Sat 7/7 & Sun 7/8
Five years after taking over Edgewater Park, the Cleveland Metroparks continues to expand community offerings for the scenic location.
There’s the Edgewater Live Concert Series, which has been a popular Thursday affair during the summer, with Tri-C Creative Arts Program musicians performing at Edgewater Beach House’s Centennial Plaza in addition to top name local bands on the big stage, while food trucks provide different culinary options.
Now the Cleveland Metroparks is upping the ante with the inaugural Taste on the Lake Festival featuring some of Cleveland’s finest local food, beverages, arts and music Sat 7/7 and Sun 7/8 at Edgewater Park. Proceeds benefit the Cleveland Metroparks’ Trail Fund.
“This has been in the works for a couple of years,” chief marketing officer for Cleveland Metroparks Kelly Manderfield said. “Building off of the growing popularity of the Edgewater Live Concert Series, which is now in its fifth season, we wanted to do another festival event.
“This one in particular was important to us because we really felt like it’s a celebration of Cleveland and its neighborhoods. We wanted to spotlight not only some of the favorite neighborhood restaurants, but also local artists. And then top it off with being here in the heart of rock ’n’ roll, with original live music from musicians that are homegrown right here in Cleveland.”
Local bands and musicians scheduled to perform include (July 7) Montage, Midnight Passenger and Samfox, as well as (July 8) Anne E. DeChant, Broccoli Samurai and the Whiskey Hollow. Local artists Eileen Dorsey, Zackary Hoon, Jim Lanza, Liza Michelle, Shelly Svonavec, Eva Volf and Justin Michael Will will be showcasing displays, providing demonstrations and selling artwork.
There’s also food galore with notable Cleveland establishments Bar Cento, Black Box Fix, Bloom Artisan Bakery & Café, Butcher and the Brewer, Fahrenheit, Lago, Market Garden Brewery, Maxi’s, Merwin’s Wharf, Ninja City Kitchen and Bar, Puente Viejo, Toast, TownHall and Tremont Taphouse.
“We’re going to be on the grassy kite fields, so we really wanted to have that kind of upscale vibe,” Manderfield said. “We’re going to have some large tenting where people can sit down at a table and chairs or a lounge space where they can take cover from the sun and enjoy their food samples.
“We’ll have a pretty sizeable beer garden. We’re also offering a VIP ticket. That experience will allow folks to reserve parking and have their own private restrooms.”
Invariably, the Cleveland Metroparks is filling a void, albeit with a local slant, left when national events such as the now defunct Taste of Cleveland and Great American Rib Cook-Off brought folks downtown to celebrate music and food.
“Definitely, but where the Taste on the Lake Festival is different is it brings it into more kind of current times with the addition of the local artist showcase,” Manderfield said.
“I think we’ve got a growing and booming art culture right here in Cleveland. Also, the location: What’s a more beautiful setting than right on the Lake Erie shores.”
Naturally, the Cleveland Metroparks are hoping the Taste on the Lake Festival becomes an annual summertime tradition.
“We’ll see where we go from here, but it’s a true community effort,” Manderfield said. “We really hope we get the support so we can make this a recurring annual event.”