Once in a while you’ll find two things that go together to form a perfect, harmonious balance otherwise unseen in ordinary combinations. Ham and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, Jordan and Pippen…we all know the classics. One such marriage, one we consider to be among the classics, is Put-in-Bay, Ohio and music. The two have always worked together, delighting locals and visitors alike with tunes from fantastic bands hailing from all across the country. This is why when we found out that the already live music-laden island will be putting on the inaugural Put-in-Bay Music Festival, we were stoked.
Some of the best parts about the festival? Just a $7 ticket on the Miller Ferry to Put-in-Bay gets you in and once you’re in, the fest takes place in front of one of the most picturesque backdrops on all of South Bass Island — Perry’s Victory & International Peace Memorial.
In true Perry’s Victory style, the Put-in-Bay Music Festival is all about two other things that go very well together, peace and music.
Seven stellar bands will perform including the Flyin’ Jays, Emily Keener from The Voice, MC Bob Gatewood, JP and the Chatfield Boys, Mo ‘Mojo, Strung Like a Horse and the Floorwalkers. Legendary performer Pat Dailey just recently agreed to perform his new song during the day-long festival.
The music line up is tentatively set (times are approximate and subject to change):
11:15am – Flyin’ Jays
12:15pm – Emily Keener
1:15pm – Bob Gatewood
2:00pm – JP and the Chatfield Boys
3:15pm – Mo ‘Mojo
4:15pm – Pat Dailey
5:00pm – Strung Like a Horse
6:45pm – Floorwalkers
Free music workshops will be given during the day. Mo ‘Mojo will give a workshop on zydeco dance, and a second on drumming. Islander Dick McCarthy will also give two workshops on playing the ukulele, one for beginners and a second for those with some experience. There will also be a “Guitar Hero” competition in the workshop tent. There will also be two cornhole tournaments, so bring your “A” game.
As if there wasn’t enough reason to take a trip over to Put-in-Bay already, Miller Ferry is saluting the U.S. military by offering up a pretty sweet deal. And by pretty sweet, we mean FREE! Active U.S. Military Personnel and American Veterans are invited to ride aboard Miller Ferry at no charge Saturday, May 27 through Memorial Day, May 29. Miller Ferry asks that Military Personnel and Veterans identify themselves at the ticket booth to obtain free passenger ferry passage.
After getting over to the island without paying a dime, the savings continue. While we’d like to give a nice description of each place that’s giving a discount, we’re going to be completely honest here, we don’t have enough time and you’d stop reading — It’s so, so many places. So instead, we’ll just list them. Below are valid from:
Saturday, May 27 through Memorial Monday, May 29
Boardwalk Main & Upper Deck 10% off any food item (does not include alcohol). Cameo Pizza $2.00 off a large and $1.00 off a medium pizza. Candy Bar 10% discount. Carriage House Gift Shop 20% discount. Chicken Patio $5.00 off a chicken dinner. Country House Gifts 10% discount.
Dairy Isle 10% off any food item.
E’s Golf Carts $5.00 off daily cart rental. Heineman’s Winery 50% off combo tours. Pay only $4.00 for a winery tour, cave tour and a glass of wine or juice. Hooligan’s 10% off any food item (does not include alcohol) . Island Bike & Cart Rental $5.00 off daily golf cart rental. J.F. Walleye’s (Middle Bass Island) 50% off vacation rentals, golf cart rental and breakfast buffet. Lime Kiln Bus free transportation & $1.00 off for adult family members. Miller Ferry free transportation to Put-in-Bay or Middle Bass Island. Park Hotel Golf Cart Rental $5.00 off cart rental (day rate only). Pasquale’s Cafe 25% off mean (does not include alcohol). Perry’s Cave Family Fun Center free admission to Perry’s Cave & $1.00 off for adult family members. Put-in-Bay Brewing Company Free souvenir pint glass with any purchase. Put-in-Bay Surf Shop 25% discount. Put-in-Bay Tour Train free tour & $1.00 off for adult family members. Reel Bar 20% off total food bill (does not include alcohol). T & J’s Smokehouse 15% total off food bill (does not include alcohol). The Bucket Shop 10% discount. The Butterfly House free admission & $1.00 off for adult family members. The Keys 10% off any food item (does not include alcohol).
