Cleveland’s 2015 Summer Festival Season
By Lexi Hotchkiss
You want to get to know Cleveland? I mean, really get to know Cleveland? Then check out one of the summer's multitude of festivals showcasing the city's true eccentricities, flavors and culture.
May 9: Kamm's Corner, a neighborhood boasting a rich and rather admirable Irish heritage, hosts The Hooley. Dance an Irish jig to the bagpipers or tip back a few cold ones with the live bands at this mother-of-all block parties.
May 16 - 17: Dive into freshly made Chinese steam buns, Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches or Indian chutney rolls during the Cleveland Asian Festival held in Cleveland's burgeoning Asia Town.
May 16 - 17: What happens when a funky little street near University Circle hosts a bohemian-style music and art festival? A weekend of drum circles, 20+ live bands and poetry readings during the Hessler Street Fair.
May 22 -25: Lip-smacking ribs are all the rage at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds during the 17th Annual Berea's National Rib Cook-Off. The event is family-friendly with a rock-climbing wall, mechanical bull and inflatable rides.
May 22 - 25: Whatever you do, do NOT eat before you make your way downtown to Jacobs Pavilion and the Nautica Entertainment Complex for the 24th Annual Marc's Great American Rib Cook-Off & Music Festival featuring performances by America, Steel Panther, Disco Inferno, The Hot Sauce Committee and Michael Stanley and the Resonators.
May 22 - 25: Work off that homemade baklava and a big plate of braised lamb with some traditional Greek dancing during the 45th Annual Tremont Greek Fest.
June 13: University Circle becomes the centerpiece of a unique, art-centric parade called Parade the Circle where you'll see everything from stilt walkers to life-sized puppets - but absolutely no motorized vehicles or the use of signs.
June 19 - 21: From a designer fashion show to a full-fledged parade, everything at the Avon Heritage Duck Tape Festival revolves around - no joke -duct tape.
June 20: That frolicking stretch of Clifton Avenue in the Edgewater community draws roughly 40,000 people to a street festival celebrating pride, vitality and diversity during the Clifton Arts & Musicfest.
June 20: The Cleveland Museum of Art puts on an eclectic music bash on its back lawn for the annual Summer Solstice party. The massively popular event is highlighted with artistic performance art and exotic world music coming from as far as Africa and South America.
June 27: Help Cleveland celebrate pride, diversity and equality during the Cleveland Pride Parade, Rally and Festival featuring a downtown parade followed by a huge bash set along the backdrop of Lake Erie.
June 27: It's no surprise that the eclectic, artfully emerging neighborhood of North Collinwood puts on an uncanny art festival. This year's Waterloo Arts Festival is no different with its eccentric art and musical experiences, as well as a unique street art project.
July 9 - 11: The largest music festival in Ohio celebrates the zest of jazz music and culture. Tri-C JazzFest offers music ranging from blues to big band, zydeco to gypsy swing, Latin to calypso, and bop to smooth jazz.
July 10 - 12: To say this three-day outdoor art festival is big would be an understatement. The Cain Park Arts Festival features 150 juried artists and crafters at this Cleveland Heights park.
July 19: This artsy pocket of Cleveland is known for its high-caliber chefs, unique dining establishments and cool little watering holes bursting with character. During the Taste of Tremont, many of these restaurants set up booths along Professor Street for passersby to purchase samples of the award-winning food.
July 24 - 26: Don't wait until next St. Paddy's Day to celebrate your Irish heritage (or your wanna-be Irish roots) when you can get your jig on at the Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds. Complete with Irish dance groups and pipe bands, you'll also get your fill of musicians and bands direct from Ireland.
Aug. 7 -9: With more than 20 events held over two weeks, the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival is every pig-skin lover's fantasy. More than 700,000 people from all over the country converge onto Canton, including legendary Hall of Famers, celebrity athletes, team owners and a host of fans.
Aug. 7 - 9: Get to the suburb of Twinsburg to celebrate Twins Days, the largest gathering of twins and multiples in the world. Swing by the "Double-Take" parade, spectate contests, enjoy food and watch the fireworks.
Aug. 7 - 8: Of the 150 licensed wineries in Ohio, Northeast Ohio is home to the vast majority. Rather than taking days to experience them all, head to the gorgeous, outdoor Vintage Ohio Wine Festival to get a taste of all of them in one spot.
Aug. 8 - 9: Picture a kiddie pool filled with ketchup and burger fans in goggles bobbing for burger patties at the annual National Hamburger Festival, at Lock 3 Park in downtown Akron. [Yum.] This delicious weekend celebrates all that is the hamburger.
Aug. 13 - 16: If you're looking for an incredible way to experience Cleveland's famous Little Italy neighborhood, make sure to enjoy the Feast of the Assumption. This four-day festival know as "The Feast," features both religious and secular activities, as well as food from the incredible ethnic eateries within the neighborhood.
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