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Giveaway: Yards Brewing VIP at the PA National Horse Show

On Wednesday, Oct. 15, the Pennsylvania National Horse Show (running now through Oct. 18) will host Military Appreciation Day, honoring all active and retired members of the military, First Responders and Wounded Warriors with free admission to the show (with appropriate ID or in uniform) at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex.

horse show

Coinciding with the event, W&L Sales and Yards Brewing Co. will host a special VIP event at the night’s event featuring access to Yards Brewing Co. beers and food — gratis.

This weekend, we’re giving away a chance to WIN 4 of these VIP passes to Military Appreciation Day at the PA National Farm Show, thanks to W&L Sales and Yards Brewing Co.

Complete your entries by using the Rafflecopter widget below.

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Find & WIN tickets to Cirque du Soleil’s “Varekai” in Hershey

Guess I don’t have to visit Vegas after all.

Cirque du Soleil’s “Varekai” will be at Hershey’s GIANT Center Oct. 29-Nov. 2, and YOU can win *4* tickets to the show (value $250) by finding feathers hidden at a variety of locations throughout the region.

Scavenger Hunt Feather LARGE

Varekai tells the story of Icarus, a mythical winged character who fell to Earth after flying too close to the sun. With Icarus’ story in mind, eight white feathers will be hidden throughout the region, including one in Hershey, Enola, Columbia, and two in Harrisburg.

Fans who find a feather will win four (4) tickets to the show.

The first feather was hidden at the Turkey Hill Experience in Columbia, Pa. on Wednesday with a clue posted on the Turkey Hill Dairy Facebook page. Four additional feathers will be hidden starting on Monday, Oct. 13 and running through Oct. 24, in the following locations:

Check each partner’s Facebook page for clues to the specific location. The Sunken Gardens feather is the first of four feathers that will be hidden between Oct. 13-24.

For tickets or information about Cirque du Soleil’s Varekai, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com or Ticketmaster.

Weekend Roundup 10/9

Last night I enjoyed a nice Happy Hour-plus, starting at Rubicon for oysters, clams and wine. Following, another mini gay bar tour to prep for next week’s stories.

Tonight, dinner with friends. Tomorrow, I think we need to chill (hashtag-thatshowIdofridays).

I’m very excited to be staying at the new Dogfish Inn this weekend — especially about Saturday night’s event surrounding the launch of The Brewer’s Tale — oh, you know, with Sam Calagione!

It turns out that the Dogfish Inn is dog-friendly, so we’re taking our Bubba on his first dogcation. I’m a bit nervous but I’m excited to take him along and see how he likes the beach.

buddy

Also on my must-do list while there is a shopping trip to Hula Sue, a meal at the Dogfish Head Brewpub and trips to Cape Henlopen State Park. The rest we’ll play by ear and enjoy the relaxation, dog walks and great beer.

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? 

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‘No Meat Athlete’ Running Group Begins in Harrisburg

Hey! Are you a vegetarian or quasi-vegetarian or thinking-about-becoming-a-vegetarian runner?

Well, do I have the group for you! The No Meat Athlete-Harrisburg chapter is meeting tomorrow (Thursday) to run, talk and eat. We’re taking off from Front and Forester Streets in Harrisburg, near the Harvey Taylor Bridge at 6 p.m. We plan to do a quick run of three to five miles, depending on preference, and then we are going for brews after at The Speakeasy. Come join us!

This is the first official run of the No Meat Athlete running club in Harrisburg. Come be a part of history.

nma

But, how did this get started?

No Meat Athlete was one of the first running blogs I stumbled upon back when I first fell in love with running. Matt Frazier’s site is very well-written and informative, and I kept (and still do!) coming back to learn more. As a vegetarian for 15+ years, I knew I could stand to eat better and that it would ultimately help me as a runner. Frazier offers many realistic ideas for healthy living and also understands a plant-based diet isn’t for everyone. But he encourages people to at least try.