Memorial Day Only – Monday, May 29
Boardwalk Main & Upper Deck Free bowl (one) of lobster bisque.
Mossbacks 50% off any food item.
We were right, right? So many discounts. For more information visit www.millerferry.com. We’ll see you on the island!
It’s pretty simple, you owe a lot to your mother. It’s not really up for debate, she was the one who created you — Literally. And that’s no offense to dad, because clearly he played a very important role, but let’s be honest…she had it a little bit tougher don’t you think? It’s for this reason among a litany of others that you should probably think about doing something special this Sunday. Luckily for all us Ohio residents, there’s no shortage of fun and unique things to do. While there’s way, way more than five, we’re going to give you just a few of the activities we like best.
Annual Mother’s Day Tea at The Culinary Vegetable Institute — If you haven’t already been, Mother’s Day is the perfect excuse to visit this Ohio gem. Highly renowned chef’s from all over the world gather here to focus on how they can benefit from the unique, sustainable vegetables grown right here in Ohio. What’s that mean? Super tasty food is what we’re guessing and that’s awesome because mom loves food and when you take her to the serene setting of the Chef’s Garden, she’ll love you forever (Even though she already does). At the Mother’s Day Tea event you’ll sip on sumptuous tea while enjoying a lavish spread of decadent sweets and savory offering with a contemporary twist amidst a rustic, springtime decor. Enjoy!
Take the Miller Ferry to Put-in-Bay for a Day — Our affinity for Put-in-Bay has already been well documented, which is precisely why we think you should take your mother there. She’ll not only appreciate a tasty lunch at the Reel Bar or maybe even a quick adult beverage at the Round House, but really enjoy the zen-like ride aboard the Miller Ferry on the way over. At about 20 minutes long, it’s the perfect time to chart your own course for the day and chat about how much you appreciate everything she does. Pro Mom Tip: Grab a golf cart from E’s after sauntering up the hill and head out out Scheef Park for some alternate island perspective.
Explore the New Hiking Trails at Hocking Hills State Park — From up north at Put-in-Bay to down south at Hocking Hills, we’re all over the place and we know it. It’s fine though, just hop in the car and drive…nowhere in Ohio is that far. Especially when we’re talking about this place because it’s 100% worth this trip. They’ve also just opened a two new beautiful trail systems, something they haven’t done in 50 years. One of which will take you to the second-largest cave in Ohio. So you can help navigate your way to the freshly cut trails when you arrive, look for the names Whispering Cave and Hemlock — the two new monikers for the bridge trails connecting to the Old Man Trail System. Since we let you in on this cool news, all we ask is that you take pictures and share with us. Sound good? Perfect.
Unplug and Create Scented Soy Candles at Manitou Candle Co. — So, this place is seriously cool and your mom will not just like it, she’ll love it. This mellow, yet somehow vibrant space in the Columbia Tusculum neighborhood of Cincinnati is the perfect spot to shut off your phone and just do something different. Not only will your learn the art of making scented soy candles at Manitou, but leave with some really unique tangible memories. Learn well and smell good my friends.
Explore a Small Town — Honestly, this one is tough because Ohio is chock full of really unique small towns. So instead of focusing on just one, we’ll rattle off a few. Yellow Springs is easily one of our favorites and it’s not just because Dave Chapelle lives there. This cute town has a super mellow, almost hippy vibe that we really dig. Stroll downtown and visit Dark Star Books, Dino’s Coffee Shop or the Yellow Springs Brewery. Next up, Wooster. We’ve talked about this one before, but it’s definitely worth a revisit. Bustling with energy and what seems like a new restaurant opening every few months, this charming town is perfect for a day visit with mom. Our recommendations? Lunch at the newly renovated Spoon Market & Deli followed up by coffee and Hungarian pastries at Tulipan. If you feel like you need more time, stay in lavish quarters of the St. Paul Hotel, which just added new four new rooms for added vacancy. And last but not least, Oberlin. Of course you kind of have to hit up the Frank Lloyd House, because it’s the Frank Lloyd House. You’re going to want to grab your bike as well — Oberlin’s numerous bike trails lend perfectly to this mode of transportation. Where to eat? Try the Italian Hash N’ Eggs for brunch or The Feve Burger with pickled jalapeno at The Feve. Anything that’s pickled is fantastic. You can take that to the bank.
