all of that “work” on an empty stomach. Before the screenings, Culinary Occasions will be serving food and drinks at the Arcade next door.

Tickets to Get Shorty are $100 each and available at clevelandfilm.org/support-us/film-feasts/get-shorty; however, you can enter my giveaway to win two free tickets to the party!

There are 5 Easy Ways to Enter the Giveaway
**Do one, some or all of the entries. Separate comments needed for each.**

1) What’s your favorite film? Leave a comment on this post with your pick.

2) Follow @CIFF and @ADHicken on Twitter and leave one comment on this post telling me you did both.

3) If you’re a fan of Clue Into Cleveland and Cleveland International Film Festival on Facebook, leave one comment on this blog post letting me know. If you’re not yet a fan, you can become one here and here.

4) Tweet the following and leave one comment letting me know you tweeted:

Enter @ADHicken’s giveaway for tix to the Get Shorty film feast & help @CIFF pick the short films they’ll show http://wp.me/p2Ukr0-2D7 #CLE

You can tweet once per day for additional entries. Just leave a separate comment each time you tweet.

5) Subscribe to Clue Into Cleveland via a feed tracker like Bloglovin’ or Feedly and leave one comment letting me know you did. This can also include signing up to receive email notifications in the top-right “Subscribe” section of this page.

You have until Friday, January 23 at 11:59PM to enter. On Saturday, January 24, I will select a winner using Random.org and will announce the winner’s name on my blog.  Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry – good luck!

Disclosure: I was offered complimentary tickets to Get Shorty in exchange for hosting a giveaway. My opinions are 100% my own.

Giveaway: Halloween Fun for Everyone at Cedar Point’s #HalloWeekends

Enter to win 4 tickets to Cedar Point's Halloweekends (good through November 2)

Enter to win 4 tickets to Cedar Point’s HalloWeekends (good through November 2)

UPDATE: We have a giveaway winner! After tallying up the entries, removing two duplicates, and placing the remaining total into Random.org, congratulations to entry #54 – All Lacquered Up! You’ve won a family 4-pack of tickets to Cedar Point. Please reply to my email by Wednesday at 5pm confirming you can attend.

Halloweekends Giveaway Winner

When it comes to Halloween, it can be difficult to find one place that makes everyone happy.

Sure, there are some places that do family-friendly fun exceptionally well. And there are other places that can put a fright in the bravest of souls. But excelling at one usually happens at the expense of the other.

That’s not a problem with Cedar Point’s HalloWeekends. Just like the amusement park’s regular offerings, their HalloWeekends festivities offer something for everyone.

The monsters come out to play at Halloweekends

The monsters come out to play at HalloWeekends

Scott and I made back-to-back trips to Cedar Point this past weekend (thank god for season passes) – Saturday was spent exploring Cedar Point with Scott, his mom and grandmother, while Sunday was spent rollercoastering and haunted housing with Scott.

And over the two days, there was not a moment where we weren’t having a blast. In fact, we’ll probably find an excuse to make use of our season passes one more time before the season ends Nov 2.

Here are 5 reasons why:

Unlock More Haunts: Cedar Point’s 5 haunted houses and 6 Scare Zones have always been fantastic, usually worth the wait in line. However, a new feature for this year’s Fright Lane pass had me purchasing one on Sunday’s visit to the park.  In addition to front-of-line access to all haunted houses, Fright Lane gets you a skeleton key that unlocks a secret room in each house.

Each Skeleton Key room offered an experience that preyed on a different fear – we got plenty of scares out of it and even a few laughs. Scott’s and my favorite room was at Boeckling’s Estate, followed by Cedar Point’s newest haunted house Hexed. Fright Lane costs vary depending on the day you’re going to the park.

Dine in a haunted house at Cedar Point's Boeckling's Banquet

Dine in a haunted house at Cedar Point’s Boeckling’s Banquet

Dinner with Ghouls: Boeckling’s Banquet at Cedar Point has been a longtime favorite of Scott’s and mine. Dining inside of a haunted house on delicious lobster tail, perfectly cooked filet, and a unique Halloween-themed dessert? Who wouldn’t miss that? This year’s was the perfect way to celebrate Scott’s birthday with his mom and grandmom. If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind Halloween experience, Boeckling’s Banquet is worth a look.

Midway Monster Invasion: Every Saturday and Sunday at 5pm, the Cedar Point midway is taken over by monsters …. friendly monsters! It doesn’t matter what age you are, Cedar Point’s Midway Monster Invasion will put a smile on your face and a bob in your step as you dance along to the parade music.