Recently, Matt brought up the idea of starting No Meat Athlete running groups throughout the country, and I immediately signed up and volunteered to be a leader, if needed, in Harrisburg. Luckily, I wasn’t the only central Pennsylvanian interested. I met with Wade, my co-leader, last week, and I think it’s safe to say we are both super excited about this. We’re a tiny group but would love to add more runners, of all abilities.

Frazier is big on accepting everyone and their lifestyles. This is a judgment-free zone, and we plan to have our group be laid-back and fun, and a chance to meet new friends.

We aspire to hold weekly runs on Thursday nights in different places, with plans to hang out after.

So, feel free to join us tomorrow night! To learn more, join our No Meat Athlete – Harrisburg Facebook Group.

Sara’s Real Life, No-Bullshit Guide to Hangovers

Hangover suck. There’s no two ways about it, and they happen to the best of us. Sadly, they rear their ugly heads more often as we age, caused by much less.

Intoxication Nation: How we are drinking and dealing with our hangovers.

In my much-younger years, drinking bad cheap beer and tequila (read: college), I was rarely hungover. And certainly not in the way it occurs now. I’ve never been good at sleeping in, but I recall that some mornings-after called for a trip to Isaly’s for eggs, sausage and pancakes. All of the food! This cured anything that was off.

Fun fact: Pennsylvania is the 24th most hungover state in the nation.

For a time, toast and tomato juice from the Casa Cafe was commonplace (this sounds delicious to me, even now). My coworkers and I were all rediscovering Harrisburg in its then-revitalization, so some mornings we would all gather across the street from the office to cure what ailed us.

By my mid-20s, drinking a new blend of crap like cheap wine and Red Bull (stuff of the devil) — and smoking 10 million cigarettes — I went through a variety of hangover “cures” to quell my next-morning not-awesomeness.

Some weekend mornings, a nice cool glass of chocolate milk was all I needed to feel better. Or maybe a cold can of V-8. Oh, my 20s. If only.

And the really odd thing is that these were the days before I properly hydrated myself ANY of the time. I probably still stocked Diet Coke in my fridge and ate processed snacks.

You'll want this for tomorrow morning.

You’ll want this for tomorrow morning.

(Discuss: Are hangovers worse now that I’m healthier? Might it not be age?)

I’ve written many posts and columns on hangovers and potential cures. You’ve heard it before, but I’ll remind you: the only foolproof way to avoid a hangover is to abstain from alcohol.

Without further adieu, here is Sara’s Real Life No Bullshit Guide to Hangovers*:

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CATEGORIES: Hangover

Giveaway: Spring Gate Vineyard Wine Bucket

Newest winery on the block, Spring Gate Vineyard is already making quite the impression on the greater Harrisburg area.

Hidden just off of Devonshire Road, you’d never think to find such rustic charm within spitting distance of mega-stores. Spring Gate’s beautiful tasting room and added extras (fire pits, blankets for cool nights; special-release ciders each week) is quickly putting the winery, cidery and farm on the map.

If you haven’t visited yet, grab a friend and go. Spring Gate is often releasing new wines — its own, along with those from sister winery in Virginia — plus the aforementioned ciders. They also work with local vendors to supply on-site snacks, whether it’s Sunday brunch with Mountainside Supper Club or a Italian treats from nearby Zia’s.

This week, we’re giving away a Spring Gate Vineyard Wine Bucket. The Wine Bucket includes Spring Gate’s best selling sweet wines, Susquehanna Sweet Red and Susquehanna Sweet White,  along with two (2) Spring Gate wine glasses and a box of four (4) of our delectable chocolate truffles — all tucked in an ice bucket.  A $60 value!

spring gate vineyard

Complete your entries by using the Rafflecopter widget below.

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CATEGORIES: Giveaway, Harrisburg, Wine

Craft Beer, Cider + Bourbon, NFL Sunday, Brewfests & MORE

What a night! Actually — what a day I had yesterday: Morning radio show co-hosting duties with Bruce Bond, then a baby shower for a dear friend expecting twins (!). Afterwards, we had an absolutely amazing Chef’s Table beer dinner at The Garlic Poet with Finch’s Beer Co. I shall detail this later in full, but it was incredible.