Have something you’d like to add to this list? Let us know!
Don’t worry, there won’t be a quiz afterwards. However, we do have two questions for you. Do you like beer and do you like learning about beer? If you’ve answered yes to both of those, then Ohio Beer Garden’s Beer Exploration Society is for you.
Speaking of beer, it’s no mystery that we at It’s Always Ohio like beer…and in fact, we like learning about beer. The Rail and Ohio Beer Garden have this sweet little class dubbed the “Beer Exploration Society,” which is exactly as it sounds. Top breweries from around Ohio come in, produce an awesome lineup of new beers, pour them for everyone and then chat about what makes them so tasty.
One session has us particularly fired up this month and that’s because one of our favorites, Market Garden Brewery, is rolling in to the Ohio Beer Garden on April 19th with a ton of awesome brews. They’ll be featuring Hellamango IPA, Prosperity Wheat, Citramax IPA and Progress Pilsner.
We’re not sure about you, but we’re getting a little thirsty just looking at those bottles. If you’ve never been to a Beer Class yet, the cost is a meager $12/person and with that you get plenty of beer tasters and appetizers to go along. The easiest way to book a seat is by calling (440) – 979 – 1001.
If you can’t make it to the Ohio Beer Garden on April 19th for Market Garden, there are three others you can meander to:
Beer Exploration Society at The Rail Strongsville – Jackie O’s Brewery
Thursday, April, 20th @ 6:00 pm
Beer Exploration Society at The Rail Canton – Columbus Brewing Co.
Thursday, April 27th @ 6:00 pm & 7:30 pm
Beer Exploration Society at The Rail Fairlawn – Four String Brewing Co.
We’ve been on and on in previous posts about how awesome the town of Wooster, Ohio is — It has a European feel, relaxed vibe, phenomenal food, a great brewery, tons of wineries, fun outdoor space…truth be told, this list could go on forever. It’s really that cool. As evidenced by another piece we put together called “Wooster is the Coolest (And Tastiest) Town in Ohio You Haven’t Been To.”
Okay okay, enough of how cool Wooster is, seriously though, it’s cool. This post is all about another hidden gem that lays within this little town. We’re talking about the Ohio Light Opera.
Located in the College of Wooster’s Freedlander Theatre and dubbed as America’s Premier Lyric Theater Festival, Ohio Light Opera’s season usually runs from around mid-June to mid-August, with this summer being no different. The 2017 season fires up on June 17th with The Music Man and ends on August 12th. Their knack for nabbing terrific actors and putting together terrific casts is evident, regardless of which show you end up seeing. We had the pleasure of seeing a production of “Oh Kay!” back in 2015 and suffice to say, was more than okay. Alright, that’s an awful pun, but it had to be done.
Ultimately though, you don’t have to be an avid fan of lyric theater to enjoy a production at the Ohio Light Opera and whether you’re part of a large family or not, it makes for something altogether different and fun. That and you can cruise around in the town of Wooster afterwards, which I believe we’ve already mentioned, is quite awesome.
Quick foodie tip: Since our last Wooster post, two of our favorite restaurants have snagged some new digs in town and are definitely with the stop. Muddy’s Cafe moved into an old Cadillac dealership on E. Liberty and now features a ton of live music on top of their already great food. Spoon Market & Cafe now sits at 144 W. Liberty St. and has a brilliant amount of usable space which of course, they use undeniably well.
This upcoming 2017 season offers a really fun selection of classical favorites, newer/popular shows and a few rarer productions. Below is an abridged list — For full details you can visit www.ohiolightopera.org and www.mainstreetwooster.com. You can also order tickets by calling (330)-263-2345.