The Peanuts make an appearance in Cedar Point's Midway Monster Invasion

The Peanuts make an appearance in Cedar Point’s Midway Monster Invasion

Take in a Show: The Cleveland-based music group Midnight Syndicate has come to Cedar Point for their first live performance ever. Known for their gothic horror instrumentals, Midnight Syndicate has put together a performance that blends music, theatrics and film. After experiencing it for ourselves, Scott and I definitely found ourselves in the Halloween mood. Another must-see is the cirque-style Skeleton Crew on Celebration Plaza. I’m not always one for big outdoor shows, but I really enjoyed it.

Entertainment you make yourself: Often the best moments are the fun you make for yourself: From posing with all of the incredible decorations throughout the park…

Scott sees into his future, and his future doesn't like what's looking back

Scott sees into his future, and his future doesn’t like what’s looking back

…to grabbing a beer or glass of wine at the Trail Tavern and watching a scare zone unfold in front of us from the comfort of the Tavern’s front porch.

On top of all of the Halloween fun, there are the rollercoasters, bumper cars, merry-go-rounds, and other entertainment that make up every visit to Cedar Point.

There are only a few weekends left to enjoy this year’s HalloWeekends, which runs Friday-Sunday through November 2nd. But you can enter my HalloWeekends giveaway today and win a family four-pack of one-day tickets good for one of the final two weekends.

There are 5 Easy Ways to Enter the Giveaway
**Do one, some or all five of the entries. Separate comment’s needed for each.**

Please note: This giveaway runs til Oct. 20 and tickets are for this year’s HalloWeekends only, which ends Nov. 2, 2014.

1) What’s your favorite thing about HalloWeekends? If you haven’t been to HalloWeekends yet, what are you most excited to do? Leave a comment on this post with your pick.

2) Follow @CedarPoint and @ADHicken on Twitter and leave one comment on this post telling me you did both.

3) If you’re a fan of Clue Into Cleveland and Cedar Point on Facebook, leave one comment on this blog post letting me know. If you’re not yet a fan, you can become one here and here.

4) Tweet the following and leave one comment letting me know you tweeted:

Scare up some fun at @CedarPoint’s #HalloWeekends. Enter @ADHicken’s giveaway for a family four-pack of tickets: http://wp.me/p2Ukr0-2BN

You can tweet once per day for additional entries. Just leave a separate comment each time you tweet.

5) Subscribe to Clue Into Cleveland via a feed tracker like Bloglovin’ or Feedly and leave one comment letting me know you did. This can also include signing up to receive email notifications in the top-right “Subscribe” section of this page.

You have until Monday, October 20 at 11:59PM to enter. On Tuesday, October 21, I will select a winner using Random.org and will announce the winner’s name on my blog.  Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry – good luck!

Disclosure: I was offered complimentary tickets to Cedar Point; however, as a Platinum Season Passholder, I did not need them. I was also offered the opportunity to host this giveaway. My opinions on Cedar Point are and always have been my own.

Giveaway: Spice Up Your Fall with Two Westside Wine Events

Spice up your fall with these two west-side wine events

Spice up your fall with these two westside wine events

UPDATE: We have a giveaway winner! After tallying up the entries and placing the total into Random.org, congratulations to entry #19 – Jessica Z! You’ve won 2 L’Amour du Vin general admission tickets. Please reply to my email by Tuesday at noon confirming you can attend.

lamourduvin

If Target and Lowe’s are right, the holidays are quickly approaching. Ok, maaaaybe Christmas in September is a bit too soon; however, seeing the decorations on the shelves has been a good reminder that there’s one thing I need to do sooner than later: make sure my wine coffers are filled. 

Whether it’s a last-minute Halloween party, Thanksgiving dinner at my in-laws, or my friend’s Waffle Christmas bash, I’ll sleep better knowing I have a reserve of reds and whites at the ready for the next holiday party.

What to buy, though? Fortunately, two upcoming events on the westside offer the perfect opportunity for some wine recon.

Keep reading for details on both events and a chance to win tickets to one of them!

Island Wine Festival, October 4

I never need an excuse to spend the day on Put-In-Bay, but if you do, this Saturday’s Island Wine Festival is a really great one.

Hop aboard the Miller Ferry to South Bass Island for a leisurely afternoon of wine, delicious food, and island living. Put-In-Bay’s Island Wine Festival runs 11am to 6pm on October 4 at the Put-in-Bay Winery and Doller House Estate.

