Category Archives: California’s Great America

2017 California’s Great America Red, White & Brews

2017 California's Great America Red White Brews

California’s Great America announces a new food event labeled Red, White, & Brews on May 27-29 and June 3-4, 2017. Red, White & Brews will bring the Hometown Square area of the park to life with locally sourced food experiences, more than 25 regional craft brews, Northern California wines, Bay Area bands, outdoor games and kids’ entertainment.

Admission to Red, White, & Brews is free with your admission to California’s Great America. However, food, beverage, and entertainment choices are an additional fee as noted.

Tasting cards will be available for $25 per person (6 selections per card) to sample savory items that include:
– Jumbo smoked chicken drumsticks
– BBQ pulled pork bun
– Skewered bacon wrapped chicken hearts
– Corn ears roasted in chili powder and lime juice
– Tombstone sliders with shaved brisket, pulled pork, jalapeno, and pineapple
– Dessert choice between an innovative apple pie, bacon and cheddar parfait, or a traditional strawberry shortcake

Craft beer and wine tasting cards will also be available for $25 per person at Candy Cafe, Firehouse No. 1, and Maggie’s Smokehouse. The card includes six, six-ounce samples, featuring renowned and niche microbreweries from throughout Northern California, including:
– Gordon Biersch
– Sierra Nevada
– Anchor
– Stone
– Mendocino
– Hanger 24
– Lagunitas
– Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
– Many others

Single 16 oz beer tastings are $10.99.

Wine pouring options will include William Hill, Flora Springs, J. Lohr, White Oak, Concannon and more.

170519 California's Great America Bourbon Peaches ©Erick Ponce

Bourbon Peaches

Unique food items for sale individually in the Hometown Square area are:
– Brisket mac and cheese conewich with crispy brisket tips, crispy onions and BBQ sauce (Look for this to be offered at next event)
– Red, white & blue funnel cakes topped with strawberries, vanilla ice cream and blueberries
– Bourbon peaches and cream with cinnamon cream and candied walnuts
– Cinnamon dessert nachos, which are fried tortillas paired with vanilla ice cream and chocolate and caramel syrup (Available at Sweet Tooth in Orleans Place)
– Fried Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (Available at Sweet Tooth in Orleans Place- $9.99)

170421 California's Great America Cinnamon Dessert Nachos ©Erick J. Ponce

For an additional fee, the San Jose Beer Bike will tour guests through the park each day, providing up to 10 friends the opportunity to view Great America while sipping and cycling (with a designated cyclist at the wheel). Hometown Square entertainment will feature oversized board and carnival games, free balloons for kids, giant Adirondack chairs for lounging and photo opportunities, and more.

“Red, White & Brews will create a vibrant, dynamic atmosphere inside the park and showcase the region’s incredible food and drink possibilities,” said California’s Great America Vice President & General Manager Raul Rehnborg. “Red, White & Brews joins Taste of Orleans and Fiesta Hispana as wonderful reasons to visit the park multiple times each year.

An outdoor stage will be constructed in front of the Great America Theater where four local bands will perform rock, country and bluegrass music throughout the day. Adding to the live entertainment, dueling pianos will be positioned in the gazebo, intensifying the outdoor atmosphere.

Red, White, and Brews runs from 11:00 am until one hour before closing.

Review California’s Great America Red, White and Brews

Bacon wrapped chicken hearts

170527 California's Great America Red White Brews Bacon Wrapped Chicken Hearts ©Mike Rumble

170528 California's Great America Red White Brews Bacon Wrapped Chicken Hearts ©Mike Rumble

Although this is not your typical theme park fare do not be afraid to try these chicken hearts. They have a subtly meaty flavor that pairs perfectly with the juicy bacon wrapping these tasty skewers.

Tombstone Sliders / Pulled Pork Buns

170527 California's Great America Red White Brews Pork Bun ©Mike Rumble

170528 California's Great America Red White Brews Pulled Pork Bun ©Mike Rumble (1)

170528 California's Great America Red White Brews Tombstone Slider ©Mike Rumble

170528 California's Great America Red White Brews Tombstone Slider ©Mike Rumble (1)

170528 California's Great America Red White Brews Tombstone Slider ©Mike Rumble (2)

Great America’s pulled pork has become a fast favorite at Maggie’s Smokehouse, and at Red, White and Brews you can find it in two delicious menu items. The Tombstone Sliders are a highlight of the festival, combining pulled pork with tender shaved brisket and a tangy mixture of pineapple and fried jalapenos and onions, it is a really delicious mix of flavors. By contrast, the Pulled Pork Buns keep things simple, but just as tasty, with a generous helping of the rich, juicy meat in served in a fresh warm dough pocket.