The Music Man
That a homespun show about the shenanigans of a music peddler in a small Midwest city beat out West Side Story for the 1958 Tony Award for Best Musical speaks volumes. Meredith Willson drew on memories of his childhood days in Iowa and fashioned the music, lyrics, and book for a seemingly timeless story that continues to capture the hearts of young and old.
While at a New York bar, evangelist-turned-nightclub-singer Reno Sweeney has fallen for Billy Crocker, who, to be near his girlfriend Hope Harcourt, has stowed away on Reno’s transatlantic cruise ship. Forced to adopt various disguises to avoid detection, Billy eventually secures a ticket and passport from Reverend Moon, who has been branded Public Enemy No. 13. Not surprisingly … confusion ensues.
or The Lass That Loved a Sailor
Gilbert and Sullivan’s rollicking romp through naval life, class distinctions, and melodramatic villainy has entertained millions since its London premiere. Where else can one find a First Lord of the Admiralty who had never seen a ship, or a seafaring captain who gets seasick, or a nursemaid who can’t tell one baby from another? Josephine, the Captain’s daughter, is in love with able seaman Ralph Rackstraw. But her father has other plans for her: an advantageous union with the exalted Sir Joseph Porter, K.C.B. When the young couple’s elopement is thwarted by cantankerous seaman Dick Deadeye, it remains for Little Buttercup to confess that her baby farming techniques had left something to be desired … a many years ago.
(1924) If ever there were a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, this is it – the first fully-staged production in almost a century of George Gershwin’s 1924 musical Primrose. Written for the London stage (255 performances), but never brought to Broadway, the show reveals the composer fully crossing the threshold into the jazz-inspired stylings that would take Broadway by storm just a few months later in Lady, Be Good! The show centers on dapper Toby Mopham, who finds himself engaged to vulgar beautician Pinkie Peach. To help him out of the situation, he calls on his friend, houseboat-dwelling author Hilary Vane, who himself has fallen in love with ingenue Joan, who reminds him of the character Primrose in his latest story. After many (and we do mean many) complications, characters, and disguises, everyone winds up with his or her ideal mate.
The Student Prince
The Student Prince, the longest-running Broadway musical of the 1920s, is for many theater-goers the quintessential romantic operetta. Hungarian-born composer Sigmund Romberg cashed in on his earlier musical training in Vienna and created a magical score of waltzes and marches, all set to Dorothy Donnelly’s adaptation of a 1901 German play titled Old Heidelberg. Prince Karl-Franz, accompanied by his tutor Dr. Engel and pompous valet Lutz, arrives at Heidelberg University, but finds his studies less enticing than the waitress Kathie at the local inn. The age-old clash between love and duty rears its head when he is summoned back home to the deathbed of his grandfather and ordered to marry Princess Margaret.
Count Tassilo, now penniless, has taken a menial position as manager of one of the estates of the wealthy Maritza. He hopes to earn enough money to pay off his debts and provide a dowry for his sister Lisa. To ward off a constant barrage of suitors, Maritza announces a mock engagement to a fictitious pig farmer, a Baron Koloman Zsupan. To her surprise, a real Baron Zsupan shows up and claims her hand. Tassilo, also, has some covering up to do when Lisa appears as part of Maritza’s house party. As romantic feelings blossom between Tassilo and Maritza, so do their pride and stubbornness as employer and employee – Maritza has no choice but to fire her manager. But … she has a change of heart.
The Lady of the Slipper
or A Modern Cinderella
With stepsisters named Dollbabia and Freakette, a cat named Mouser, and two fellows named Punks and Spooks who emerge from a cornfield (a la Wizard of Oz) to entice Cinderella to the ball and then into the prince’s arms, “zany” is indeed the right term for a show that captured the public’s fancy and became the second-longest-running book musical of 1912.
For those of us who like to slide around in the snow with things on our feet, here’s some great news — Snow Trails is open for a bonus weekend! Partly because of a little late season winter push and mostly because of Snow Trails uncanny ability to make snow at the drop of a hat, what’s been a pretty mild winter has suddenly turned into an actual winter.
All of the snowmaking combined with a little natural powder from Winter Storm Stella has come together nicely and brought winter right back to where it should be, providing perfectly groomed slopes comprised of super shreddable packed powder.