Enjoy the beautiful views of Lake Erie or take a stroll through Put-in-Bay Winery's beautiful grounds at the Island Wine Festival

Enjoy beautiful views of Lake Erie or take a stroll through Put-in-Bay Winery’s gorgeous grounds at the Island Wine Festival

Sample more than 400 wines, including ones from the Put-in-Bay Winery, Heineman Winery and other Ohio wineries. Sampling tickets are $1 each with most samples running between $1 and $4. Bottles can also be purchased to take home with you.

In addition to wine, enjoy a display on the history of island wineries and grab a bite to eat from one of the festival vendors. Benefits from the event’s silent auction will go to the Lake Erie Islands Historical Society.

Scott and I went to the Island Wine Festival two years ago and made a full day out of the trip, checking out Perry’s Cave, the Crystal Cave and Perry’s Monument before and after the festival.

Although most people think summer when they think of Put-in-Bay, Fall is where it’s at, in my opinion.

L’Amour du Vin, October 9

I know everyone loves the Arthritis Foundation’s Silver Spoon Awards — I do too. But if I had to pick a favorite between that and their fall fundraiser L’Amour du Vin, I’d be hard-pressed to make my choice.

Presented by University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center, L’Amour du Vin puts the spotlight on Lorain County and Cleveland’s Westside.

Enter to win 2 tickets to L'Amour du Vin on October 9

Enter to win 2 tickets to L’Amour du Vin on October 9

The wine and food event is taking place next Thursday, October 9 and will feature wines from Heidleburg of Lorain and cuisine from 41 North, AMP 150, Bistro 83, Taki’s Greek Kitchen, Kiedrowski’s Simply Delicious Bakery, and other area restaurants.

I LOVE this event. Living in Avon Lake, I may be a little biased but L’Amour du Vin’s smaller size and targeted approach is the perfect opportunity to experience what the westside of Cleveland has to offer (spoiler: a lot).

The VIP lounge has also always impressed me, featuring cocktails from Brown-Forman (loved last year’s Ward 8!) plus more food, spa services and other VIP surprises.

Scott and I even purchased L’Amour du Vin tickets for his parents so that they can get a taste of some of the different restaurants in their new neighborhood.

Cocktails and food from last year's L'Amour du Vin VIP party

Cocktails and food from last year’s L’Amour du Vin VIP party

The 17th annual L’Amour du Vin takes place October 9 at the Avon Oaks Country Club from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. General admission tickets are $65 per person ($80 at the door) and VIP costs $95 per person. Event proceeds support local programs and services for the nearly 1.3 million Northeast Ohioans with arthritis. Purchase tickets at lamourduvin2014.eventbrite.com or by calling Alicia at (216) 285-2822.

As much as I’m looking forward to attending L’Amour du Vin,
I’m even more excited that one of you will also be going!

Whether you’re a longtime westsider who’s already clued into our local restaurants, or want to explore more of this region’s cuisine, here’s your chance to win a pair of general admission tickets to L’Amour du Vin:

There are 5 Easy Ways to Enter the Giveaway
**Do one, some or all five of the entries. A separate comment’s needed for each.**

1) What’s your favorite Lorain County or Cleveland Westside restaurant? Leave a comment on this post with your pick.

2) Follow @ArthritisFouNEO and @ADHicken on Twitter and leave one comment on this post telling me you did both.

3) If you’re a fan of Clue Into Cleveland and The Arthritis Foundation, Northeast Ohio Chapteron Facebook, leave one comment on this blog post letting me know. If you’re not yet a fan, you can become one here and here.

4) Tweet the following and leave one comment letting me know you tweeted:

Raise a glass to @ArthritisFouNEO at #LAmourduVin. Enter @ADHicken’s giveaway for your chance to win tickets: http://wp.me/p2Ukr0-2Bp

You can tweet once per day for additional entries. Just leave a separate comment each time you tweet.

5) Subscribe to Clue Into Cleveland via a feed tracker like Bloglovin’ or Feedly and leave one comment letting me know you did. This can also include signing up to receive email notifications in the top-right “Subscribe” section of this page.

You have until Sunday, October 5 at 11:59PM to enter. On Monday, October 6, I will select a winner using Random.org and will announce the winner’s name on my blog.  Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry – good luck!

Disclosure: I was invited to attend L’Amour du Vin with a guest in exchange for hosting a giveaway, I also have been invited to attend the Island Wine Festival. My choice to post about these events and opinions are 100% my own.

