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Hot Picks

Northeast Ohio produces more events each week than it would be possible to attend, even if you had a full-time maid, chef, and/or babysitter. Hot Picks: This Week’s Smart Stuff sorts through the lists of concerts, festivals, exhibits, plays, readings and all sorts of other events and pulls out a few that seem out-of-the-ordinary. There will be new things each week, with the list updating each Monday.

Even though we like to think of ourselves as “in the know,” there will always be things that escape our notice. Please feel free to make suggestions to (be aware, we make no promises and the final decision rests with us). Enjoy!

An Evening with Blondie
Monday, June 29 at 7:30 p.m.
Packard Music Hall, Warren

For the last four decades, Blondie has become and still remains a true national treasure; a punk band from New York City whose influence both shaped and continues to inform the worlds of music, fashion and art. Debbie Harry and Chris Stein have kept their ears to the ground, creating trends, never following them. They helped push punk onto the dance floor at the dawn of the new wave era and introduced a wider audience to hip-hop sounds, all the while building a catalog of enduring pop hits along the way.

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Monday, June 29 at 8:30 p.m.
Akron Civic Theatre, Akron

As lead singer of The Smiths and as a solo artist, Morrissey has been called "one of the most influential artists ever." His songs are often dark and dramatic, but also funny and strangely touching. He has developed a loyal and cross-generational fanbase since appearing on the music scene in the early '80s - becoming one of the first bonafide stars of the indie rock movement.

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John Fogerty
Wednesday, July 1 at 8 p.m.
Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica, Cleveland

John Fogerty's music, his lyrics and his voice, resounded through an amazing and never-duplicated release of three separate albums with Creedence Clearwater Revival (Bayou Country, Green River, and Willy and the Poor Boys). In that year – 1969 - Fogerty gave the nation, even the world, an emotional and intellectual marker forever burned within the collective psyche. Now, in his 69th year, Fogerty is re-invigorating those ties that bind with his "1969" World Tour.

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Wade Oval Wednesdays: Carlos Jones and the P.L.U.S. Band
Wednesday, July 1, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Wade Oval, University Circle, Cleveland

Enjoy a free concert and children's activities in the center of University Circle on Wade Oval. This week, reggae master Carlos Jones brings his P.L.U.S. Band for a high energy performance while the youngsters create Jamaican colored ribbon wands.

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Rib, White and Blue
July 1 - 4
Lock 3, Akron

Akron's national rib festival brings music from The Juke Hounds covering Bob Seger and a tribute to Fleetwood Mac from the JiMiller Band. Plus, Akron Symphony Pops with the Freedom Brass Band and Alex Bevan plus fireworks for the 4th. Not to mention lots and lots of competition-level ribs!

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Blossom Music Festival: America the Beautiful
July 2 & 3
Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls

If you don't want to fight the crowds on Public Square, kick off the Blossom Festival season with two nights of a patriotic celebration featuring The Cleveland Orchestra. Celebrate the Fourth-of-July Holiday with a concert of light classics, Broadway and Hollywood favorites, and concluding with Tchaikovsky’s "1812" Overture.

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Canton First Friday: Chalk the Walk
Friday, July 3, 5:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Canton Museum of Art and Canton Arts District

16 chalk artists cover the arts district with original drawings. Make sure to tour around the district to see all of them! Freestyle chalk area will be on 4th street. Pick up a piece and get to it! The Fieldcrest FREE trolley will circle the Canton Arts District. It will run from the Canton Museum of Art, down to Tusc, Market to Cleveland. Look for the trolley signs for pickup locations.

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Jaws - 40th Anniversary
July 3 - 5
Cedar Lee Theatre, Cleveland Heights

The 2015 Melt Bar & Grilled Late Shift starts its second half with Steven Spielberg's landmark thriller Jaws. Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the movie that kept people out of the water for years. When a gigantic great white shark begins to menace the small island community of Amity, a police chief, a marine scientist and grizzled fisherman set out to stop it. Based on Peter Benchley's best-selling novel. Win gummi sharks!

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Light up the Point
Saturday, July 4 at 10:30 p.m.
Cedar Point, Sandusky

Enjoy July 4th at America's Roller Coast! Along with Cedar Point's park rides and award-winning coasters (including the park's newest entry, Rougarou), watch the traditional fireworks display over Lake Erie with musical accompaniment. See the fireworks from the park or from the beach. Both are open late - midnight coaster runs!

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Ohio Light Opera Pops
Saturday, July 4 at 7 p.m.
Downtown on the Square, Wooster

The Ohio Light Opera repertory performers and musicians take the day off from the Freedlander Theatre to move the show to downtown Wooster for the traditional 4th of July Pops Concert. The group performs a collection of high spirited patriotic tunes sure to charm the entire family.

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