Snow Trails opened today at 10:00 am and will continue to stay open through Sunday for your enjoyment. Temperatures this week are ideal for continued skiing and riding, forecasted to stay cold during the week and warm up just a bit for the weekend.
As an added bonus, Snow Trail is offering up a huge 50% discount at the Ticket Window for Lift Tickets, Equipment Rentals and Tubing Tickets.
If you’ve visited It’s Always Ohio before, you’d know that we aren’t shy about how much we like The Rail. Their burgers are ridiculously tasty. Their beers are ridiculously tasty. And as if that wasn’t enough, it’s all OHIO! So when we got word about them bringing back FeBREWary, we had to share. Check out the deets below.
FeBREWary has been expanded to include all of Mike Mariola’s concepts —All four Rail locations, Ohio Beer Garden and City Square Steakhouse in Wooster, Ohio.
Month-long event will comprise of a variety of draft beers not available anywhere else in Ohio.
Featured breweries include Wolf’s Ridge Brewing, Warped Wing Brewing and Zaftig Brewing.
New year, new beer. The Rail, one of northeast Ohio’s staple craft beer and burger bars, is bringing back beer-centric FeBREWary for a second straight year.
While the exciting event will once again feature rare Ohio craft brews that can’t be found anywhere else, The Rail has stepped up their game by expanding the map and featuring a lot more beer. Restauranteur Mike Mariola’s other two creations, Ohio Beer Garden in North Olmsted and City Square Steakhouse in Wooster, Ohio, will also be taking part in the fun.
The Rail’s affinity for everything Ohio is already well known amongst northeast Ohioans, evident by their use of local ingredients and Ohio only brews. 2017’s FeBREWary however, will up the ante by offering rare, delicious craft beers that won’t be available at any other space in Ohio.
“We’ve always known Ohio is on the forefront of the craft beer scene,” says Mike Mariola, award-winning chef turned restauranteur and craft beer aficionado. “That’s why we created FeBREWary. It’s the perfect opportunity to showcase some of our favorite Ohio beer and have other local fellow beer lovers join us.”
Mariola’s deep involvement in the event even has him driving a U-Haul across the state to pick up these highly coveted kegs.
These scarce brews will spread across the style board and include Driftwood IPA, Daybreak Clear Sky Cream Ale and Hop Smoothie IPA from the Columbus-based Wolf’s Ridge Brewing. Gamma Bomb IPA, Trotwood Lager and Jolly Tar Dark Brown Ale from Dayton’s Warped Wing Brewery as well as A-Crop Blacklight Stout and Wee Heavy Scotch Ale from Zaftig Brewing in Columbus.
If you’ve been following along with our blog, you’ll know that we kind of love Sandusky and its surrounding area. So it should come as no surprise that we’re unequivocally stoked that one of our favorite new hotels is popping the cork with a first-time fireworks celebration in Sandusky, Ohio.
Hotel Kilbourne, aside from catering to the discerning midwest traveler, is always looking for ways to get the town’s blood flowing and since almost every great New Year’s every celebration around the world comes complete with a fireworks show, they thought Sandusky should be no different.
The proprietors Ryan Whaley and Nikki Lloyd are very excited for the new event, hoping that it will add to Sandusky’s renaissance and bring more locals downtown, specifically during the region’s tourism offseason.
“Since moving back to the area five years ago, we’ve never really had a New Year’s Eve city wide event.” stated Ryan Whaley. “We see a fireworks display as a fun event that will bring folks downtown and further our sense of community in Sandusky.”
Jackson St. Pier will be the launch point for the fireworks with city officials blocking off part of the lot for a public viewing area. Fireworks will begin at midnight E.S.T. The event is free to the public and will take place on Jackson St. Pier.
The New Year’s Eve fireworks are sponsored by the Hotel Kilbourne and produced by local pyrotechnics company, Ohio Pyro & Flame L.L.C.
More information regarding the celebration can be found at the Hotel Kilbourne’s Facebook event page.
