Thursday, January 8, 2015

2014 in Review, Part 2

2014 in Review, Part 2
by Brit Charek

Just like we have done at the start of the past two years, Joanna and I are reflecting on our Akron Empire adventures before moving on to new ones, which has become a ritual I look forward to.

This has been an incredibly busy year for me personally and professionally! In addition to teaching high school full-time, my organization Crafty Mart expanded by hosting three handmade markets instead of just two, including the biggest event I've ever organized-- and not by just a little. As I reflect on the success I've had, along with all the things I'll do different next time, I'm feeling optimistic about 2015, despite the ridiculous weather it's brought us so far.

Earlier in the week, Joanna posted a list of her most popular posts from 2014, and now I'm excited to share mine!

5. Fresh Fork Market Brings Local Foods to School Lunches
As a high school teacher, I've heard my fair share of complaints about school lunches. There are days that if I hear one more sarcastic "Thanks, Michelle Obama" I have to stop myself from screaming.

Fresh Fork Market, a local CSA service, seems to have done it right. They brought the Farm-to-Table movement to teens in ways that they can understand, like pizza and burritos. I think they're off to a terrific start with the part of our population that seems to never be pleased!

4. Lucky Records
I first wrote about Lucky Records in January of 2014, just after they opened their storefront in Wooster, Ohio. Since then, I went back to see Buffalo Killers, an Ohio-born band who are now getting national attention, play an in-store event over the summer, which was so fun.

It seems that Lucky Records was at the start of a mini-movement in its town-- every time I go to visit, there seems to be a new store, restaurant, or boutique opening downtown Wooster, and they all seem to be focused on helping each other out. It's worth taking the trip to spend the day there.

3. Wanted: Guest Bloggers
Akron Empire has always been a two-way street between ourselves and our readers. With all the awesome suggestions we get to create new content, Joanna and I can't possibly cover them all, even though we really want to, which is one of many reasons we put out this call for Guest Bloggers. Do you have an idea you want to write about? Check out this post to give you some guidelines to help you get started. Hope to hear from you soon!

2. World Cup Viewing Party with Akron American Outlaws
I've never been a huge sports enthusiast, but I love love LOVE watching the World Cup! This summer, I had the pleasure of cheering on the US Men's National Team with the Akron chapter of the American Outlaws, a group of US soccer supporters, at Manny's Pub in Akron. Although the outcome wasn't what we had hoped for our team, the comradery enjoyed among the fans was worth coming out for!
The Akron American Outlaws are gearing up for the Women's World Cup in 2015. Perhaps we'll see you at one of their watch parties this summer to cheer on the US Women's National Team!

1. Akron Empire Favorites: Favorite Burger
This past summer, we polled our readers about their favorites in the Akron area: food, music, activities, events, and whatever else they wanted to share! Joanna and I spent the fall revealing a series of posts with the results, where we were able to pay tribute to some of our favorites and also discovered a few gems we had never heard of! For the full list of links for the results, click here.

I wasn't too surprised by the results of the Favorite Burger, but you'll have to check out the post to see the results. In the meantime, my grandma and I will forever continue our Swenson's vs. Skyway debate.

Want to see more of Akron Empire's most popular posts? Check out my lists from 2013 and 2012.

Check back next week for when we reveal our most popular guest blog posts of the 2014! Happy New Year!

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