We sure had a lot of fun in 2019, didn’t we? Sometimes it seemed like it went by in a blur, there as so much to see and do.
All year long, we were out and about taking photos to share with you. Of course, most of the festivals, outdoor concerts, markets and special events were clustered in the summer season, running roughly from April-October. But we covered things all year long, all the way back to Brite Winter Fest in February (It’s on February 22 this year, the real start of the “festival season.”)
We were at several one-time special events, with the biggest being Riverfest, the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the last Cuyahoga River fire and the high point of a year-long celebration. The Cleveland Public Library marked its 150th anniversary with a big festival in the street, which coincided with the debut BorderLight theater and fringe festival — which will return in 2021 as a biennial.
There were numerous special one-time events: Graffiti HeArt, with its mission of promoting street art, opened its first permanent space with a party, the Ethiopian Culture Garden was dedicated with a colorful event attended by a large group of community members and civic leaders and the new LGBT Center in Gordon Square hosted a ribbon-cutting.
The oldest event on our schedule was the Great Geauga County, just a couple of years away from its bicentennial. The Feast in Little Italy turned 121 and Tri-C Jazz Fest turned 40. Other more recently conceived events have become beloved landmarks on the calendar: the reanimated ingenuity Festival, Larchmere Porchfest, Station Hope, Pride in the CLE, Rooms to Let CLE, the Waterloo Arts Fest, Skunkfest and the Heights Music Hop. The youngest was the Fresh Fest at Rid-All Farm, which debuted in September, and will hopefully return next year.
A few events had their swan song: Friends of the Cleveland Kennel are bringing the curtain down on their popular benefit part, Art Fur Animals, and the venerable Hessler Street Fair is going on “hiatus,” whatever that means. The Cleveland Vegan Alliance’s VegFest is skipping 2020 but promises to be back in 2021. But the beloved Night Markets did return to AsiaTown’s Rockwell Avenue, bigger and more crowded than ever.
We’re already starting to compile our calendar of 2020 festivals and special events, and we hope you’ll send us your information as soon as the dates are nailed down. We’ll share a preliminary list in the coming weeks. In the meanwhile, stay warm and circle your calendar for February 22 when three festivals take place: Brite Winter, Kurentovanje and the Lake Erie Folk Festival (which is indoors).
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