Taste of the Browns Giveaway: Tackle Hunger with the Greater Cleveland Food Bank

Win 2 tickets to

Win 2 tickets to the Sept. 15 event

Every four years, Feeding America, the nationwide network of 200 food banks, conducts its Hunger in America study.

It’s the largest survey of its kind, focusing on why hunger happens and its effects on local communities.

The most recent Hunger in America was released just last week, and showed that right here in Northeast Ohio, more than 574,000 people each year turn to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and other hunger programs.

If you’ve been thinking about getting involved with the Food Bank, now is the time.

September is Hunger Action Month, a nationwide campaign to raise significant funds and enlist volunteers in the fight against hunger.

And the Greater Cleveland Food Bank has made it easy and fun for you to contribute with two fantastic events.

First up is the Hunger Action Month Happy Hour on Monday, September 8th. From 5:30-7:30pm, drink and eat up at TownHall in Ohio City. A $20 ticket gets you unlimited selected drafts between 5:30 and 7:30 and flatbreads between 6 and 7. All proceeds benefit the Cleveland Food Bank, and you can find out more and buy tickets at the link.

It’s an excellent warm-up to the Food Bank’s main event the following week. That’s right, it’s time again for Taste of the Browns!

It’s the 16th year that the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, the city’s culinary scene, and the Cleveland Browns have teamed up to tackle hunger in Northeast Ohio.

Photo from 2013 Taste of the Browns, courtesy of Greater Cleveland Food Bank

Photo from 2013 Taste of the Browns, courtesy of Greater Cleveland Food Bank

On Monday, September 15, more than 25 of the area’s finest restaurants and chefs will take over the City View Club Lounge at FirstEnergy Stadium. Some of the restaurants in attendance include:

  • Rocco Whalen’s Fahrenheit and Rosie & Rocco’s
  • Zack Bruell’s Chinato, Cowell & Hubbard, L’Albatros Brasserie, Parallax, Table 45
  • Eric Williams’ Momocho and El Carnicero
  • Sam McNulty’s The Market Garden Brewery, Bar Cento, Speakeasy, Nano Brew and Bier Market
  • And my new favorite downtown dining destination Urban Farmer
Photo from 2013 Taste of the Browns by Poise in Parma

Photo from 2013 Taste of the Browns by Poise in Parma

Cleveland Browns fans also have the opportunity to meet and mingle with Browns alumni and current players and bid for items like Joe Haden’s “favorite things” gift basket; footballs and jerseys autographed by Brian Hoyer, Johnny Manziel and Barkevious Mingo; and a signed copy of the Draft Day movie script.

New to this year’s Taste of the Browns is a wine and craft beer pull. For $10, attendees can purchase a bottle cap for a six-pack of craft beer, while $20 gets you a bottle of wine.

Need more convincing? Check out Poise in Parma’s guest recap of last year’s Taste of the Browns.

General admission tickets are available for $175, $75 of which is tax-deductible and can be purchased here. Proceeds from last year’s event raised more than $175,000 for the Food Bank, enabling them to distribute 700,000+ meals to agencies in six local counties.

Photo from 2013 Taste of the Browns, courtesy of Greater Cleveland Food Bank

Photo from 2013 Taste of the Browns, courtesy of Greater Cleveland Food Bank

You can also win 2 general admission tickets to Taste of the Browns in my giveaway.
How to enter: Do one, some or all five of the entries; a separate comment’s needed for each.

There are 5 Easy Ways to Enter the Giveaway
**You must leave a separate comment on this post for each entry**

1) Leave a comment on this post telling me which Taste of the Browns restaurant you haven’t been to before that you’d like to try.

2) Follow @CleveFoodbank and @ADHicken on Twitter and leave one comment on this post telling me you did both.

3) If you’re a fan of Clue Into Cleveland and the Cleveland Foodbank on Facebook, leave one comment on this blog post letting me know. If you’re not yet a fan, you can become one here and here.

4) Tweet the following and leave one comment letting me know you tweeted:

I want to tackle hunger at @CleveFoodbank’s #TasteoftheBrowns. Enter @ADHicken’s giveaway and you can too: http://wp.me/p2Ukr0-2zV

You can tweet once per day for additional entries. Just leave a separate comment each time you tweet.

5) Subscribe to Clue Into Cleveland via a feed tracker like Bloglovin’ or Feedly and leave one comment letting me know you did. This can also include signing up to receive email notifications in the top-right “Subscribe” section of this page.

You have until Sunday, September 7 at 11:59PM to enter. On Monday, September 8, I will select a winner using Random.org and will announce the winner’s name on my blog.  Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry – good luck!