Here’s a quick look using my new favorite app, Flipagram.

After that wonderful dinner — where I left feeling full but not overstuffed (so crucial) — I rested at home for a bit before meeting a gaggle of gay friends in Midtown for some pre-bar tour wine and laughs. We eventually headed out with stops at Harrisburg’s three gay bars: The Brownstone Lounge, 704 and of course, Stallions. I’ll be documenting later this week in PennLive. I’m hopeful the gents will host me again — it was a blast.

While out, I learned of the engagement of one of my best friends! Congrats to Jamie and Steve — Andy and I are thrilled for them.

Today, we’re heading out to Quaker Steak and Lube (Dad’s choice) for wings during the Steelers game.

It’s late, so let’s get into it:

From PennLive:

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Can Steelers rebound after tough loss?

Editor’s note: CBS 21 won’t be carrying this week’s game in favor of the Baltimore Ravens game. Where are you watching?

The Pittsburgh Steelers will try to put the embarrassing loss last week behind them when they play the Jacksonville Jaguars in Jacksonville on Sunday at 1 p.m.

The last meeting between these two was back in 2011, and the Steelers were able to pull out a 17-13 win in Pittsburgh.

Last week was either a wake-up call for this Pittsburgh team or it is the start of a downhill spiral. This week’s opponent won’t go a long ways in determining their ultimate fate but it will be a nice preview as to how last week affected the team.

This is another game that the Steelers should win handily. The Jaguars are coming in at 0-4 and have not come close to winning any of their games.

The Jaguars also do not match up well the pass-happy Steelers. Defensively the Jaguars are dead last in the NFL (350 yrds/gm), while the Steelers are eighth in passing (268 yrds/gm).

Le’Veon Bell and Legarrette Blount could make the Jaguars day even harder with the way they have been running as of late and it can take some pressure off the wide receiving core who might be without their number two wideout, Markus Wheaton. Wheaton was very limited in practice on Thursday, which means Darrius Heyward-Bey or Justin Brown might be asked to step up.

Ben Roethlisberger has looked as good as ever, and his favorite target Antonio Brown proves week after week that he is one of the elite receivers in the NFL.

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If the Steelers defense was playing as well as the offense the Steelers would probably be 3-1 right now, but injuries have led them to slip and look like a shell of themselves.

When Ryan Shazier, Jarvis Jones and Ike Taylor went out in the same game — and all for extended periods of time — is when the season started to look bleak.

The defense was already struggling and now they have to rely on William Gay, Brice McCain and Antoine Blake in coverage and James Harrison and Sean Spence to take the snaps vacated by Shazier and Jones.

Blake Bortles, the Jaguars rookie quarterback, will get his second career start this week. Bortles has played well in his relief of Chad Henne and showed even more promise last week. He is a young but talented quarterback who shows a lot of similarities to Roethlisberger.

#453778270 / gettyimages.com

Even Big Ben himself admitted it.

Allen Robinson, a former Nittany Lion, is one of Bortles’ favorite targets and has been playing great in his rookie season. The Jaguars have also found another wide receiver, Allen Hurns, who has broken out this season.

The Steelers should be able to win this game with little problem, but the question is going to be how they win.

They can run away with it, like they should, or they could make all Steelers fans sweat into their beer for a few hours.

Let’s hope we all don’t have tear beer by the end.

Celebrate Fall with 2 Local Brewfests

Fall is a such a huge time of year for craft beer, and all of the local events popping up seem to agree. From fest beers to pumpkin ales and even ciders, there’s a little something for everyone. Over the next two weekends, two events in particular invite you get your #drinklocal on with local breweries to try and home brews to explore. Get your drinking dresses (and pants) on friends, you’ve got sampling to do!

Central Pennsylvania Oktoberfest

beer and track.jpg

This Saturday at Hollywood Casino and Penn National Racetrack, the Harrisburg Hershey Craft Beer Country presents the 2nd annual Central Pennsylvania Oktoberfest. After attending last year’s I can assure you that this event is a blast.

