Read Sara's column in PennLive PA Media Group
Your unofficial ambassador to Harrisburg

What's new on

Campfire Preview: Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires

When we are growing up, we all have big dreams. Whether it was playing in the NFL, fronting a rock band or becoming a movie star — we all set our sights high but  very few people actually get to live out their biggest dreams.

In 1962, at just 14 years old, Charles Bradley was a dreamer like the rest of us. But when he went to see James Brown in concert at the legendary Apollo Theater his focus changed and his dreams were redirected — all he wanted was to become a star in the music industry.


From that night on, Bradley continued mimicking James Brown’s style of singing and practicing Brown’s unique stage moves. But after decades of personal struggle, tragedy and many nights spent sleeping in the streets or on subway benches — it was highly unlikely that Charles Bradley would ever see his name in the lights. For years, he bounced around from state to state and city to city just trying to get by.

It was when Bradley moved back to Brooklyn in 1996 that he finally started making progress toward his ultimate goal. He worked many nights as a James Brown impersonator named “Black Velvet” in local night clubs and was finally discovered by Daptone Records’ Gabe Roth — Charles Bradley finally made it.


CATEGORIES: Music, Pennsylvania, Travel

Giveaway: Whitaker Center hosts ‘Girls Night: The Musical’

In the mood for some girl time? This Saturday you’ll want to check out Girls Night: The Musical, the Off-Broadway sensation that follows five friends on a wild night out.

Catch the fun at Whitaker Center, with performances at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. this Saturday, Aug. 16 ONLY.

Described as “Desperate Housewives meets Mamma Mia” (Applause Magazine), and “As funny and outrageous as Sex and the City!” (The Advocate). GIRLS NIGHT is bursting with energy and packed with hits “Lady Marmalade,” “It’s Raining Men,” “Man I Feel Like A Woman,” “I Will Survive” and more.

Tickets for the show are $27.50 & $37.50.

This week, we’re giving away four (4) tickets to Girls Night: The Musical (your choice of the 2 or 8 p.m. performance). To enter, use the Rafflecopter widget below. If you have questions, leave them in the comments.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#girl30, #farmtotable, WIN a Suba gift card, Campfire Headliners, MORE

Weekends are just not long enough. I’m sure you agree.

Friday was pretty great. I ran around picking up and dropping off various vegetables to/from my parents, then had a nice #girl30 Happy Hour, before eventually watching a crappy movie (boo) with my pup and heading to bed.

Saturday morning, of course, I was live with Bruce Bond on 92.1 WTPA, where you can catch us each Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon (at least through August, but we’re working on getting me on the show more long-term).


I spent Saturday afternoon shucking, blanching and freezing corn, which today I’ll vacuum seal for winter dinners and soups. By  night, Mom and I visited The Accomac for their 5th annual Farm to Table Dinner, which — if you follow me on Instagram — you saw I documented in full last night. Check Facebook for the full album later today.

Today, I’m headed to note. for brunch — possibly solo? Or not. Who knows. Lots of work to do before a busy week yet again. I need a mani, pedi and massage. Not whining, just planning.

Let’s take a look at all we discussed this week:

From PennLive:

Elsewhere on the Internet:

Upcoming Events:


4 Fun Craft Beer Cocktails to Try Now

Craft beer cocktails are making their way around the Harrisburg area (finally!), and it’s time for you to try a few on your own.

Making cocktails at home always seemed a bit intimidating to me at first, but if you don’t try you’ll never know how fun and delicious it can be.

Check out these easy ones to get you started:

Bloody Hell – a spicy beverage for a hot day via The Beeroness

image from The Beeroness

2 oz blood orange juice
1 ½ oz bourbon
1 tbs agave1 jalapeno, sliced
2 oz IPA beer – think Ithaca Flower Power or Pizza Boy West Shore IPA

In a shaker filled with ice add the blood orange juice, bourbon, agave, and sliced jalapeno. Shake well, pour through a strainer into a highball glass with ice. Add beer, stir.

Shock Me – after a long day of work via Bon Appetit

Photo: Zach DeSart

Photo: Zach DeSart

1/4 cup Brown Ale – think Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale or Troegs Rugged Trail
2 tablespoons bourbon (such as Maker’s Mark)
1 teaspoon Southern Comfort
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice; stir gently for 10 seconds. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass.

Sriracha-Lada – your Bloody Mary substitute via Bon Appetit


Photo: Danny Kim

1 oz. fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons Sriracha
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt
Pilsner – think Victory Prima Pils or Penn Pilsner
Lime wheel (for serving)

Combine lime juice, Sriracha, and Worcestershire sauce in a salt-rimmed pint glass filled with ice. Top off with lager. Garnish with lime wheel.

The Billyburg – for a Saturday afternoon via DRAFT Magazine

[Photo: Kevin Robie] Recipe by Niccole Trzask / The Liberty NYC

Photo: Kevin Robie

1 ounce NY Distilling Perry’s Tot gin
2 ounces chilled black tea
1 ounce lemon juice
1 ounce simple syrup
1 can standard American lager –  think Brooklyn Lager or Kona Longboard Lager

Combine the gin, tea, lemon juice and syrup in a shaker without ice. Shake and strain into a beer mug; top with the lager.

