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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 Hooley(TM), a huge party held every year in Kamm's Corners, a district in Cleveland's West Park neighborhood, we'd be doing it some serious injustice.
But, this isn't your typical neighborhood. Wrapped in history and steeped in a rich Irish heritage, this place is a small piece of Cleveland where, frankly, 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 are a lot of people out walking dogs and enjoying their front porches."
So, it's probably not hard to imagine that a big block party held in this neighborhood would come with a healthy dose of character. And, that's exactly the case during The Hooley(TM) at Kamm's Corners May 12 from 12-8 p.m.
Here are five reasons why you shouldn't miss it:
Kamm's Corners is the kind of place to enjoy a couple of cold ones — any time of the year. During The Hooley(TM), saunter into one (or more) of its fine establishments to tip back a frothy cold one. Popular watering holes including P.J. McIntyre's Irish Pub, West Park Station, The Back Stage Bar, Public House, Red Lantern and Smedley's Bar & Grille.
No fest is complete without fair food (amirite?). The Hooley(TM) is no exception with tons of traditional fest foods like funnel cakes, fresh-squeezed lemonade and french fries. But, trust us, it doesn't stop there.
Dante's Pizza in West Park serves up piping hot pizza, PJ McIntyre's Irish Pub brings out their bangers, West Park Station does meatball subs, Hatfield's Goode Grub is all about the pulled pork and Der Braumeister is cooking up authentic German food. (Hungry yet?)
As with any good party, music is a critical component. The Hooley(TM) features an outdoor music stage that changes bands throughout the day. 2018's bands include the Colin Dussault Blues Project, Loch Erie Mary’s Lane and Yosemite Slim. On top of that, traditional Irish drummers from the West Side Irish American Club Pipe Band and the Cleveland Firefighters Memorial Pipes & Drums will perform.
If that's not enough, there will be bands playing inside the bars and restaurants at Kamm's Corners all day long.
Got some extra cash burning a hole in your pocket? Take a jaunt down Fine Art Alley to explore the work by 20 artists and makers — void of cheesy knickknacks and grandma-inspired art projects. Instead, you'll find cool handmade wares, locally made gifts and other unique hand-crafted items that you'll (thankfully) never find at a big box retailer.
Think an event named after the Irish slang term for "party" in a neighborhood that throws a pretty wild one can't possibly be family friendly? Think again.
"We'll see folks with kids come for three or four hours during the day. Then, they drop the kids off at home with a sitter and come back to spend the evening watching the bands and having fun," Lorenz said.
In 2018, The Hooley(TM) has more than doubled the size of its footprint of children's activities. In fact, event organizers dedicate one entire outdoor stage specifically to family-friendly entertainment from Irish dance schools, magicians and school music groups.
Offstage, kids can interact with the dozens of schools and community groups offering kids crafts, as well as traditional carnival games.
And, of course, we would be remiss to not mention the presence of bounce houses. [Seriously, we dare you to name one kid who doesn't love a bounce house.]
For more information on The Hooley(TM), including a full schedule of bands and activities, visit KammsCorners.com/TheHooley.
In the mood to experience more of Cleveland’s many festivals and events? Visit Destination Cleveland’s events calendar for the 411 on what’s happening in The Land here.
Kamm’s Corners is the main commercial district for Cleveland’s West Park neighborhood, a fun family neighborhood where the residents include many of...