Thu 05/21 – Mon 05/25
It was 1956 when the legendary Blossom Time Festival made its debut to the Chagrin Falls scene. Since then it has expanded into a four-day weekend extravaganza that draws over 100,000 festival goers every year for a family- and friend-filled adventure, while raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for local charities, scholarships for children and large projects in the area throughout the years.
The event is hosted by the Chagrin Valley Jaycees (CVJC), who handle every aspect of this awesome affair.
“Planning for the event begins in the fall of the previous year and takes hundreds of man hours to get ready before the doors even open,” says Daniel Beavers, CVJC president and Blossom Time chairman. “It is truly amazing to see all of the volunteers that make Blossom Time happen. We have hundreds of volunteers that take time away from their families to make sure this event happens. It is really a second job for many of us that week.”
There are approximately 14 rides at the carnival, with something for all ages at Blossom Time.
“It is really amazing to see what we fit into such a small park,” says Daniel. “We have live entertainment all weekend under the Big Top Tent in Riverside Park, as well as many bands playing at the Triangle in the center of town. Blossom Time has one of the larger races in the state. The race is now in its 39th year and has been a great addition to the weekend. This year there are 2,500 registered runners for the race.’
“Many people have also come to associate Blossom Time with the hot air balloons and the Balloon Glow which is a great family event,” he adds. “The balloons are staged behind the Chagrin Falls High School and tethered to the ground. At dusk they light their burners to music. It is an amazing sight.”
Starting Thursday, the carnival kicks off with rides are at Riverside Park and at dusk the “Balloon Glow” ignites the night at the Chagrin Falls High School. The carnival continues all throughout the weekend. At dusk on Friday, the balloons launch from the high school. There’ll be balloon races all throughout the Chagrin Valley during the weekend.
The Taste of Chagrin begins Friday and runs through Sunday, with tons of delicious food available to taste all throughout the village. Sunday morning the 5.25 mile race and 1 mile walk begins at 9AM, followed by the 1/4 Kiddie Run (ages 7 and under). The most attended portion of the entire weekend is the parade, beginning at 2PM Sunday. Monday, Memorial the carnival is open all day and the event is still going strong.
“As a life-long resident of the area I get excited about it all,” says Daniel. “I really enjoy watching kids, including my own, enjoy the rides, parade and everything else Blossom has to offer. I had such a great time attending Blossom Time when I was a child. I hope we are creating memories for these kids.”
Attending the festival is free, although there are plenty of things to purchase as well.