Friday, August 16, 2019

Sparx and Arts

Saturday will be a good day to do some exploring.

Sparx City Hop, an arts and culture event, offers free guided Lolly the Trolley tours in downtown Cleveland and surrounding neighborhoods. The trolleys leave from Playhouse Square and stop at various spots, where you can get off and explore the area on your own. You can catch another trolley or walk to the next tour stop. Each trolley makes a loop back to Playhouse Square.

Among the tour stops are artist galleries and studios, retailers, restaurants and historical sites. This guide explains how the event works. I recommend looking it over and making an itinerary before you go. Sparx City Hop, in its 17th year, draws big crowds and sometimes has long lines waiting to board the trolleys. Decide which neighborhoods you most want to see and board the corresponding trolley line — red, blue or green — first. 

Trolleys will tour downtown, Ohio City, AsiaTown, the St. Clair-Superior District and the East Bank of the Flats from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. As a bonus, the East Bank is the site of the Flats Festival of the Arts. You can hop off the trolley and attend the free outdoor art show taking place from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday. Just remember, if you stay in the Flats past 6 p.m., you will need an alternative to Lolly to get wherever you plan to go next. 

If you can’t do both events on the same day, the Flats festival continues from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

An additional Sparx City Hop feature is the Historic Downtown Red Line, which begins at stops 4 through 6 on the regular Red Line trolley. It includes free Take a Hike walking tours of the W
arehouse District and Gateway neighborhoods. You must reserve a spot on those tours, which you can do at the link above. 


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