February 27, 2014

2nd annual Cleveland Kurentovanje

Photo courtesy Cleveland Kurentovanje
The St. Clair-Superior neighborhood was once a thriving hub of Slovenian life, filled with Slovenian businesses, churches and restaurants. Recently there has been a movement to restore some of the culture to that neighborhood. Last year a group of community members organized the first ever Cleveland Kurentovanje and the festival returns this Saturday.

Kurentovanje is the most popular carnival event in Slovenia and has been celebrated for more than 50 years. More than 100,000 people typically attend the two-day celebration. The main figure of the carnival, the large and fuzzy Kurent, is believed to chase away winter and usher in spring.

Ten Kurents will be featured in this year's parade, which kicks off at noon at St. Vitus Church on Lausche Avenue and ends at the Slovenian National Home on St. Clair Ave. The parade will include polka music, marching bands, dance groups and people dressed in traditional clothing from Eastern Europe (visitors also are encouraged to dress in costume!) Prior to the start of the parade, stop by Collective Upcycle Boutique, 6202 St. Clair Ave., to enjoy some krofi, or Slovenian donuts, and coffee.

The party moves to the Slovenian National Home after the parade where guests can enjoy ethnic food, wine, beer and live music. The Slovenian Museum and Archives, along with local businesses, will be open all afternoon.

The after party takes place at Sterle's Country House on East 55th Street starting at 6 p.m. The Joey Tomsick Orchestra will perform live polka music until 10 p.m. and the bier garden will be open throughout the day. Come out and enjoy some schnitzel, a shot of Slivovitz and polka the night away!

Cleveland Kurentovanje hours:
Saturday, March 1 from 11 a.m. to midnight

For more information, visit Cleveland Kurentovanje.

February 13, 2014

Brite Winter

Cleveland has experienced a brutal winter this year. With below freezing temperatures and snow storms, most people would rather stay inside than venture out into the cold.

But there's another group of people living in Cleveland who want us to embrace the cold. And their idea has caught on, as thousands of people are expected to spend Saturday afternoon and evening outdoors for the Brite Winter festival.

Now in its fifth year, Brite Winter was created by a group of friends who realized there wasn't much to do in Cleveland during the wintertime and wanted to make a change. The festival celebrates music and art and helps to build a sense of community.

More than 70 local bands will perform on 10 stages throughout Ohio City. A variety of food trucks will be on site serving up warm food and drinks to fight the chill, and all local businesses will be open during the festivities. Local artists and galleries, as well as the Cleveland Institute of Art, will have creative and interactive artwork on display. There will also be a number of games on hand for guests of all ages, including skeeball, plinko and foosball.

A staple of Brite Winter each year is the Great Wall of Light. The wall, which stretches throughout Ohio City, is a collection of lamps, neon lights and lanterns that glows after the sun sets. Guests are encouraged to bring their own lights to add to the wall. At the close of each festival the lights are saved and stored to be used again the following year.

If that's still not enough to convince you to spend the day outside during Cleveland winter, the entire event is free!

Brite Winter hours:
Saturday, Feb. 15 from 4-11 p.m.

For more information or maps of the festivities, visit Brite Winter.

January 30, 2014

Cleveland Winter Beerfest

It's freezing in Northeast Ohio (and most of the country), which means it's time to drink some libations to warm us all up! Cleveland must've had the same idea, since this weekend the city is hosting the inaugural Cleveland Winter Beerfest.

Held at the newly opened Cleveland Convention Center in downtown Cleveland, the beerfest will feature about 325 craft beers from 90 breweries across the country. Proceeds from the event will benefit The Music Education Society of Ohio, which supports Jazz Youth Education programs, the Big Joe Duskin Music Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to produce as many in-school music presentations as possible, and the Ohio Craft Brewers Association.

Regular admission tickets cost $35 advance or $45 day off (cash only) and include 25 samples plus a 5 oz. souvenir acrylic mug. VIP tickets cost $45 advance or $55 day of (cash only) and include 25 samples, a souvenir mug, early entry to the festival and access to specialty beers. Designated driver tickets also are available for $20.

The event is expected to draw more than 5,000 people so get your tickets early!

Cleveland Winter Beerfest hours:
Friday, Jan. 31 from 7:30-11 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 1 from 7:30-11 p.m. (VIP admission at 6:30 p.m. both days)

For more information, visit Cleveland Winter Beerfest.

January 16, 2014

Today's Bride Bridal Show

Calling all brides!

