Ready to Hooley?
5 Reasons To Check Out The Hooley in Kamm’s Corners
According to Merriam-Webster, the word "hooley" means "an Irish party usually with music."
Now, if we were to use the same definition for The HooleyTM , a huge party held every year in Cleveland's West Park neighborhood, we'd be doing it some serious injustice.
Let's clarify: The HooleyTM is, indeed, a party. And, the party also is a bit Irish themed. Plus, there's music.
But, Kamm's Corners isn't your typical neighborhood. Wrapped in history and steeped in a rich Irish heritage, this place is a small piece of Cleveland where even visitors feel at home.
"This is a real generational neighborhood. Everybody knows everybody on the street," Steve Lorenz, executive director of the Kamm's Corners Development Corporation, said. "There's a lot of people out walking dogs and enjoying their front porches."
So, one might imagine that a big block party held in this neighborhood each year would come with a healthy dose of character. So, while you can get your St. Patrick's Day-esque party on, you'll still rub elbows with families, artists and good old-fashioned merrymakers.
Happening May 14 from 12 - 8pm, The HooleyTM spans Kamm's Corners within the West Park neighborhood running along Lorain Avenue from Rocky River Drive to West 165th Street.
Here are five perfectly reasonable reasons why you shouldn't miss The HooleyTM:
5. A COUPLE OF COLD ONES
Put simply, Kamm's Corners, located in Cleveland's West Park neighborhood is a great place to enjoy a couple of cold ones. It's within this part of town where you'll find some of Cleveland's most popular watering holes including P.J. McIntyre's Irish Pub, West Park Station, Kamm's Café, The Back Stage Bar, Public House, Red Lantern, and Smedley's Bar & Grille.
That being said, saunter into one (or more) of these fine establishments and tip back a frothy, delicious beer. Even better, take your brew onto the bars' patios and be immersed in The HooleyTM excitement.
4. NOSH WORTHINESS
It wouldn't be a proper party in Cleveland without great food. And, while The Hooley serves a good, hearty selection of traditional fair foods like funnel cakes, fresh-squeezed lemonade and french fries, it certainly doesn't stop there.
PJ McIntyre's Irish Pub brings out their bangers, West Park Station does meatball subs, Kamm's Café will do a grilled meatloaf, and AMP 150 will offer out-of-the-box cuisine mimicked from their eclectic menu. [Hungry yet?]
3. BAZAAR ARTS & CRAFTS
"Last year, we introduced a small artist component to The HooleyTM. Visitors enjoyed it so much we brought in Cleveland Bazaar to really ramp up the arts," said Lorenz. "This year, we'll have more than 40 artists!"
If you've never experienced a Cleveland Bazaar, you're in for a treat. Let us be clear, these aren't the kinds of crafts that include cheesy knickknacks and grandma-inspired art projects.
Instead, the Bazaar is chocked full of cool handmade wares, locally-made gifts and other unique hand-crafted items that you'll (thankfully) never find at a big box retailer.
2. NOT ALL THE FUN IS FOR ADULTS
So, how could an event named after the Irish slang term for "party" in a neighborhood that throws a pretty wild one be family friendly?
Well, we're here to tell you that families are not only welcomed, they're incorporated into the entire event.
"We'll see folks with kids come for three or four hours during the day. Then, they drop the kids off at home and come back to spend the evening watching the bands and having fun," Lorenz said.
The Hooley dedicates one of its outdoor stages to family entertainment, which includes performances by Irish dance schools, school music groups and church choirs.
Off stage, kids can interact with the dozens of schools, daycares and community groups offering kids crafts, games and interactive children's programming.
And, we would be remiss to not mention the presence of bounce houses. [Seriously, I dare you to name one kid who doesn't love a bounce house.]
1. LIVE TUNES
As with any good party, music is a critical component. The Hooley features an outdoor music stage that changes bands throughout the day.
The music kicks off with JP & the Chatfield Boys, laying down some serious bluegrass music. After that comes two separate Celtic rock bands called The Whiskey Island Ramblers and Marys Lane. And, the evening concludes with an amazing cover band called The Sunrise Jones. Between bands, The Pipes and Drums of the Cleveland Police, and the Cleveland Firefighters Memorial Pipes & Drums perform.
If that's not enough, there will be bands playing inside the bars and restaurants at Kamm's Corners all day long.
So, Clevelanders, why else should visitors check out The HooleyTM?