Disclosure: I was invited to attend Taste of the Browns with a guest in exchange for hosting a giveaway. My choice to post about this event and opinions are 100% my own.

Win 2 VIP Tickets to SC4K’s Luau on the Lake

lake erie

You’re lounging with a view of the water, frosty beer or fruity umbrella drink in hand. You can hear laughter coming from a Conga line and smell the spices of a delicious beachside feast. Maybe you’ll take in a game of beach volleyball later.

Sounds like a fantastic afternoon, doesn’t it?

Fortunately,  you don’t need to hop on a plane to a tropical locale to enjoy it.  On July 12, you only have to go as far as Whiskey Island’s Wendy Park for the 9th annual Luau on the Lake.

What’s even better is that all proceeds from the party will benefit Shoes and Clothes for Kids, the only non-profit in Greater Cleveland that provides new shoes and clothing throughout the year to thousands of children in need, all at no charge.

And best yet? You can win a pair of VIP tickets to the event on Clue into Cleveland.

luau on the lake

From 4 to 9pm on July 12, enjoy SC4K’s celebration fit for a Tiki God. A lakeside dinner is served til 7:30 featuring jerk-seasoned green beans, saffron and Caribbean-spiced brown rice, pan-seared chicken with spicy plum sauce, Polynesian BBQ pulled pork sliders, and island sorbet.

Beer, wine, snacks, music, sand volleyball, and a limbo contest are available throughout the night for all ticketholders, while VIP “Big Kahunas” will also get a souvenir cup and three tickets for island cocktails, early admittance at 3:30pm, and a lei and floral tote to go with their Hawaiian shirts. 

New to this year’s Luau on the Lake is a 24-team, single elimination cornhole tournament. Up for grabs – a cornhole board set complete with bags and 4 tickets to an Indians game. Teams will be able to register for $20 each.

General admission tickets are $50 through July 7. After that and at the door, they’re $60. VIP tickets are $60 through July 7 and available for presale only.

The funds raised by Luau will be instrumental in helping SC4K distribute $2.4-million worth of new clothing and Payless shoe gift cards to children this year.

Want to spend your July 12th at Luau on the Lake? Enter my giveaway for two Big Kahuna VIP tickets right now.

There are 5 Easy Ways to Enter the Giveaway
**You must leave a separate comment on this post for each entry**

1) Leave a comment with what your favorite beachside activity is. (Mine is just relaxing by the water with a good book.)

2) Follow @ADHicken and @SC4K on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know you did both.

3) If you’re a fan of Shoes and Clothes for Kids and Clue Into Cleveland on Facebook, leave a comment on this blog post letting me know. If you’re not yet a fan, you can become one here and here.

4) Tweet the following and leave one comment letting me know you tweeted:

I want to party like a Big Kahuna at Luau on the Lake! Enter @ADHicken’s @SC4K giveaway for VIP tickets http://wp.me/p2Ukr0-2ww #SC4KLuau14

You can tweet once per day for additional entries. Just leave a separate comment each time you tweet.

5) Subscribe to Clue Into Cleveland via a feed tracker like Bloglovin’ or Feedly and leave one comment letting me know you did. This can also include signing up to receive email notifications in the top-right “Subscribe” section of this page.

You have until Sunday, July 6 at 11:59PM to enter. On Monday, July 7, Random.org will select a winner and I’ll announce the winner’s name on my blog.  Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry – good luck!

Disclosure: I was invited to attend Luau on the Lake with a guest in exchange for previewing the event. My choice to blog about it is based on how much Scott and I have enjoyed this event in years past.

Giveaway: Win 2 Tickets to Cleveland’s Tri-C JazzFest

TRI-C JAZZFEST

In its heyday, PlayhouseSquare played host to crooners, jazz and big bands musicians like Bing Crosby and ol’ Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra.

Now, as PlayhouseSquare’s revitalization hits a dazzling high, Cleveland’s own jazz festival, the Tri-C JazzFest has unveiled a new format celebrating the district.

It’s the 35th anniversary of the Tri-C JazzFest and they’re making a big move – closing down Euclid Ave. between 13th and 14th St with three days of concerts.

From June 26-28, music lovers can take in twelve ticketed shows throughout PlayhouseSquare’s theatres, plus a host of free outdoor music, food trucks and Great Lakes brews on Star Plaza.