For the last 25 years, Ohio's own Today's Bride Magazine & Shows has been hosting the ultimate wedding planning event. The show returns to the I-X Center this Saturday and Sunday.

More than 250 Northeast Ohio wedding professionals and vendors will have booths set up at the show. Brides-to-be will be able to request information, compare quotes and taste delicious samples from caterers and cake designers. Bridal fashion shows will take place both days, spotlighting the latest trends and styles of wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses and tuxedos.

A pop up bridal salon will allow guests to search through a huge assortment of wedding dresses, all up to 50 percent off.

Tickets start at $10 and can be used for either day of the show. Parking costs $8 per vehicle.

Get a jump start on wedding planning and spend the day exploring all things bridal!

Today's Bride Bridal Show hours:
Saturday, Jan. 18 from  2-8 p.m.
Sunday, Jan, 19 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

For more information, visit Today's Bride.

December 30, 2013

Cleveland Rocks New Year's Eve

Goodbye 2013, hello 2014!

Downtown Cleveland is taking a cue from New York City and hosting its very own New Year's Eve celebration this year in Public Square. The celebration was designed by Ohio Homecoming, a "movement" designed to bring cross-sections of the community together to raise the profile of Ohio, reinvigorate citizens, build civic pride, and invest in our local communities and neighborhoods.

Around 10,000 people are expected to pack into Public Square tomorrow evening to ring in the new year. Festivities kick off at 8 p.m. with ice carving demonstrations, food trucks and live entertainment. For those looking to celebrate with some libations, a beer garden will be open to those 21+ all night long.

Electronic dance trio Krewella will perform a free concert and Cleveland's own Drew Carey will emcee the festivities, leading up to the midnight countdown and a grand fireworks display.

The entire night is free and open to the public. Gates open at 6 p.m. so be sure to get there early!

Wishing you all a happy and healthy new year. Cheers to 2014!

Cleveland Rocks New Year's Eve hours:
Tuesday, Dec. 31 from 6 p.m.-12:30 a.m.

For more information or directions, visit Ohio Homecoming.

December 19, 2013

12 Bars of Christmas

Downtown Willoughby is not only beautiful during the winter time, with each of the storefronts and the square filled with dazzling lights, it's also home to a slew of top-notch restaurants and bars. These bars are celebrating the holiday season by offering their very best Christmas beers during the 12 Bars of Christmas pub crawl this Friday.

The crawl will make stops at 12 of the most popular establishments in Downtown Willoughby. Radio personality Allan Fee of Fee's Kompany will kick off the tour at 8 p.m. at Lure Bistro. Each restaurant or bar will feature a different 4-5 oz. winter beer that can be sampled for just $2. Games, entertainment and a chance to win stocking stuffers also will be part of the night's festivities.

Stops on the crawl include Willoughby Brewing Co., Olivor Twist, Nickleby's, The Wild Goose, John's Cafe, Burgers-n-Beer, Mullarkey's Pub, Ballantine, Fanucce's Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria, the 1899 Pub and Frank and Tony's Place.

Take a break from holiday shopping and sample some of the best brews Northeast Ohio has to offer!

November 27, 2013

Winterfest in Downtown Cleveland

Photo / Kristen Mott
The most wonderful time of the year is right around the corner and downtown Cleveland is kicking off the holiday season with its annual Winterfest celebration this Saturday!

Winterfest activities start at 1 p.m. in Public Square. Free horse-drawn carriage rides will take guests on a trip throughout Public Square until 5 p.m. and local food trucks will be lined up between Superior and Euclid Avenues through 7 p.m. About 20 local vendors will set up stands in the Holiday Pop-Up Shop, selling locally crafted jewelry, art and gifts.

Radio Disney will provide entertainment throughout the afternoon, including interactive prize giveaways, games and a live performance by national act Cimorelli.

The main event starts at 6 p.m. when Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson will climb on stage to start the countdown to the official tree lighting. Immediately following the ceremony, enjoy a massive fireworks display and a public after party at the Tri-C Hospitality Management Center on Euclid Avenue featuring hot cocoa, cookies and photos with Santa.

For adults at the event, head over to the Winter Wine and Ale Fest following the tree lighting. Held in the lobby of 200 Public Square, the fest will include drinks from more than 20 local craft breweries and wineries, as well as heavy tastings from some of downtown Cleveland's best restaurants. Tickets cost $60.

Don't miss out on this magical start to the holiday season!

Winterfest hours:
Saturday, Nov. 30 from 1-8 p.m.
The Winter Wine and Ale Fest runs from 7:30-11 p.m.

For more information, visit Downtown Cleveland Alliance.