A: Away 5k
Participants can run or walk a 5K course looping the beautiful campus of Kent State University at Stark with the potential for hot air balloons to launch and fly overhead! Each runner will be awarded with a shirt for the occasion and a participant medal! Airline vouchers, graciously provided by the Akron-Canton Airport and American Airlines, and prizes will be awarded to the top three male and female runners. Age category winner prizes will also be awarded thanks to sponsor Schumacher Homes. Bring the kiddos too, there will be a free kid’s run with inflatables, refreshments, and fun! This event takes place at Kent State University at Stark Campus, on July 27th at 8AM. So, lay out your shoes, register yourself at www.hofef5k.com, and be ready for the Up Up and Away 5K!
B: Balloon Classic
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival Balloon Classic attracts balloonists from throughout the United States. It has become one of the most popular of all Festival events with more than 130,000 spectators viewing the balloon activities over the weekend. Over the course of the event there will be five flights taking place and of course the annual Saturday evening fireworks show. No matter what your appetite is, there will be vendors to meet every pallet. The event takes place at Kent State University at Stark/Stark State Campus July 26th-July 28th. Grab the family, and get ready for a weekend that will make you feel like you’re floating.
C: Community Parade
Parades are the best way to kick off the festivities. The Pro Football Hall of Fame Community Parade invites thousands of citizens to the heart of downtown Canton to enjoy nearly 100 diverse parade units including community youth groups, marching bands, the walking flag, antique vehicles, specialty units, and a giant helium balloon. This Parade begins on Market Avenue at 11th Street North and travels South through the heart of downtown on July 21st from 2:30PM to 4:30PM.
D: Drinks (HOF Fun Fest/Beer Fest)
HOF Fun Fest is a free and open to the public all weekend long. Those attending can enjoy DJs, live music, Gold Jacket Chalk Talks, special guest appearances, inflatables, games, and contests every day. Beer Fest will include the latest trends in ice cold alcoholic beverages, and the featured Class of 2019 collectable beer stein! This event will take place on the Pro Football Hall of Fame Campus August 1st- August 4th starting at noon every day!
E: Enshrinement Ceremony
This is probably why you’re hanging out in Canton the first week of August. The whole celebration of this week is for this particular event, where the newest class of 2019, assume their rightful place amongst professional football's most elite. There are currently 318 members of the Hall of Fame and at this ceremony we will add these eight deserving men! This event will take place on Hall of Fame Field at Tom Benson Stadium on August 3rd at 7PM.
F: Football First Play
This is a favorite tradition of Canton locals. The Pro Football Hall of Fame, in partnerships with the NFL, celebrate the kickoff of the 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week by forming a human chain of more than 3,000 kids and pass a football for three miles from the location in downtown Canton where the NFL was founded, to the front steps of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The coolest part about this experience is this is the ball used to kick off the Hall of Fame game! Kids not only receive the memory but also a t-shirt, free admission to the Pro Football Hall of Fame (day of event), and lunch on the Hall of Fame grounds! This event is held in Downtown Canton on July 31st at 10AM.
G: Gervasi HOF Wine
While in Canton, take some time away from the kids and stroll over to Gervasi Vineyards. They offer a co-branded wine featuring the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s logo. This wine is meant to “Honor the Heroes of the Game, preserve its history, promote it’s Values and Celebrate Excellence EVERYWHERE”. In the past this wine has sold for around $44 a bottle. So if you’re looking for somewhere to spend some adult time, stop by Gervasi Vineyards.
H: Hall of Fame (times to visit, expect wait times, etc.)
With it being enshrinement, it’s no wonder there are longer wait times than usual. In fact, the number of those visiting the museum triples! If you are interested in visiting the Hall of Fame during this time, keep in mind there will be longer wait times. Although, we do highly advise you to go to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, it is really incredible.
I: Imagine Dragons Concert
The 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame Concert for Legends will feature Imagine Dragons at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. It will truly be a night to remember! Concert for Legends tickets with headliner Imagine Dragons are on sale and may be purchased at www.ProFootballHOF.com/tickets. Ticket prices range from $55 to $289. More info on Imagine Dragons can be found at www.imaginedragonsmusic.com. This concert will take place at Tom Benson Stadium, on August 4th at 8PM.