Concerts include trumpeter Sean Jones and the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra opening the festival on June 26; Eddie Palmieri, whose career as bandleader spans 50 years, with a night of salsa and Latin jazz on June 27; and pianist/vocalist Eliane Elias performing her tribute to Chet Baker at the Hanna on June 28. Check out the full schedule below:

JazzFest lineup

The free Star Plaza concerts, which are the latest centennial gifts from the Cleveland Foundation, will take place outside on Friday, June 27 and Saturday, June 28 starting at 3pm.

You can learn more about the musicians and purchase tickets on the JazzFest website.

You can also win two tickets right here to the Raul Midón concert on June 28!

Blind since infancy, Midón grew up listening to his father’s collection of Charlie Parker and Miles Davis records, as well as the pop music of the time: Stevie Wonder, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, and Paul Simon.

He writes on the JazzFest’s website: “The way I play today is an amalgam of those styles, mixed with my fascination with the great rock and blues guitarists like Eric Clapton and B.B. King. I’m constantly trying to integrate everything I know musically into the guitar.”

The New York Times describes Midón as “a one-man band who turns a guitar into an orchestra and his voice into a chorus.” And now you can enjoy his concert at the Hanna Theatre by entering my giveaway.

There are 5 Easy Ways to Enter the Giveaway
**You must leave a separate comment on this post for each entry**

1) Leave a comment telling me who your favorite jazz, blues or swing musician is.

2) If you’re a fan of Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland and Clue Into Cleveland on Facebook, leave a comment on this blog post letting me know. If you’re not yet a fan, you can become one here and here.

3) Follow @ADHicken and @TriCJazzFest on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know you did both.

4) Tweet the following and leave one comment letting me know you tweeted:

I want to see @RaulMidon at @PlayhouseSquare on 6/28. Enter @ADHicken’s giveaway for #TriCJazzFest tickets: http://wp.me/p2Ukr0-2w3

You can tweet once per day for additional entries. Just leave a separate comment each time you tweet.

5) Subscribe to Clue Into Cleveland via a feed tracker like Bloglovin’ or Feedly and leave one comment letting me know you did. This can also include signing up to receive email notifications in the top-right “Subscribe” section of this page.

You have until Tuesday, June 17 at 11:59PM to enter.  On Wednesday, June 18, Random.org will select a winner and I’ll announce the winner’s name on my blog.  Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry – good luck!

Disclosure: I was invited to attend the Tri-C JazzFest with a guest in exchange for previewing the event. My choice to blog about the festival is based on how much Scott and I have enjoyed these concerts in years past. Opinions are my own.

Gone Fishin’ (and a #GrapesAndAle winner)

It's as if this bench was made just for Scott

Scott finds his perfect bench in Culpeper

I’ve gone fishing … Literally.   While spending this week in Virginia, I plan on catching a flounder or two at my parents’ house.

We’ve enjoyed our vacation so far, hitting up a few new antique shops in Gordonsville and Fredericksburg, taking drives through the country and strolls through Culpeper. And I can’t wait to spend the next couple of days along the Chesapeake.

These trips to see my sister Gabbie and my parents always come at the perfect time – allowing me to hit reset when I need to the most.

Gabbie and Scott figure out which antique store we're heading to next

Gabbie and Scott figure out which antique store we’re heading to next

Although my blog and I are both on vacation this week, I do have a winner to announce for my Grapes and Ale giveaway.

After placing the total number of entries into Random.org: Congratulations, entry 29 – Mindy Rodgers, for winning this giveaway! Please reply to my email by June 9 to confirm you can attend Grapes and Ale.

Grapes and Ale winner

Grapes and Ale tickets are still available for purchase online. Learn more here.

Have a wonderful week and if you miss me, head over to Beyond Bylines today where I’ve written about the torture (at least for me) of writing a blog’s About page.

Giveway: BBQ, Brews and Blues at Our Lady of the Wayside’s Grapes and Ale

Nothing – not even an 8-days-and-counting sinus infection – could have stopped me from BBQing with Scott’s family this weekend.

Memorial Day Picnic

The weather was perfect (unbelievably so, after our winter), the grill was blazing with cheese brats and Dad Hicken’s BBQ-sauce-laced burgers, and Scott’s mom put together one of the best macaroni salads I’ve had.

Scott and I even squeezed in a bike ride down to the lake. It was a much-needed distraction to forget about the voice I lost 5 days earlier.

I love BBQs, and the best one of the summer happens in a few weeks. On June 27, Our Lady of the Wayside and Giant Eagle will host their annual Grapes & Ale party at Progressive Field. 

Grapes and Ale

From 7-10pm, enjoy barbeque from Hot Sauce Williams, Famous Dave’s, 100th Bomb Group, Battery Park Wine Bar, and Corleone’s while sampling 200 wines and beers from William Hill Estate Winery, St. Michelle, Chloe Wine Collection, Great Lakes, Magic Hat, and more.

