Hessler Street Fair Nears Its 50th Anniversary, Partying Like It Was 50 Years Ago


Sat 6/2 & Sun 6/3 @ 11AM-dusk

Back in 1969, Hessler Street began hosting its annual street fair. The festival isn’t exactly 50 years old though. It took a decade-long break from the mid ’80s to the mid ’90s — the hippie mentality didn’t fit the “get rich or die trying” ethos of the Reagan and post-Reagan era. But it came roaring back in 1995. Last year it made another change, moving from the third weekend in May, which conflicted with CWRU’s graduation, to the first weekend in June.

Not much has changed though. You won’t find mass-produced vendors who do the fair and festival circuit. You will find local artists who make their own tie-dyed garments and street residents selling lemonade. In addition to the food and crafts, there’s a section devoted to organizations and businesses advocating for various causes from peace to animal welfare. And there’s a large kids area, Harmony Park, with a dozens of low-tech, creative activities.

And of course there’s the music, starting at 11am each day, with sounds ranging from blues to jazz to Irish to bluegrass to rock to reggae. Many of the performers are regulars including the jam-band style JiMiller Band, who close the festival at dusk Saturday, and Carlos Jones & the P.L.U.S. Band, who wrap it all up on Sunday evening with their upbeat reggae. It should be a veritable sea on dancers on Sunday evening with lively world music ensemble Daddy Longlegs Homegrown Revival at 5pm, Latin rockers Evil Ways at 6, New Orleans-style jazz soul ensemble the Revolution Brass Band at 7 and the P.L.U.S. Band at 8.

The festival runs from 11am to dusk both days. Yes, of COURSE it’s free. Wear some flowers in your hair, and if you forget, someone will be wandering down the street passing them out.

hesslerstreetfair

 

 

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