Superheroes take over Harrisburg

by: James Werner

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For three days, downtown Harrisburg will look like a scene from your favorite comic book.

Superhero Weekend runs from May 23-25 and will transform downtown into the ultimate spot for graphic art and local hero recognition. The event is being held in conjunction with ArtsFest.

Here’s what you can expect from the weekend:

Familiar streets will have different names. Instead of getting something to eat on Second Street, you’ll actually be eating on Superhero Boulevard. There will also be a Captain America Avenue, Spiderman Street, Superman Lane and Wonder Woman Way.

Actors in superhero costumes will be roaming the streets and will be available for pictures. The most popular superhero that will be downtown might be “Parking Meter Man,” who will be putting quarters in a few lucky parkers on Saturday.

The streetlight posts will also be decorated with banners of traditional comic book heroes as well as local ones.

If you’re artistic, you can show it off in two different contests during the weekend.


“Selfie-Scene” Art Competition: Local artists will compete in a design contest with $3,000 in cash prizes. Artists will be judged in high school, college and local artist categories.

Storefront Decoration Competition: Downtown storeowners are being encouraged to decorate their storefront to help add more detail to the city. iHeartMedia will be sponsoring the competition and the winner will receive $5,000 in radio advertising.

Superhero Teacher of the Year:


Although nominations for Superhero Teacher of the Year are over you can still vote for your favorite teacher until May 22. One teacher will be chosen from each school district and winners will be announced at the Superheroes Ball.

On top of the contests and decorations there will be a few events that feature something for all ages.

Local Hero of the Year:


This award recognizes local heroes whether it be a firefighter, police officer, business person or the everyday citizen who does great things for others.


Kick-off Lunch with the Superheroes
Saturday, 12-2 p.m., Superhero Boulevard between Market and Walnut Sts.

Kids will get to have lunch with some of their favorite comic book heroes as well as local superheroes, including first responders from Harrisburg. The lunch will include food, carnival games and demonstrations from local organizations. It is open to everyone and is a FREE event.

Superheroes Ball
Saturday, 7-9 p.m., Superhero Boulevard between Market and Walnut

There will be live music and the announcements of the contests that ave been going on throughout the week. Fireworks will follow the ball at the same spot.

Superhero Throwback Party
Saturday, 9 p.m., Sawyer’s, 21+, FREE

C+C Music Factory, famous for “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now),” will be the featured performer.

Ultimate Superhero Party- Honoring Wounded and Fallen Troops
Sunday, 7 p.m. Sawyer’s 21+

The weekend will end with guests being able to honor fallen heroes with Sky Lanterns featuring the names of those heroes. The laterns will be released at 9 p.m. The night will also feature music from the Impact Band.

ArtsFest has always been a tradition for Memorial Day Weekend but make sure you check out how the city will be transformed and support the real superheroes who make a difference in our community everyday.

Kombucha & Vegetarian Tacos at Crave & Co.

by: Sara Bozich

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As you know from my Sara’s Kitchen posts, I’m a carnivore — well, really an omnivore. However, unlike many meat eaters, I don’t turn up my nose at the idea of vegetarian dishes. By eating (almost) everything, I love vegetables, and occasionally strive for a “no meat Monday.”

crave & co. kombucha

From the moment I heard about Crave & Co., located quietly between The FireHouse Restaurant and Aleco’s on Second Street in downtown Harrisburg, the reviews were all positive. Vegetarian food that was interesting, tasted good. Immediately I knew I needed to check this out — at the very least because I’m often asked about where people can find good vegetarian or vegan fare. As an added bonus, I’ve found a healthy lunch option for myself.

New on their menu are vegetarian tacos — and not the boring kind either. Choose 3 from a menu of about five daily. Yesterday, I went with the crispy black bean (which I realized later I’ve actually made before), brussel sprout kimchi (my favorite) and spicy Korean tofu. They were delicious, flavorful and filling. In fact, I had trouble finishing my third taco.

crave & co.

The other reason for yesterday’s visit was to try the Kombucha flight. If you’re anywhere near a healthy living blog or health food aisle of your grocery, you know that this fermented bev is all the rage right now. I’ve been hesitant to spend money on a bottle from the store without knowing what it would be like, so I was so excited to see Crave & Co. offer not only their own Kombuchu, but in multiple flavors.

Choose a full glass for $3.95, or get a flight of all four — original, lime, rose and chipotle — for $7.95. Flights are great for sharing, and I had a hard time choosing a favorite.

crave & co. kombucha

I’d never had kombucha before, but I knew it was a fermented beverage chock full of probiotics (good gut bacteria) that was considered not only healthy but to have some detoxifying properties. Celebs chug it for hangovers, but it also would make a great non-alcoholic alternative for D.D.s, pregnant women or anyone else backing off the sauce for any reason. It’s flavorful — but not overwhelming, has the teensiest sparkle from the natural fermentation, and as displayed at Crave & Co., available in multiple flavor profiles.

Though this was my first time having kombucha, I loved it, and Crave & Co. owner Kristin Messner-Baker told me that many people — who have had kombucha before — say that hers is the best.

I think I’d choose lime on my next visit, but it may depend on the tacos I select. Rose was also lovely, and I know — you’re thinking, “But Sara — chipotle! Your pepper obsession!” Chipotle also was good, more smokey than spicy, and it especially would be great as a cocktail substitution. Frankly, the original was satisfying enough on its own, too.

Since I’ll be fermenting vegetables for pickles this year, I’m probably going to try my hand at homemade kombucha, too.