Colin Dussault’s Acoustic Side Project is back this year with live blues music throughout the night.

This party pretty much sums up all the best parts of summer for me: BBQ, beer, and the Indians ballpark.

Just learn from my first Grapes and Ale experience. Don’t wear white unless you’re carrying stain remover.

I’m not the only one who loves Grapes and Ale. The event has gotten so big the last couple years that Our Lady of the Wayside is expanding the space they use in Progressive Field.  That means room for even more fun!

Also new this year: Cupcake Vineyards’ Wine Truck will be making a tour stop  at the event.

Cupcake Tour

Grapes and Ale raises money for Our Lady of the Wayside. Located out in Avon, they provide services for 500 children and adults with developmental disabilities. Their programs include:

Grapes and Ale tickets start at $50 (Premiere Grand Tasting level), which gets you access to wine samplings and BBQ, a souvenir glass, music, silent auction and the Cupcake Truck Tour. Samplings of craft beers are also available for purchase at the WKNR Market Pavilion Brew Garden. The $125 VIP Majic of Wine Tasting ticket includes all of this, plus free parking and a blind wine tasting from 6-7pm.

Don’t plan on drinking? Enjoy BBQ, unlimited water and pepsi with a $20 Designated Driver ticket.

You can order tickets online or you can enter to win two $50 tickets right here!

There are 5 Easy Ways to Enter the Giveaway
**You must leave a separate comment on this post for each entry**

1) Leave a comment telling me what’s your favorite side dish to serve at a BBQ.

2) If you’re a fan of Our Lady of the Wayside and Clue Into Cleveland on Facebook, leave a comment on this blog post letting me know. If you’re not yet a fan, you can become one here and here.

3) Follow @ADHicken and @OurLadyWayside on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know you did both.

4) Tweet the following and leave one comment letting me know you tweeted:

I want to win a night of BBQ, brews and blues at #GrapesandAle – enter @ADHicken’s giveaway for tickets: http://wp.me/p2Ukr0-2vJ #CLE

You can tweet once per day for additional entries. Just leave a separate comment each time you tweet.

5) Subscribe to Clue Into Cleveland via a feed tracker like Bloglovin’ or Feedly and leave one comment letting me know you did. This can also include signing up to receive email notifications in the top-right “Subscribe” section of this page.

You have until Tuesday, June 3 at 11:59PM to enter.  On Wednesday, June 4, Random.org will select a winner and I’ll announce the winner’s name on my blog.  Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry – good luck!

Disclosure: I was invited to attend Grapes and Ale with a guest in exchange for previewing the event. My choice to blog about this event is based on how much fun Scott and I had in years past. Opinions are my own.

Giveaway: Celebrate Twenty Years of Silver Spoon Awards

UPDATE: After removing one pingback and three retracted entries, and placing the remaining total in Random.org:

silver spoon winner

Congratulations, entry 26 – Franklin Mayse, for winning this giveaway!
Please reply to my email by the morning of 5/13 to confirm you can attend Silver Spoon.

Silver Spoon Awards Party, May 14, 2014

Cleveland Magazine’s Silver Spoon Awards Party, May 14

When it comes to Cleveland food events, I like to prepare in advance. That means scouting which restaurants are going to be there, developing a game plan for the most efficient tasting route, and getting my appetite in shape.

There are some events I can get away with going in blind; however, if there’s anything I’ve learned from previous years, the Silver Spoon Awards Party is not one of those events.

I mean that in the best way.

When I’m asked for a list of my favorite Cleveland food events, a small handful come to mind. Year after year, Silver Spoon is consistently tops.

tacos

Photo via Silver Spoon CLE, by Lane Baldwin Photography

Each year, Cleveland Magazine readers vote on restaurants that are the best at what they do. Whether that’s pizza, brunch, sushi, Greek food, dessert, happy hour … the list goes on. The restaurant finalists are then invited to show off their signature dish in May to raise money for the Arthritis Foundation, Great Lakes Region, Northeastern Ohio.

Add on top of that, wine from eight international vinters, cocktails from Brown-Forman, a silent auction, late-night after-party in the VIP lounge, and loads of other surprises, and now you know why I prepare like I’m going to run a marathon. 

This year’s Silver Spoon Party promises to be bigger than  ever because  it’s the 20th Anniversary. On Wednesday, May 14, over 40 restaurants will take over 200 Public Square. 