Editor’s note: Looking for bars that serve beer cocktails? Try Stock’s on Second, Cafe Fresco (They have a great IPA Shandy), Suba, The Circular at The Hotel Hershey, The Garlic Poet.

Weekend Roundup 8/7

What a week already!

Tuesday I shared a birthday bev at Big Woody’s, then swung by Anthony’s for a Finch Beer Co. tasting. Last night, we double-dated over at the soon-to-be-reality stars Fusion Fire and heard the best kid jazz band ever.

Of course, tonight is Stouts and Stilettos IPA Day celebration with The Sturges Speakeasy, so I’ll be by for one, then swinging over to check out note., opening tonight to the public for the first time.

I promised to take Bruce on the town tomorrow, but had to reschedule. Of course, you can listen to us Saturday morning from 9 a.m. to noon on WTPA 92.1 (stream it from your device here). It’s “PennLive Day” on the show, and we’ll have guest call-ins from John Luciew, Bob Flounders and Julia Hatmaker on the :30s.

Saturday night, Mom and I are heading — for the first time — to the Accomac Inn (finally!) to revisit their incredible Farm to Table Dinner (you can read old reviews here). I had to miss this the last few years because of timing, so I’m excited to return.

Sunday: Rest day. For reals.

Need more inspiration? Tune in tomorrow morning during the 7  o’clock hour to Glenn & Bob on The River 97.3 for “Sara’s Weekend Picks.”

What are you doing this weekend?


RUN: Cumberland Valley Rails to Trails

It’s so easy to fall into a rut with running routes.

You become so set in “your” route, that you just set yourself on autopilot. One foot in front of the other as you retrace those steps for the hundredth or thousandth time. I know every bump and curve on my path (though it doesn’t stop me from still tripping over them), and I feel a sense of security and safeness when I am on my route. It’s like being home.

I do most of my runs along the river. It’s close to my house and to my office, and I have all sorts of routes memorized to piece together to achieve the mileage I am shooting for. However, last weekend, my friend Tim invited me to go for a run on the Cumberland Valley Rails to Trails path.

rails to trails

The 11-mile route technically begins in Shippensburg, but we started at the other end in Newville. Formerly a stretch of railroad tracks, it was donated by Conrail in 1995, and the Cumberland Valley Rails to Trails Council has spent the past two decades improving it into a multi-use trail for all ages and abilities, which is about 9.5 miles.

A late start thanks to me (hey, I had a wedding the night before), and humid and hot temperatures quickly squashed any idea to turn the run into the full 19-miler, although I’d be lying if the thought didn’t cross my mind at first.

The trail is sometimes gravel and sometimes packed with dirt and it often provided much-needed shade from the trees lining the path. It’s almost completely flat, with just a few minor inclines and declines which are barely noticeable. And for those of you who also suffer with small bladders, there is a bathroom at the start, and then around mile four.

Photo from

I was most surprised by how quiet it was. We saw fewer than a dozen other people, either biking or running, throughout our trek. It was so much different than all the busyness I am used to when I run.

Around mile five, I voted to turn around at mile seven. The humidity had gotten to me, and wringing out the sweat from my shirt and shorts wasn’t helping at all. By the last two miles, we had stopped speaking because we were both so hot and thirsty. Except for me asking, “How far are we?” approximately every tenth of a mile. I am a peach to run with.

I’d love to someday return and do the full 19 miles. There was so much to see. And it’s impossible to get lost. You just run straight. Even I can handle that.

I encourage you to check it out, if you haven’t already. A change of scenery is always rejuvenating.

Weekend Getaway: Campfire Music Festival

As long as the weather cooperates, there is not a bigger or better end of the summer party planned in Pennsylvania than the inaugural Campfire Outdoor Adventure & Music Festival presented by Zippo.

Labor Day Weekend, Aug. 29-31, beautiful Lakewood in northeastern Pennsylvania will transform into a one-of-a-kind summer camp for adults with three nights of live music from more than 30 acts, grilling, swimming and dozens of activities and contests.

Only in its first year, the Campfire Music Festival doesn’t have that one big name band to draw but it has an eclectic mix of up and coming artists — all of which are well worth checking out.

Weekend headliners

On Friday night, former James Brown impersonator Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires will bring the funk and soul to the campgrounds and serve as the headliners. Another notable act on Friday night is Amy Helm and The Handsome Strangers. Helm is the daughter of former drummer and lead singer of The Band, the late Levon Helm — who she performed for many years with at the legendary Midnight Rambles held at his home and studio in Woodstock, NY (not far from Lakewood).


CATEGORIES: Music, Pennsylvania, Travel

Giveaway: Suba Tapas Bar

**Congrats to Matthew Golden**

As many of you know, a trifecta of romance restaurants — Mangia Qui (Italian), Suba (Spanish), coming-soon Rubicon (French) — is soon to be completed.

While you wait, let’s not forget about the best handcrafted beverages and fish tacos (OK and there are a ton of great other tapas and tacos available, too) in downtown Harrisburg — at Suba.

