February 22, 2013

Kurentovanje Slovenian Winter Festival

The Kurent, pictured above, is a supernatural
creature in Slovenian culture believed to chase
away winter and usher in spring.
East Cleveland is home to a large and thriving Slovenian population. The Slovenian culture is being spread to the masses this Saturday as part of the Kurentovanje Winter Festival.

Kurentovanje (pronounced koo-rahn-toh-VAHN-yay) is a popular winter festival in Slovenia. The Kurent, the central figure of the carnival, is believed to chase away winter and usher in spring with its supernatural powers.

The Slovenian National Home, St. Clair Superior Development Corporation and Sterle's Country House have partnered together to bring Kurentovanje to downtown Cleveland this year. Starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, children and their families can stop by the Coppertop building on St. Clair Avenue to make crafts and costumes for the parade.

The parade, a highlight of the festival, will kick off at 1 p.m. and stretch from St. Vitus Church on Lausche Avenue to the Slovenian National Home on St. Clair Avenue. The parade will feature people in traditional Slovenian dress, as well as polka music and live entertainment.

After the parade, spend some time browsing through the local storefront businesses in the neighborhood. Many of the stores will be offering samples of ethnic foods, wine and desserts. Visitors can try their hand at bocce ball or watch live performances. Make sure to also check out Cleveland Flea, a new open market featuring artists and collectors from the Cleveland area.

The shopping ends at 6 p.m., but the party is just beginning! Visitors are encouraged to attend the after party at Sterle's Country House, a traditional Slovenian restaurant located on East 55th Street. Sterle's will be offering ethnic cuisine, drinks and a polka party.

The festival is free and open to the public. Experience the culture of Slovenia without ever leaving Cleveland -- and try out a polka while you're at it!

Kurentovanje Slovenian Winter Festival hours:
Saturday, Feb. 23 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sterle's after party lasts from 6 p.m.-11 p.m.

For more information about the event or directions, visit Kurentovanje Festival.

February 21, 2013

Downtown Cleveland Restaurant Week 2013

Foodies, get your forks and knives ready! Downtown Cleveland Restaurant Week is kicking off tomorrow night, and this year's event promises to be bigger and better than ever before.

This is the sixth year that the Downtown Cleveland Alliance (DCA) has hosted Restaurant Week. The event features three-course prix-fixe dinner menus priced at $30, along with $15 lunch specials at some of the best restaurants in Northeast Ohio. This year's event will last for two weeks, instead of the typical one, to make sure diners have even more time to sample some of the best cuisine in Cleveland. Many local bars are also participating in Restaurant week, offering deals on their signature cocktails.

This year's Restaurant Week also has a theme -- Pierogi Power. Pierogi have become nothing short of a staple food item in Cleveland. Because of this, many of the restaurants participating in Restaurant Week have created their own signature pierogi that will be offered on their menus during the two-week event.

To officially kick off Restaurant Week, DCA is hosting "Go Fourth and Polka" on Friday, Feb. 22 from 4-6 p.m. The celebration takes place on East 4th Street in downtown Cleveland during happy hour with DJ Kishka providing live polka entertainment.

Parking is usually somewhat of a nightmare downtown, but DCA is working hard to make finding a parking spot for the participating restaurants as easy as possible. Several downtown parking facilities will be offering $2 parking to all diners who show a Restaurant Week parking voucher.

Downtown Cleveland Restaurant Week starts Friday, Feb. 22 and runs until Sunday, March 3. Diners are encouraged to make reservations ahead of time, either by calling the restaurant or using Open Table.

For more information or to view a list of participating restaurants, visit Restaurant Week.

February 15, 2013

Brite Winter Festival

What do Clevelanders like to do on a cold, snowy Saturday in February? Travel to Ohio City's Market District for an outdoor art and music extravaganza.

Brite Winter Festival is Cleveland's annual outdoor winter music and art festival. Now in its fourth year, the festival is bigger than ever with 48 bands performing on six different stages. Many of the bands are local, while others travel to Cleveland specifically for this festival.

Art exhibits from the Cleveland Institute of Art, Ingenuity Fest and the Cleveland Museum of Art will be on display outdoors near the main stage. A highlight of last year's festival included the "Great Wall of Light," a 30-foot-long mesh fence filled with lights added by festival-goers.

Attendees can take a break from the music and have some fun playing winter-themed games, including skeeball and cornhole. A number of the area restaurants and bars will also be having drink and food specials.

The event is completely free and open to the public. The outdoor stage is located at West 26th Street and Bridge Avenue. Other stages are inside Loren Naji Studio Galleries, Campbell's Sweets Factory and the Cleveland Hostel.

Brite Winter Festival hours:
Saturday, Feb. 23 from 5 p.m.-1 a.m.

For a line up of bands, a list of artists and games, or a festival map, visit Brite Winter Festival.

February 8, 2013

Winter in the Village

It's been cold and icy these past few weeks in Northeast Ohio. Many of us have chosen to stay inside our warm homes instead of bracing the cold. But for some people, especially ice carvers, this is the best time of the year.

Ice carvers from Elegant Ice Creations will take center stage during Winter in the Village. This annual event, hosted at Legacy Village, allows ice carvers to show off their skills. A variety of ice carving demos will take place, and ice carvers will go head-to-head in a speed carving competition.

The event is free and open to the public. All activities will take place outside on a stage between Bar Louie and California Pizza Kitchen. Make sure to warm up after the event by stepping inside some of the shops and restaurants at Legacy Village.

Winter in the Village hours:
Saturday, Feb. 9 from 1-6 p.m.

For more information, visit Legacy Village.

February 1, 2013

The Great Big Home and Garden Show

Whether you're in the process of buying your first home, or trying to redecorate your current house, the Home and Garden Show is a must-go event.

More than 100 exhibitors will be present during the show, from landscaping to home entertainment to organization and storage. Exhibitors will provide a wealth of resources and information to attendees, as well as live demonstrations and samples.

In addition to exhibitors, the show will feature a variety of special highlights. Petitti Garden Centers will host daily seminars about gardening in Northeast Ohio. Perrino Builders will be showing off their "Dream Home," a 4,000-square-foot house with three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a mudroom and a three car garage. A 2,000-square-foot "Dream Basement" will also be on display, built by Custom Remodeling and Design.

A number of celebrities will also make guest appearances during the week, including Peter Walsh from "Extreme Clutter," Chris Crary from "Top Chef," and Matt Fish, owner of Melt Bar and Grilled.

The Great Big Home and Garden Show will take place at the IX Center from Saturday, Feb. 2 to Sunday, Feb. 10. Adult tickets cost $14, senior (65+) tickets cost $10, tickets for children ages 6-12 cost $5, and tickets for children 5 and under are free. Parking is available at the IX Center for a fee of $8 per vehicle.

The Great Big Home and Garden Show hours:
Monday-Friday from 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Saturday from 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Sunday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

For a complete list of exhibitors, a map of the event, or special discounts, visit Great Big Home and Garden.