Spicy Roasted Corn

170528 California's Great America Red White Brews Spicy Roasted Corn ©Mike Rumble

A huge ear of fire-roasted corn, dipped in melted butter and fully loaded with cheese, chili powder, lime, herbs and mayonnaise. Not only tasty, but fun to eat and messy!

Jumbo Smoked Chicken Drums

170528 California's Great America Red White Brews Jumbo Chicken Drumsticks ©Mike Rumble

Although the “jumbo” label might be stretching the imagination a little, biting into the crispy skin of these drumsticks revealed mouth-watering juicy chicken with a delicious smokey taste. We could eat these by the bucket load!

Warm Apple, Bacon and Cheddar parfait and Strawberry Shortcake

170527 California's Great America Red White Brews Apple Pie, Cheddar Cheese, Bacon Parfait ©Mike Rumble

170527 California's Great America Red White Brews Strawberry Shortcake ©Mike Rumble

The toughest decision of Red, White and Brews is deciding between the desert options! The parfait is a decadent treat with layers of warm spiced apple and melted cheddar cheese, and topped with whipped cream and real bacon crumbles. For a more traditional choice, the Strawberry Shortcake combines juicy strawberries, crumbly shortcake and whipped cream into an elegant confection.

Fried Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

170528 California's Great America Red White Brews Fried Chocolate Chip Banana Bread ©Mike Rumble

A creative twist on chocolate chip banana bread, by adding a stick, dipping it in batter and deep frying until golden. This treat is exactly the unique food offerings we would expect to find at an amusement park.

Dessert Nachos

170528 California's Great America Red White Brews Dessert Nachos ©Mike Rumble

Your choice of ice cream piled on top of a layer of sweet cinnamon nachos and drizzled with chocolate and caramel!

What was your favorite menu item from Red, White and Brews? Let us know below in the comments.

A very special thanks goes out to Mike from Inside CGA (Facebook/Twitter/Instagram), for partnering with us to cover California’s Great America food. For additional photos and details of the event, please visit the Inside CGA accounts above.

A special thanks also goes out to California’s Great America for hosting our visit and allowing us to try some of the amazing food offerings!

Cover photo ©California’s Great America

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2017 Free Cedar Fair Ticket (Cedar Point, Kings Island, etc.) for Giving Blood

140716 Red Cross Blood Drive Cedar Point Ticket

Before we had season passes, one of our favorite programs to take part in was donating blood to the Red Cross and getting a free Cedar Point ticket (Note: we still donate blood even without the ticket benefit). So we are always happy when we see the program return each year because not only does your blood donation save countless lives, it gives everyone a chance to be able to visit the park.

Fact: Someone in the U.S. needs blood every two seconds.

The process is quick and simple, and you are allowed to donate blood once every 60 days. So assuming you get in at the beginning of June, you can do so again in August (when maybe they will add additional free Cedar Fair ticket dates).

While the promotion is labeled as a free Cedar Fair ticket of choice, you need to verify with your donation center which tickets will be available. Each center will not have a pile of tickets from each of the parks. Most likely they will be regionalized, meaning Ohio and surrounding States will offer Cedar Point or Kings Island tickets, etc. Again confirm with your donation center when making a reservation.

So where can you donate blood in 2017 and get a free Cedar Fair ticket?

Upcoming blood donation opportunities in Ohio offering one free Cedar Fair theme park ticket:

(Reference List)

June 1, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at iHeartMedia, 7461 South Ave., Boardman, 44512

June 7, 2017 from noon to 6 p.m. at Geauga County Fairgrounds, School Building, 14373 N. Chesire St., Burton 44021

June 9, 2017 from 1:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Ashtabula Towne Square, 3315 N. Ridge Road E, Ashtabula, 44004

June 13, 2017 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Massillon Recreation Center, 505 Erie St. N, Massillon, 44646

June 14, 2017 from noon to 6 p.m. at Packard Music Hall, 1703 Mahoning Ave., Warren, 44483

June 20, 2017 from 1 to 7 p.m. at Ehrnfelt Recreation Center, 18100 Royalton Road, Strongsville, 44136

June 24, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Stephen Rung-Meno Memorial Blood Drive, 409 Armour Road, Avon Lake, 44012

June 28, 2017 from 2 to 7 p.m. at Castaway Bay, 2001 Cleveland Road, Sandusky, 44870