J: Jackets (Gold Jacket Autograph Session)
Want to meet the guys, get some football garb signed, and take some cool pictures with Gold Jackets? Then this is the event for you! On August 3rd at the Pro Football Hall of Fame from noon- 4:45PM, this can come true! Take home commemorative artifacts from the week, and know you met a Pro Football Hall of Famer!
K: Kids (Summer Kids Movie Series)
Parents if you need something fun that’ll keep the kids quiet for an hour or two consider checking out the Summer Kids Movie Series at the Canton Palace Theatre. The movies being offered throughout the summer. Stay until Monday, August 5th to enjoy "Wonder." The doors open at 12:30PM and the admission is only $1!
L: Luncheon and Fashion Show
This fashion show has been a Canton tradition for the last FIFTY-SIX YEARS! Join in the tradition with nearly 3,000 other guests, come to see arguably one of the largest fashion shows in Ohio. This event will take place on August 2nd at 11:30am and is held at the Canton Memorial Civic Center.
Pigskin, Visit Canton's longtime mascot, loves interacting with guests of all ages at the many events surrounding the Enshrinment of the Class of 2019. Get pumped, because this year, Pigskin has a new friend to hang out with! The G.O.A.T. is named Goldy and is the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s mascot. Announced at the beginning of June, expect to see this pal around quite a bit during his debut year!
N: NFL HOF Game
Watch the Denver Broncos and the Atlanta Falcons face off in this season kick off! Tickets range from as low as $70- $200. If you are interested in purchasing tickets check out: www.profootballhof.com/tickets. Join the adrenaline running through the fan’s veins on August 1st, at 8pm held in none other than the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.
O: Outdoors (First Friday- Game Time)
Looking to truly immerse yourself in Canton culture? Look nowhere else than our popular First Friday. With music, food, games, activities, booths, shopping, and more it’s no wonder this brings out all the members of our community. The theme for this First Friday is Game Time! This event is held on August 2nd from 6pm to 10pm held in Downtown Canton.
P: Paul Brown Museum- Evolution of the Football Jersey Opens
What better to do than go to the opening of this museum exhibit? This exhibit would be perfect for all the football fans out there wanting to brush up on how those jerseys you see every game came to be! The exhibit opens on July 27th at the Paul Brown Museum, located at the Massillon Museum. Admission is always FREE!
Q: Quick pick me up (Coffee Shops)
Enshrinement week is exhausting but you don’t ever want to miss a thing! To keep you going try some little coffee shops around Stark County, here are my recommendations;
Muggswigz- This is the place to go if you are wanting to try a cup of nontraditional coffee. With things like fuzzywigs, mocha cookie crunch, vanilla cloud, and more.
Carpe Diem- This is the perfect place to go if you’re looking for a quality cup of joe, and a relaxing atmosphere.
Tremont Coffee Company- If you find yourself on the opposite end of town, in Massillon, try this coffee shop! They have amazing tea and coffee, and the vibe of the place is so unique!
The Human Bean- This is the place to go if you find yourself in Belden shopping, eating, and getting your nails done and just want a quick sip. This drive through coffee, surely doesn’t taste like it isn’t being made for sitting in.
Esso- This is if you’re truly on the other end of Stark county- Esso coffee is a University of Mount Union favorite! This little Alliance coffee shop will have you drooling just by the aroma when you walk inside!
Speak Easy- This is a great place if you want to get a savory cup of joe and go for a walk. This coffee is so rich and delicious and is located in the heart of Historic Downtown Canal Fulton.
Uptown Joe- In Louisville, if you want coffee, and a lunch this is the place for you! I cute little shop that will make you feel like you live-in small-town Louisville, Ohio.
R: Repository Grand Parade
Join the nearly 200,000 spectators for this parade as it showcases not only the 2019 Enshrines, but also many returning Hall of Famers! With specialty units, giant helium balloons, floats, and marching bands you won’t want this parade to end! This is perfect for those of all ages. This event is on August 3rd from 8am- 10am held in Downtown Canton.
S: Skills Camp
Learn football skills where football all started. This football skills camp will put you ahead of all the rest! Try it out on July 31st at 6pm in the Youth Sports Complex! Make sure to sign-up your kids to partipcate at www.profootballhof.com/play-football-skills-camp-registration.
