Tag Archives: our lady of the wayside

Sipping Grapes & Ale at Progressive Field (or Scott Writes a Sonnet)

Scott and I decided to switch things up at Grapes & Ale this year. I’d be the designated driver, and he’d have an opportunity to sample all of the wine. The only catch? That he’d write the recap.

Colin Dussault's Acoustic Side Project greeted people near the stadium's entrance.

Colin Dussault’s Acoustic Side Project greeted people near the stadium’s entrance.

Nestled at the corner of 9th and Carnegie, there’s just something about Progressive Field that I really enjoy. I’m a transplant to Cleveland, so my fondness for the stadium doesn’t stem from a home team association. And, as someone who competed in marching band through the Philadelphia and South Jersey region, I’ve been in my fair share of stadiums. But Progressive captures something few others do.

I’ve mulled over what that “something” is, and I currently claim it is “hopeful enthusiasm.” Clevelanders have a solid ability to both recognize “what is” while planning for and looking forward to “what could be.” Something about Progressive Field captures that. Regardless of its corporate origins, the stadium’s current name is very fitting for this city.

What makes everything better is when you have the opportunity to freely drink the official beverages of “hopeful enthusiasm” – wine and beer. The Grapes & Ale at Progressive Field event, which happened a few Fridays ago on June 27th, brings all this together for a great time. And, since it raises funds for Our Lady of the Wayside, we have a perfect storm of good vibes.

Wines, foods, and peoples.

Wines, foods, and peoples.

Arriving at Progressive Field a tad early, Amanda and I could smell the predominantly barbecued food that was waiting to accompany the many spirits that are automatically included with entry.

After getting our etched wineglasses, my first stop was to try the Johnny Appleseed hard apple cider, followed by some flipflop moscato. Then we moved on to grab some of the always-delicious Famous Dave’s wings.

Amanda was Designated Driver that evening, and there was plenty of bottled water and soda (“pop” if you’re not a transplant) for her. There was also salad and veggies, ample seating if you walked in deep enough, and even a putting green.

Famous Dave's not only provided good eats, but a nice take-home surprise.

Famous Dave’s not only provided good eats, but a nice take-home surprise.

If you don’t like wine, the Beer Garden had taken over Progressive’s Budweiser Patio. You don’t need to buy tickets to go in – although you do need an empty glass and then tickets if you want any beer – but the mini hot dogs were delicious and the snow cone machine was a great treat.

There were also some games spread about. If leaving with the little wine glass wasn’t enough, the beer tickets got you a handled mason jar and a Lime-a-Rita sample got you another festive glass. Although I didn’t have any, a trusted source told me the Leinenkugel’s stand had brought a Russian Imperial Stout that was great.

I like my crushed ice plain.

I like my crushed ice plain.

If you didn’t bring extra cash for the beer (like me), no worries. There was still plenty of that free-flowing wine, as well as a few other spirits.

To be honest, my wine preferences are pretty narrow; the wine needs to be white and sweet. I’m not listing a lot of sampled names here not because there wasn’t a large selection, but because there was and my sampling was more copious than my note-taking.

The vendors stretched down an entire side of Progressive Field; there was plenty of wine I didn’t drink, and plenty of wine that I did. But you needed to do something special to stand-out in my memory, and the vendor which delivered that was Cupcake Vineyards:

  • Walk-in wine truck pulled into the stadium? Check.
  • Photo-op? Check.
  • Second photo-op? Check.
  • iPads with all the info and cat videos you could want? Check. (Especially because one of our cats is named Cupcake.)
  • Tiny cupcakes at the ready? Check.
  • Delicious Prosecco? Double check.

When it came to wine, Cupcake Vineyards got my vote for “Win.”

Cupcakes! Cupcakes cupcakes cupcakes! CUPCAKES!

Cupcakes! Cupcakes cupcakes cupcakes! CUPCAKES!

Great venue, great drinks, great food, great company – what more am I to say? Grapes & Ale at Progressive Field was a feel-good event last year, and it was a feel-good event this year, and I eagerly look forward to next’s. Until then, I declared I’d review this as a sonnet, so here it is:

Progressive Field is a really great space,
Open and cool and filled up with big smiles.
If the Indians don’t manage to place,
It’s still a spot where-in I’d walk for miles.

Awesome is Our Lady of the Wayside,
Caring for those who are needing a boost.
Providing shelter, respite, and a ride.
So help by drinking fermented grape juice!

Grapes & Ale at Progressive Field is fun,
Food, spirits, and beer all over – delish!
So buy some tickets, you son of a gun!
“This never should end,” is what you will wish!

So come on down to 9th and Carnegie,
Bring hunger and thirst…but not the baby.

Selfie! Selfie selfie selfie! SELFIE!

Selfie! Selfie selfie selfie! SELFIE!

Disclaimers: 

  • I know Carnegie/baby is a terrible rhyme, but how about YOU come up with a better word that rhymes with Carnegie! 
  • Also, Amanda was offered tickets to attend Grapes & Ale at Progressive Field in exchange for blogging about it. I got her second ticket because I can flap my eyeleshes like a pro. The decision to attend and post about an event is her own, based on whether she thinks it’s something that may also interest others.
  • My decision to blog about the event was not my own, but part of Amanda’s agreeing to be Designated Driver so I could run about downing samples like a thirsty camel at an Oasis Sample Party. It seems batting eyelashes is not as powerful a tool of persuasion as I thought.

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.

