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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!

The 170th Medina County Fair
Aug. 3 -9
Medina County Fairgrounds, Medina

Even though there won't be a Little Big Town concert (Jimi needs to rest his voice), there will be tractor pulls, demolition derby, fireworks, rides and enough fair food to concern your cardiologist.

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World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational
Aug. 5 - 9
Firestone Country Club, Akron

A field of PGA superstars competes in a tournament that is part of the World Golf Championship series. Among the golfers expected to tee off, the top 50 in PGA rankings (except for Chris Kirk and Rory McIlroy). Watch for Open Championship winner Zach Johnson and Masters/U.S. Open winner Jordan Spieth.

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Downtown@Dusk: Ryan Humbert
Thursday, Aug. 6 at 6:30 p.m.
Akron Art Museum, Akron

Local fan favorite Ryan Humbert brings roots rock to the Akron Art Museum as the final performance in this summer's Downtown@Dusk series. It's Free Thursday at the museum and all of the galleries are open. Purchase food and beverages at AAM's cafe and enjoy free music after work as autumn approaches.

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Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week
Aug. 6 - 9
Pro Football Hall of Fame, Canton

Celebrate the greats of the game with an Aerosmith concert, autograph signings, a parade in downtown Canton, the Hall of Fame preseason game between the Steelers and the Vikings, and of course, the enshrinement ceremony. This year's class includes: running back Jerome Bettis, wide receiver/returner Tim Brown, defensive end/linebacker Charles Haley, contributor Bill Polian, linebacker Junior Seau, guard Will Shields, center Mick Tingelhoff, and contributor Ron Wolf.

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Friday, Aug. 7 at 7 p.m.
Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls

Phish is doing a terrible job retiring. The defining jamband took a hiatus from the road, but they are back performing a limited number of live shows this summer. A little bit older, but still offering a fantastic performance, this is your chance to break out the tie-dye and Birkenstocks.

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Eileen Ivers with Tim Shelton
Friday, Aug. 7 at 8 p.m.

Fiddler Eileen Ivers returns to Cain Park to change the way you feel about the violin. This Grammy and Emmy award-nominated sensation has guest starred with the London Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, and over 40 other orchestras. She was the musical star of the original Riverdance, is a nine-time All-Ireland Fiddle Champion, and has performed with artists and bands including Sting, Hall and Oats, The Chieftains, Patti Smith, Al Di Meola, and Steve Gadd. Eileen Ivers has established herself as the pre-eminent exponent of the Irish fiddle in the world today.

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Civil War Reenactment
Aug. 7 - 9
Hale Farm and Village, Bath

Thousands of visitors and reenactors flock to Hale Farm & Village annually for this popular summertime event—one of the largest Civil War reenactments in Ohio. Meet soldiers, cavalry and civilians. Hear the sounds of battle and smell the gunpowder. Shake hands with President Lincoln or shop for a hoopskirt. Don’t miss the excitement!

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Heinz Poll Dance Festival: Verb Ballets
Aug. 7 and 8
Hardesty Park, Akron

Featuring the World Premiere of newly commissioned ballet, 'Because This Must Be,' by Lauren Edson, an emerging choreographer and former dancer with Trey McIntyre Project. Also the company premiere of the Russian pas de duex, Spartacus. Known for its show of strength and sensuality the music of Aram Khachaturian sweeps you away in the classic story love story restaged by Daniel Precup, Ballet Master and principal dancer with Ballet Tucson. Guests are invited to bring blankets and/or a chair. On stage children's activities lead by Dance Institute start at 7:45 p.m.

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National Hamburger Festival
Aug. 8 and 9
Lock 3, Akron

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the National Hamburger Festival. An estimated 180,000 hamburger fans have enjoyed family fun, great entertainment and one of the largest assortments of hamburgers ever assembled in one place. The Food Network filmed the festival for a segment on their hit show 'Unwrapped.' Local media, including television, radio and print are always on-site for the annual event. The citizens of Ohio embraced the festival with open arms making the event a great success. The festival is held at historic Lock 3 Park in beautiful downtown Akron.

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Jim Gaffigan: Contagious Tour
Sunday, Aug. 9 at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Akron Civic Theatre, Akron

Jim Gaffigan is a Grammy-nominated Comedian, New York Times Best Selling author, top touring performer, and multi-platinum selling father of five. His fourth hour-special, ‘Obsessed,’ debuted on Comedy Central in 2014 and premiered at #1 on iTunes - earning a Grammy nomination for Best Comedy Album of the Year. His second book, ‘Food: A Love Story’ debuted at #3 on the New York Time’s Bestseller’s List. Jim Gaffigan will serve as Executive Producer and star in 'The Jim Gaffigan' Show which will premier in July of 2015 on TV Land and Comedy Central.

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