T: Troll Football Hall of Fame Induction
Check out the Troll Hole Museum, while they host their Troll Football Hall of Fame Induction. While you’re in the induction mood come enjoy an event for the whole family! Troll Football Hall of Fame exhibit is a recreation of the Tom Benson Stadium located inside the Troll Hole Museum. The stadium seats 1,000 troll football fans wearing team colors. Week-long celebration of trolls and football. This event takes place July 28th through August 4th at the Troll Hole Museum in Alliance, Ohio.
U: Unique to Canton (Things you can’t get anywhere but here)
Call me biased but Canton has some truly hidden gems! These include restaurants, stores, and more! Some of these include:
Heggy’s: This may sound strange, but this is a MUST! When you go be sure to get some of their famous french fries. When they ask if you want butter on top, say yes! Other recommendations for here include a malt (with extra malt powder), a chocolate/vanilla coke, and a bowl of their AMAZING potato soup!
Hartville Kitchen: This is a double whammy; you can go on the weekend and do the flea market too. Enjoy their homestyle food, while you shop till you drop on homemade articles, and antiques! I would recommend checking out the kitchen but not forgetting to stop and get some kettle corn from the flea!
Pete’s: A true Cantonian favorite! This little hole in the wall restaurant, has something for everyone with a local feel. With their friendly employees, and their delectable food, it’s no wonder there’s a line for the dinner crowd! I would recommend the Chicken Pot Pie!
Frank’s Family Restaurant: This is the PERFECT place to go if you’re looking for a good breakfast in Alliance! This stop on State Street is good if you want a unique taste with an incredible environment. I would recommend their waffles, even the smell will make your mouth water!
McKinley Presidential Library & Museum: This multipurpose monument is both a historic landmark, with an incredible story behind it. Also, a great place to get some exercise, have a picnic, and enjoy a view! I would recommend going to the top and looking out, it will let you take in the skyline of Canton.
Taggarts: This is a cute little ice cream shop that is actually favorite by a lot of the enshrines and their families. They love their ice cream and root beer floats. I would recommend the Bittner but be ready to share its massive!
Stark Park Systems: No matter where you are in Stark county there is a park near you! The Stark Park system does an incredible job of keeping these parks clean and beautiful for everyone! They have good educational programs and we take pride in how fortunate we are to have such an amazing park system. I would recommend renting bikes and taking in the scenery!
V: Visit Canton (Stop in and see us for information and ideas)
The biggest piece of advice I can give to you is to stop into the Visit Canton Visitors Information Center located in Downtown Canton at 227 2nd Street NW, Canton, OH 44702. We have brochures, information about local attractions, restaurants, must see art, activities, plus a friendly face! For Enshrinement Week we are open Monday-Thursday 9AM-4PM, Friday 9AM-8PM, and Staurday 7AM-11AM.
W: Welcome (Don’t be afraid to ask our Guest Services, we’re here to help)
When going to the different events, don’t be afraid to talk to the people in the neon green shirts. These are guest service volunteers, and they WANT to help you! They are equipped with the information you need and will help you get around!
X: Xylophones (Drum Corp Competition)
Come see the 2019 DCI Tour of Champions show this years lineup includes: Blue Knights - Denver, CO | Bluecoats - Canton, OH | Boston Crusaders - Boston, MA | Carolina Crown - Fort Mill, SC | The Cavaliers - Rosemont, IL | Crossmen - San Antonio, TX | Mandarins - Sacramento, CA | Phantom Regiment - Rockford, IL | Santa Clara VanGuard - Santa Clara, CA
This event takes place on August 5th at 7pm in the Infocision Stadium and you can save money if you purchase tickets before the event at www.profootballhoffestival.com/drum-corps-international-competition!
Y: YUMMMM (The HOF Breakfast before the parade)
Attend the Canton Repository Grand Parade with ease! Park at the Canton Woman's Club, have reserved seats on the parade route, and end with a big breakfast buffet for one price! Seating is limited, call the Canton Woman's Club at 330-453-4802 to make your reservations. This will be on August 3rd before the parade at the Canton Women’s Club.
Z: Catch some Zzzzz’s because it’s a busy week!
It has been a busy week so I would recommend taking sleep time very seriously! Catch some Zzz’s so you can recoup to come see us again next year in August!