I asked if people ever use kombucha, which does contain trace amounts of alcohol due to the natural fermentation, as a mixer for cocktails, and well — the internet never disappoints:

This summer, Crave & Co. will be adding evening hours Thursday through Saturday, so stay tuned for that update. A nanobrewery also is in the works, but look for that in 2016.

In the meantime, visit them at 614 N. Second St., Harrisburg from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

RECAP: 12th Annual DUI Victim Memorial 10K

I get nervous before races.

Like really nervous.

I usually feel like I am going to throw up, and I get knots in my stomach. Once the gun goes off, I am fine, but in the moments before that I feel incredible anxiety.

And Saturday was no different. I ran the 12th Annual DUI Victim Memorial 10K Run & Walk, and beforehand, I nervously paced around. “Why do I do this to myself?” I wondered aloud. “I like running, not racing.”

Alas, I had made it that far … might as well keep going.

As I mentioned when I ran a 10K in February, my 10K PR (44:39)  is from my first 10K about two years ago. It was a hard, hilly course in York, and I ended up walking two major hills. It’s left a bad taste in my mouth, and I’d love to break it. However, on Saturday,  I was only two weeks post-marathon, and while I had been running regularly again, I knew my legs were still a little fatigued.

kelly run

I hemmed and hawed about signing up, and then on Friday, I pulled the trigger and paid the $25 registration fee. I figured I would be running around the area anyway, so I might as well pay  to do it.

The race started at 9 a.m., and we lined up near their office on Front Street. With a “runner, set, go,” we were off. I settled in behind a few fast-looking dudes, and off we ran towards Division Street, a little more than a half mile away. There, we turned around, running back down Front Street, and then took the sidewalk down to the lower level river trail near McClay Street. I managed to pass one guy at this point, and I just focused on keeping a runner ahead of me in view.

Like the Pittsburgh Marathon, I used the same tactic of running the mile I was in, instead of freaking out about how much is left. Mile three? Get to mile four. I was holding a low-seven minute pace, which felt comfortably hard. I didn’t feel like I was going to die, but I definitely was working for it. We turned around about 3.5 miles in, and then made our way back along the river. I passed one more male runner, and the third place guy was way too ahead of me to catch, so I focused on keeping his blue shirt in my vision.

Near the Sunken Gardens, we climbed back up to Front Street, and it was around here, I realized the course was going to be short. Part of me was grateful — I was ready to be done, but part of me was disappointed, as I really wanted that PR. The finishing line was in the same location as the starting line, and just when it came into view, a guy passed me. At that point, I was more impressed with his kick than disappointed I had been passed.

kelly run

I finished in 42:23, first female. (It was a small race.) After asking a few others, I think the course was short by .25-.3/mile. So, would it have been a PR? Maybe, it would have been close! Oh well.

The post-race party was pretty awesome, they had a grill going with hot dogs, chips and soda available. As my prize, I received a medal and a $100 Sheetz gift card and apparently a plaque is coming my way, so I was pretty pumped.

As Tim said, “That’s a lot of shmuffins.*”

*Discloser: I have never eaten a shmuffin, and I don’t plan to.

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Sara’s Kitchen: Venison Chorizo Nachos

by: Sara Bozich

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Need an easy crowd-pleaser? Or perhaps an impromptu dinner for two? My husband and I hungrily chowed down on these homemade chorizo nachos for Cinco de Mayo at the beginning of the month — but no holiday is required to enjoy this treat. I see them becoming a football Sunday regular in our house.

They’re simple, delicious and you can make them your own.

venison chorizo nachos

Venison Chorizo Nachos

  • 1 lb bulk venison chorizo or regular chorizo (or, simply use ground beef and add more seasoning)
  • 1/2 bottle taco sauce
  • 3 avocados
  • 1/2 tsp Torchbearer Sauces “Slaughter” (or hot sauce of choice)
  • 1 lime or lemon, juiced
  • Homemade salsa (or favorite store-bought)
  • Tortilla chips of choice
  • Shredded cheese (optional — we were out!)

Brown venison chorizo in cast iron or other heavy pan (not non-stick), breaking up as it cooks. If you’re using plain ground beef, be sure to season with salt and pepper — Or better yet, Adobo — as it cooks. Once browned, add 1/2 bottle of taco sauce. (If using ground beef, a half packet of taco seasoning or similar will also work. Or, make your own. Add this and stir through before adding the taco sauce.)

Meanwhile, make the “Slaucamole” by mashing three avocados, adding a sprinkle of salt and the lime juice. Stir in a small amount of hot sauce, to taste.

venison chorizo nachos

Layer chips on a platter, then top with chorizo. If using cheese, sprinkle it on now. If you prefer your cheese meltier, pop it into the oven for a few minutes. Then, add small mounds of guacamole, salsa and sour cream, if using, on the platter.


Pour: Alongside our venison chorizo nachos, I created a simple tequila cocktail for the holiday. Again, enjoy this all summer long.

tequila hibiscus cooler

Tequila Hibiscus Cooler (serves 2)

  • 3 oz Ixa organic tequila
  • 2 oz Fruitlab organic hibiscus liqueur
  • 1 12-oz can La Croix lime seltzer
  • lemon or lime wedges
  • cucumber slices (for garnish)

Pour tequila and hibiscus liqueur into a cocktail strainer over ice and shake ’til cold. In a stemless wine or highball glass, pour mixture over ice (we used those large whiskey cubes). Top with lime seltzer. Squeeze in lemon wedge, and toss in 2-3 cucumber slices.


Categories: Food/Drink, Home, Recipes

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