What is there to do in Cleveland? I hear this question all the time, and the answer is you don’t have to look too far. Growing up in Cleveland, my parents whisked us to every festival, performance, historic site, powwow, and breathtaking view around – I owe them for my love of exploration.
Summer is an especially vibrant time in Northeastern Ohio, and some would argue it begins the first shorts-wearing day when the lake-effect temps climb above 40°. To kick off an excellent C-town summer, I teamed up with my friend Tracy, an incredible Cleveland-based photographer, to highlight your must-dos in the coming months. Check out our suggestions, featuring photography by Tracy, and have a fantastic summer Cleveland!
Ranked first place in the American League Central Division, it’s time to pay a visit to the Jake and see your Indians in action. We recommend taking in the Tribe on a Dollar Dog Night for the quintessential ballpark experience.
After all, What If?
Hessler Street Fair: May 19-20
With drum circles, poetry readings, and all of the “eclectic” art and merchandise you can imagine, the Hessler Street Fair is one of our favorites. Since 1969, the University Circle area fair has raised funds for the preservation of the neighborhood, a designated Cleveland landmark site.
Tremont Farmer’s Market: May 1 – Oct. 30
Get a fresh taste of Cleveland in Tremont’s Lincoln Park every Tuesday evening from 4-7 pm for local agriculture, live music, and chef demos.
Blossom Time Festival: May 24 – 28
Over 100,000 attendees will visit Chagrin Falls this Memorial Day weekend for the 56th Blossom Time festival. Hosted by the volunteer Chagrin Valley Jaycees, the festival includes a carnival, 5K, pageant, hot air balloon races over the Chagrin Valley, and the Taste of Chagrin, culminating in a parade on Sunday.
Tremont Greek Festival: May 25 – 28
Explore Greek cuisine, music, and dancing in Tremont at this annual Hellenic celebration. Toast with Greek beer and baklava as the Annunciation Church celebrates its 100th anniversary.
River Front Irish Festival: June 8 – 10
Everyone is Irish more than one day a year at this free Cuyahoga Falls festival. Stroll along the Cuyahoga River and enjoy an Irish Marketplace, three stages of entertainment, a 5K, and Sunday mass.
Wade Oval Wednesdays: June 13 – Aug. 29
Check out live jazz, classical, or swing bands amid Cleveland’s University Circle cultural institutions each Wednesday. The performances, food tastings, and beverage gardens run from 6-9 pm and many museums offer extended hours.
Clifton Arts & Music Fest: June 16
The Clifton Arts and Musicfest highlights art and multicultural music and food in the Cudell/Edgewater neighborhood. Ranging from a juried art competition to featured local pieces and crafts for kids, this fest offers art for any palette.
Larchmere PorchFest: June 23
Bring a chair and a cooler to hang out in someone’s front yard and enjoy local live music. 30 bands perform on 30 porches in the Larchmere neighborhood, allowing you to stroll the area and take in Cleveland’s sights and sounds.
Outdoor shopping emporium Crocker Park hosts several events throughout the summer including movies in the park, farmer’s markets, and pet-friendly events.
Cleveland Pride Festival: June 23
Cleveland Pride has grown larger and prouder in each of its 24 years, and the spectrum will only shine more as Cleveland gears up to host the Gay Games in 2014. Join Cleveland’s LGBT community and allies in a parade, rally, and festival on the lake at Voinovich Bicentennial Park.
Burning River Fest: July 12-22
Out of the flames of the infamous 1969 Cuyahoga River burning rose a renewal of local eco-consciousness, not to mention a hell of a beer. Part educational and part entertainment, Burning River Fest’s proceeds benefit the sustainable future of area waterways. Cleveland celeb, Great Lakes Brewing Company Christmas Ale, also makes a rare summer appearance!
Cuyahoga County Fair: Aug 6 – 12
Since 1893, the Cuyahoga County fair has brought visitors together to socialize, celebrate, and display their wares in Berea. The fair features everything from the classic farm animals, midway rides, and agricultural competitions to a demolition derby, pig racing, and gummy worm eating contests.
Feast of the Assumption: Aug 15 – 18
The Feast is the festival of festivals of the Cleveland summer scene. This street party highlights the best of Little Italy; and whether or not you make it for the street procession to Holy Rosary Church you won’t leave without sampling some cavatelli or cannoli.
MADE IN THE 216: June 15 – 17
A curated shopping event that features Cleveland creatives, MADE IN THE 216 is a fun way to discover local design, art, music, and culinary talent.
Cleveland Oktoberfest: August 31 – Sept 3
Cleveland’s massive Oktoberfest, held at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds, offers everything from the authentically German to the cultural oddity.
Mostly though, it’s about the beer.