The Team at Suba.

The Team at Suba. Photo by GK Visual.

Suba, I find, is that place too many people end up saying, “Oh I meant to stop in there,” or “I keep hearing about that place” but haven’t necessarily visited yet. I urge you to advance this on your “to do” list, stat. It’ll be a good way to bide the time until you can check out Rubicon, plus — in case you didn’t know — they also host free live music every Friday and Saturday night.

Sure, the place is small. I love to go early and grab a seat at the bar, but you can make table reservations as well. You’ll be hard-pressed to find better cocktails, however. Way ahead of the “craft” trend, Suba has been using fresh ingredients and inventive liqueurs to come up with items like the recently named by PennLive as a “Midstate must-try” Firefly, which blends housemade habanero-infused silver tequila with mango, Bacardi Limo, Midori and mint.

Cat Nip cocktail: Catdaddy, ginger beer, rosemary, ginger, lemon

Cat Nip cocktail: Catdaddy, ginger beer, rosemary, ginger, lemon

I’d love to try the Lima Sour — Pisco, hopped grapefruit bitters, muddled ruby red grapefruit and lime, or The Brando — Hendrick’s, Campari, Solerno, vermouth and house-made orange soda. Find more mouth-watering selections here.

They also just added a full vegetarian taco to the menu (along with a few other items), in addition to the heralded “Suba Taco” (tilapia), El Ranchero (beef), Taco 47 (chicken) and El Pastor (pork). The El Jardinero features marinated and grilled tofu, carrot, corn and lime, topped with grilled tomatillo sauce.

Hungry/thirsty yet? This week, we’re giving away a $50 gift card to Suba. To enter, leave a comment below.

For extra entries (you must leave a separate comment for each extra entry in order for each to count), you can:

Enter early and often. A winner will be selected at random at the end of the week.

Please note: You may complete each of these items only once per giveaway. All repeat entries will be discarded.

Hop Hedz Gear, NASCAR, Radio/TV, Trail Races, Zappa & MORE

Day late, dollar short. Here’s where I wrap up the week that was. My weekend was a busy one. Friday was jam-packed with appointments. Later, I cooked an incredible from-the-garden dinner, and Andy and I finally bit the bullet and started watching Breaking Bad.

Saturday, I was on the air with Bruce Bond on WTPA 92.1. I’ll be his co-host all month, so please tune in between 9 a.m. and noon on Saturdays in August. Later, Andy and I went to a Yards Brewing Co. Beer Pairing Dinner at Dodge City Steakhouse, which I live-tweeted (you can find the album on Facebook, too).

yards dodge city beer

I could hardly keep my eyes open for another Breaking Bad episode, and we were up by 4:30 a.m. on Sunday to travel to Pocono Raceway, the Tricky Triangle, for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Go Bowling 400. My first NASCAR race, first Poconos experience — it was fun, but I have to admit the highlight was spying former Pittsburgh Steeler (and official badass) James Harrison hanging with his beautiful family. He was kind enough to allow me a photo — made my day.

With former Steeler James Harrison at the Pocono Raceway Go Bowling 400.

With former Steeler James Harrison at the Pocono Raceway Go Bowling 400.

You can find more photos from my Poconos Raceway experience (#WhatTurn4 #trickytriangle) on Facebook.

It’s now a new week, but just ICYM anything – TV appearances, profiles, etc. – here it is:

From PennLive:

Elsewhere on the Internet:

Upcoming Events:


Happy Hour Recap {Cafe 1500}

We met a bit off the beaten path for our most recent happy hour, which took us to Cafe 1500 in Midtown Harrisburg this past Wednesday.

sbhh cafe 1500

A great crowd of people attended to check out the relatively new edition to Midtown Harrisburg, which as of a few weeks ago acquired a liquor license and developed a new cocktail menu.

sbhh cafe 1500

sbhh cafe 1500

Chef Ben Beaver, who recently joined the 1500 team, shared some snacks for attendees to enjoy.

sbhh cafe 1500

Keystone State Wine & Spirits brought Charbay hop whiskies to sample — plus the organic section of Cafe 1500′s cocktail menu features Keystone State products.

Not one to miss a good time, Merlot Mike was on-hand to share tastes from The Vineyard at Hershey‘s line. They, too, are featured on Cafe 1500′s cocktail menu. Like sweet? Check out the sangria with VaH’s Catawba.

sbhh cafe 1500

Our photographer, Bart, recently launched his new t-shirt company, Hop Hedz Gear, and displayed his shirts for guests during the Happy Hour as well.

sbhh cafe 1500

Live music for the event was by Roy Barrett.

sbhh cafe 1500

All photos thanks, of course, to Bart Kaminski. Find more on Facebook — Tag yourselves! 

Next event? Tickets ON SALE NOW for the After Dark Booze Cruise on Sept. 6. BUY HERE.

The next Happy Hour is Sept. 17 at MoMo’s BBQ & Grill.

SIGN-UP for the Events e-newsletter to be the first to find out about all upcoming events!


CATEGORIES: Harrisburg, Sara Bozich, SBHH

Join Sara's Mailing List