20 Years of Cleveland Magazine's Silver Spoon Awards

20 Years of Cleveland Magazine’s Silver Spoon Awards

And today I’m happy to not only share a sneak peek at what this year’s restaurants have planned, but also 2 tickets for you to win!

Here are some of the dishes you’ll be salivating over:

  • Aladdin’s Eatery: Jasmine’s Favorite and Lebanese Salata
  • Blue Point Grille: Blue Point oysters
  • Bubba’s-Q World Famous Bar-B-Q: De-boned baby back rib steak and Texas style brisket
  • EDWINS Leadership and Restaurant Institute: Rabbit pie and ratatouille
  • Felice Urban Café: Grilled Calamari Salad with New Potato Confit
  • Great Lakes Brewing Co.: A tasting of a variety of beers and Bananas Foster Mousse Cups
  • Humble Wine Bar: Chocolate towers and cheese cakes
  • Jammy Buggars: PB&J Meatball Slider
  • Luca Italian Cuisine: Sacchetti al Tartufata Bianco, white truffle and ricotta stuffed sacchetti, black truffle cream sauce, aged fig balsamic
  • Lucky’s Café: Mini Reuben, corned beef, sauerkraut, on rye with Thousand Island dressing, all house made topped with swiss
  • Master Pizza: Pepperoni, plain, sausage, and the award-winning “Popeye” pizzas
  • Pacific East Coventry: Assortment of sushi
  • Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar: Braised Beef Ropa Vieja
  • Pearl of the Orient – East: Phoenix Salad (smoked shredded duck breast, chicken breast, agar agar, honeydew, cantaloupe, sesame seeds, sesame vinaigrette)
  • Pearl of the Orient – West: Strip Steak with Hoisin Sauce and Crispy Wonton
  • Phnom Penh: Vegetable Kuy Teav Chha Khmer; Chicken Preah Vihear
  • Pier W: Crawfish etouffee and zucchini bloom fritter, fava bean emulsion
  • Salmon Dave’s Pacific Grille: House cured wild salmon with citrus barbecue sauce and a mango poblano salsa
  • Society Lounge: Ramos “Bathtub Gin” Fizz, Kegged and Carbonated Moscow Mule and Barrel Aged Woodford Manhattans
  • Spice Kitchen + Bar: Seared Ramp Ravioli with green garlic sauce and micro greens
  • Sweet Melissa: Chocolate covered strawberries, cannoli, chocolate cake, red velvet cake, NY style cheesecake, keylime tarts, cookies, and more
  • Taki’s Greek Kitchen: Lamb chops w/mavrodaphine syrup, and spicy feta dip w/pita chips
  • Toast: Pigs in a blanket
  • Ty Fun Thai Bistro: Pad Thai
  • Zoup! Euclid & East 4th Street: Lobster bisque and chicken pot pie

Check out the full list of participating restaurants to see who else will be there. Personally, I can’t wait to discover what Cork & Cleaver, DANTE/Ginko, Fired Up Tacos, Lolita, and Mama Roberto’s have up their sleeve.

Hungry yet? You can purchase tickets for the Silver Spoon Awards Party online for $150 (VIP) and $100 (general admission).  Or you can enter to win two general admission tickets right here!

There are 5 Easy Ways to Enter the Giveaway
**You must leave a separate comment on this post for each entry**

1) Leave a comment telling me which dish or restaurant you’re most excited for.

2) If you’re a fan of The Arthritis Foundation, Northeastern Ohio Chapter and Clue Into Cleveland on Facebook, leave a comment on this blog post letting me know. If you’re not yet a fan, you can become one here and here.

3) Follow @ADHicken and @SilverSpoonCLE on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know you did both.

4) Tweet the following and leave one comment letting me know you tweeted:

I want to win tickets to @SilverSpoonCLE! Enter @ADHicken’s #SilverSpoonCLE giveaway: http://wp.me/p2Ukr0-2uQ #CLE

You can tweet once per day for additional entries. Just leave a separate comment each time you tweet.

5) Subscribe to Clue Into Cleveland via a feed tracker like Bloglovin’ or Feedly and leave one comment letting me know you did. This can also include signing up to receive email notifications in the top-right “Subscribe” section of this page.

You have until Sunday, May 11 at 11:59PM to enter.  On Monday, May 12, Random.org will select a winner and I’ll announce the winner’s name on my blog.  Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry – good luck!

Disclosure: I was invited to attend Silver Spoon with a guest and give away 2 tickets on my blog. My opinions and the choice to post about this event are my own.