The brewfest features local craft beers from Appalachian Brewing Company, Brewery at Hershey, Great Lakes Brewing Co., Lancaster Brewing Co., Liquid Hero, Market Cross, McKenzie’s Hard Cider, Otto’s, Penn Brewing, Pizza Boy Brewing, Snitz Creek Brewery, South County Brewery, Starr Hill, Swashbuckler and Troegs!

This is the perfect chance to try beers from those breweries you’ve been dying to get to but just haven’t made it there yet. Plus, there’s a special horse race for the event that you can watch while you sip your brews track-side and there will be a Johnny Cash tribute band to rock out to.

VIP tickets ($75 in advance) get you in early at 1 p.m. and allow you to try special VIP-only brews from each brewery as well as hors d’oeuvres and a souvenir mug. General admission ($30 in advance, $40 at the door) opens at 2:30 p.m. for tasting.

My favorite part about last year was when I realized that I needed to sober up a bit before heading back downtown, I just popped into the casino for a while for water and a few hands of black jack. Be sure to grab your tickets now here.

Homebrew Harvest Fundraiser

homebrew harvest fundraiser

Maybe trying the latest adventures in homebrewing is more your style? Next Sunday, Oct. 12 is the Homebrew Harvest Fundraiser at the Brewery at Hershey. The best part about homebrew festivals is that the beers have no requirements, are made with love, and can feature crazy experimental flavor combinations you probably won’t be seeing anywhere else.

Stop in to Brewery at Hershey next Sunday between 1 and 4 p.m. for this brewfest and sample your way around the variety of fantastic homebrews. Plus, enjoy live music from Two Pints Shy to get you in the groove.

This event is a competition, and there can only be one people’s choice winner. How will they be able to decide without your vote? With such unique entries like Mexican Chocolate Porter, Pumpkin Oktoberfest, Peach Berliner Weisse and Jalapeno Lime Kolsch, that vote is going to be a hard one to make. Maybe one of these brews will inspire you to brew one or two yourself?

Proceeds from the event are to benefit the Four Diamonds Fund and Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. Tickets are just $20 and can be purchased online here.

FCC rules against NFL

If you’re part of the NFL offices you have already had a pretty hectic start to the season, and now the government might have just thrown another wrench into the works.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has recently voted unanimously to ban the NFL from blacking out games for a local team when the game does not sell out.

The old rule used to be that if the game was not sold out at least 72 hours before kick-off that the game would be blacked out for local viewers.

The change to this rule will allow the local station to carry the game by using the broadcast from another station outside of the local market.

The original reason for the regulation from the NFL was to make sure attendance didn’t decline with the rise in television technology and availability.

Now for me there is no better experience than going to a live sporting event no matter what it is. Nothing can compete with the atmosphere of going to an NFL game and the way it feels to finally see your team in person.

#185435900 / gettyimages.com

Why do you think tickets are still so expensive?

If they were really hurting to get people in the seats they would drop the prices.

But to do it for every single game is something that not many people can do and this is why they rely on local stations to bring them their team.

People in this area have lucked out though because the Steelers and Eagles have never had trouble selling out games, but this has affected fans in Tampa Bay, Carolina and in Jacksonville.

Although I know there some Steelers fans in Harrisburg that have had to suffer through a Ravens game rather than the Steelers.

In 2013, 99 percent of NFL games were broadcast on free TV. Only two out of 267 games were blacked out last year.

This rule is outdated. It was created in the early 1970s when the only revenue for teams was ticket and merchandise sales. Now teams get hundreds of millions of dollars from broadcasting rights, and this makes up a majority of their revenue.

Even with all of these things considered the NFL is still concerned with this ruling and have been for sometime.

First, the NFL has many pressing matters to deal with. Whether it is domestic violence or lawsuits from former players. They have many more things to worry about other than maybe losing a few hundred tickets a season.

Seriously, it’s no real skin off of their nose other than losing a little bit of power.

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