It’s pretty evident nowadays that Cleveland, Ohio is pretty much the LeBron James of beer towns. I mean this place has deep, deep roots when it comes to concocting the nectar of the gods and has truly been an integral cog in the wheel of the craft beer revolution. Every neighborhood you walk into and seemingly every street you walk down has a great place to sit down and sip.
So we thought it’d be useful if we pointed out some of our favorites. Now with that in mind, let it be known that this list could’ve just as easily run 50 deep because let’s face it, Cleveland has more worthy beer joints than the Browns have injured quarterbacks…for the last ten years.
The Bottlehouse Brewing Company — Their motto is “Good beer for good people.” Simple, but right on. While this spot is certainly considered a craft brewery, it’s really so much more. In addition to the eight house beers on tap, they always feature six house meads as well (Our favorite is the City Mead). Go on the right night and you’ll most likely see a food truck serving up local grub too. Be sure to try out Trivia night and bingo night — Oh yes, and they have pinball.
The Rail (Various locations) — We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. The Rail is awesome. Locally sourced, tastebud-melting burgers at a place that takes great pride in everything Ohio. And if you couldn’t tell, we love Ohio. If you haven’t already, check out their Beer Exploration Society — Monthly events held at various Rail locations where studious, hop-minded folks get together and chat beer.
Tremont Tap House — This bustling beer bar located on Cleveland’s Southside of historic Tremont boasts more than 100 craft brews, 48 of which you can get on draft. Let’s say that again. 100 beers with 48 on draft. That’s an insane amount of beer. You won’t feel overwhelmed though, because every person that works there can give you cliff notes on every one. Just one thing to remember, the place is always busy and for good reason. Get there early and stake your claim because if you don’t, you’ll be standing and drinking beer. Which now that we think about it, is perfectly fine too.
Great Lakes Brewing Company — If you’re talking beer and you’re talking Cleveland, you have to be talking Great Lakes. While the entire brewpub is a wonderful place, the basement beer cellar is our favorite. If you can snag it, grab the standing barrel table that’s perched above the room in the back left corner. The perfect spot for surveying the scene and sipping one of the coveted pub exclusives. Last time we had the chance to sample the crazy delicious Belgian Stout called Dark Stone Waters…and by sample, we mean polishing off four to five beers.
La Cave Du Vin — When you’re rolling with a group of friends, some may be dastardly wine drinkers and for them, you have a solution — La Cave Du Vin. If you’ve ever caught a show at The Grog Shop, than you’ve undoubtedly stopped into this small, almost secretive basement gem. As you might’ve guessed by the name, La Cave is all about wine, however, it’s huge selection of bottled beers says otherwise. So much so that I can almost guarantee they’ll have a bottle of something that will surprise the most seasoned hop head.
Hofbräuhaus Cleveland — If swinging around a Bier Stein the size of your head filled with glorious Bavarian brew while munching on schnitzel sounds like a good time, then this place is for you. Seriously though, this place is unbelievably awesome. Recreated to look exactly like the original establishment in Munich, Germany, Hofbräuhaus is like a vacation. I mean c’mon, their beer has to follow the 500 year old Bavarian Beer Purity Law, so you know it’s good. Bottom line: Some of the most fun you can have in Cleveland. Prost!
Happy Dog (Various locations) — First off, and this has nothing to do with beer, try to say “Happy Dog” without smiling. You can’t do it. Second, beer tastes so good with tubular meat and that’s why this place is so special. Just imagine a topping for your hot dog and I can almost guarantee they have it — And they’re all made in house. And on top of that, their beer selection is very good. Combine that with the vintage neighborhood vibe, great live music and boom, you’re one happy, well fed pup.
Mcnulty’s Bier Markt — For the beer purists out there, there’s Mcnulty’s. Easily one of Cleveland’s leaders in the craft beer revolution, this spot is serious about Belgian beer and you can tell from the litany of beer advice and info you’ll get. Ohio’s only Belgian beer bar has more than 100 craft beers to choose from and 30+ rotating drafts, which means there is a zero percent chance you’ll walk out without finding something to tickle your fancy. Plus, Mcnulty’s is dog friendly, so bring your best buddy along.
Have another great spot that one of your favorites? Let us know!