The Clue-Down: 12 Upcoming Cleveland Events

Reminder: You have til Monday 8/19 at 11:59pm to enter the Taste of the Browns Giveaway. You can tweet once a day for extra entries (just leave a separate comment on the post for each tweet).
Cleveland Upcoming Events: This is the last weekend for Literary Lots in Cleveland / artwork by Julia Kuo

This is the last weekend for Literary Lots / artwork by Julia Kuo

There’s much more going in Cleveland than I’m able to blog about.  And while this post still doesn’t capture everything that’s happening, here’s my ‘clue-down’ of upcoming Cleveland events that caught my eye.

THIS WEEKEND

Last Weekend of Literary Lots:  If you haven’t been able to check out Literary Lots this summer, this is the last weekend.  This month Literary Lots turned a vacant lot at Novak Park (Lorain on W. 38th) into a world of creativity for the community. In addition to revitalizing the public space, they’ve offered programming throughout the month that runs til August 18. Today, Friday and Saturday, there will be storytelling, poetry slams, printmaking and other workshops throughout the day. And on Saturday night starting at 8:30pm, all ages are invited to watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the lot.  You can see all of their events at literarylots.org/events.

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

Our Lady of the Wayside's Grapes and Ale

BBQ, brews and blues at the ballpark – besides being a fun tongue-twister, it’s my favorite way to chill out in the summer.

And on June 28, this triple-play of summer fun comes to downtown Cleveland at Our Lady of the Wayside’s Grapes and Ale fundraiser.

From 7-10pm, Progressive Field will be taken over by some of the area’s best BBQ restaurants and beer and wine providers.

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Grapes, Ales and BBQ to benefit Our Lady of the Wayside

July 4th is only one week away which means it’s BBQ time in the Hicken household! Pulled pork, BBQ chicken, brisket and of course ribs – we can’t get enough of it. Unfortunately, our BBQ skills are pretty much limited to crockpot recipes so we often turn to local restaurants or markets when we’re jonesing for the best.

The good news is we don’t have to turn too far with many tasty options in the Cleveland area. I’m a personal fan of Bubba’s Q especially because it’s only 5 minutes from my house.

For my fellow summer BBQ lovers, there’s an event coming up that will showcase Cleveland’s sauciest BBQ, as well as plenty of wine and beer to help wash it all down.

On Friday, July 13, Progressive Field will open its doors starting at 6:30pm for Grapes and Ales.  Featuring BBQ from restaurants like Hot Sauce Williams, Battery Park Wine Bar, Famous Dave’s, 100th Bomb Group and Progressive Field, as well as more than 200 wine samplings, it’s a great way to unwind after the work week (just don’t wear white if you’re like me because you’ll get bbq sauce on it).

ESPN 850 WKNR is also hosting a Market Pavilion beer garden where tastings from Great Lakes, Goose Island, Magic Hat, Pyramid Breweries, and others are available for 50 cents each. All of this is enjoyed against the backdrop of live music from Colin Dussault’s Side Project featuring Jim Tigue and Eroc Sosinski and Progressive Field’s Indians Hall of Fame exhibits.

However, Grapes and Ales is more than just a tasting event; proceeds from the evening go towards Our Lady of the Wayside. Based right around the corner from me in Avon, Ohio, Our Lady of the Wayside provides homes and services to more than 450 developmentally disabled children and adults throughout Cuyahoga and Lorain counties.

What started over forty years ago when a local family began to foster children with mental retardation and other disabilities has blossomed into the far-reaching organization it is today – offering residential services and wellness programming 24/7 for individuals with a variety of developmental disabilities such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation, behavioral issues, and significant physical disabilities.

OLW’s programming includes support for families with children who have disabilities; nursing and transportation services; and arts, aquatic and equestrian therapies.  Their goal is to provide support so that children and adults can remain in a home environment away from institutional settings, thus building greater self-esteem, promoting a more independent lifestyle, and increasing their quality of life.

OLW has recently also focused their expertise into the field of Autism with two after-school social skills programs for children with moderate-to-mild autism and Aspergers.

Along with Giant Eagle, American Airlines, OLW and Progressive Field, Cleveland’s local radio and tv stations have come together to host Grapes & Ales with appearances from 105.7′s John Lanigan, Q104′s Tim Richards, ESPN 850′s Mark “Munch” Bishop and FOX 8′s Kenny Crumpton.  (If my coworkers are any indication, I know there are more than a few people out there who would go just so they can “Kick it” with Kenny!)

General admission from 6:30 to 10pm costs $50 and includes a souvenir wine glass, wine samplings, BBQ, entertainment and a silent auction and raffle. Beer samples cost 50 cents each.

For $125, guests can attend the VIP Majic of Wine Blind Tasting from 6-7pm which features the “Best of Grapes” wine selection, free parking and everything else included in the General Admission ticket.  And because every group should have a designated driver, tickets for anyone not drinking cost only $20 and feature BBQ, Aquafina and Pepsi products.

If you’re interested in joining me on July 13, tickets are available two ways: by calling 440-934-6054 or online at http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e5u5re6o88cf79cf&llr=kjdaz5eab.

And if you want to say hi, keep an eye out for the couple camped by the BBQ.

Disclosure: Grapes and Ales logo and photos from last year’s benefit were provided by Our Lady of Wayside. In exchange for previewing the event on Clue Into Cleveland, I was invited to attend Grapes and Ales with a guest. However, as with any event I post about, I am sharing this event because I think it is something that would interest people who read my blog.