July 3, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Fairview Recreation Center, 21225 Lorain Road, Fairview Park, 44126

July 7, 2017 from 1 to 7 p.m. at Hilton Garden Inn, 700 Beta Dr., Mayfield Village, 44143

July 12, 2017 from noon to 7 p.m. at Dave & Busters, 25735 First St., Westlake, 44145

July 18, 2017 from 1 to 7 p.m. at Heartland Community Church, 3400 Weymouth Road, Medina, 44256

July 21, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Cuyahoga Community College, West Campus, 11000 Pleasant Valley Road, Parma, 44130

July 25, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Independence Community Center, 6363 Selig Drive, Independence, 44131

Upcoming blood donation opportunities in Indiana offering one free Cedar Fair theme park ticket:

(Reference List)

6/15/2017 East Noble High School 1pm-7pm 901 S. Garden St. Kendallville, IN 46755
6/15/2017 Purdue University Northwest – Westville 10am – 4pm 1401 S. US 421 Westville, IN 46391
6/23/2017 Zion Lutheran Church 1pm-7pm 101 East North Street Columbia City, IN 46725
6/27/2017 Celina High School at St. John Lutheran Church 12pm-6pm 1100 N. Main Street Celina, OH 45822
6/29/2017 St. Elizabeth Ann Seton 12pm-6pm 10700 Aboite Center Rd Fort Wayne, IN 46804
6/30/2017 Madison Park Church of God 2pm-8pm 6607 Providence Dr. Anderson, IN 46013
7/6/2017 Faith United Methodist Church 12pm-6pm 22045 CR18 Goshen, IN 46528
7/8/2017 Three Rivers Festival 12pm-4pm SCU on Barr Street Fort Wayne, IN 46802
7/11/2017 Logansport High School 1pm-6pm 1 Berry Lane Logansport, IN 46947
7/12/2017 University of Notre Dame at LaFortune Student Center 11am-5pm 315 LaFortune Student Center South Bend, IN 46556
7/12/2017 Scout Park Conference Center 1pm-7pm 2300 Meyer Road Fort Wayne, IN 46803
7/19/2017 Elida High School/Community 12pm-6pm 401 East North St. Elida, OH 45807
7/19/2017 Chapel Hill Church 12pm-6pm 2600 W. Alto Rd. Kokomo, IN 46901
7/20/2017 Purdue University Northwest – Hammond at Student Union Library 10am-3pm 2200 169th Street Hammond, IN 46323
7/21/2017 Huntington Church of the Nazarene 1:30pm- 7:30pm 1555 Flaxmill Rd. Huntington, IN 46750
7/24/2017 Mitchell High School at Mitchell Church of Christ 12pm-6pm 1004 Main Street Mitchell, IN 47446
7/26/2017 Sonlight Church 11am-5pm 455 N. Gerald Lett Avenue Angola, IN 46703
7/29/2017 Fishers YMCA 11am- 4pm 9012 East 126th St. Fishers, IN 46038
8/8/2017 Irsay Family YMCA 10am – 4pm 430 S. Alabama St. Indianapolis, IN 46225

You must register with the Red Cross prior to your arrival to ensure you get a free ticket. Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information.

The Red Cross is also giving away a paid trip to either Cedar Point or Knott’s Berry Farm for those that like to enter contests. You will also see a link to purchase discounted tickets.

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Discount California’s Great America Tickets on Groupon

April 2017 California's Great America Groupon

Get your early season rides on at California’s Great America (CGA), where they debuted the new Patriot roller coaster this season. Or try last years big hit, the Electronic Arts (EA) Mass Effect: New Earth experience.

The best current deal on tickets on the CGA website is $39.99 for a one-day ticket for the Everyone Pays Kids Price promotion. Adding in taxes and fees, the price comes to $45.98 per person. However, Groupon is running a special promotion that will save you even more!

Link: California’s Great America Groupon Tickets (affiliate link)

For $34.50 per person, you can purchase CGA tickets valid through May 26, 2017. Since no taxes or fees are collected when buying through Groupon, this results in a substantial savings!

While at CGA, be sure to check out the new Maggie’s Smokehouse and Fried Chicken restaurant, offering great new options for 2017.

Stay tuned as we work to get you a complete California’s Great America Dining Guide in the near future!

If you elect to use our link above, we are provided with a small commission on your purchase. It costs you nothing additional to use our link. You do not have to use our link, but we greatly appreciate when you do!

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