Friday, September 27, 2019

Ohio City Street Festival

West 25th Street in Ohio City is pretty lively most nights. If you haven’t been there in recent years, you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you go back.
West Side Market, circa 1950
Sunday, it will be the site of the Ohio City Street Festival. The free outdoor event will liven up West 25th from noon to 8 p.m.

Besides the food, art and retail vendors, many neighborhood businesses will be open during the festival. They include the historic West Side Market, which will also have a presence outside. A tip: Bring a reusable shopping bag to make carrying your purchases easier.

Music, interactive art performances, large-scale board games and kids’ activities are among the festival’s highlights. Visitors will be invited to create Ohio City-themed prints using designs by local artists. In addition, a tent will include several tables with information about local nonprofit organizations. 

There are several transportation and parking options, The West Side Market lot offers free parking for the first 90 minutes, then charges $1 for each additional hour up to a daily maximum of $10. Note: You have to pay with a credit card to get out of the parking lot. You could save money by riding RTA. The Red Line’s West 25th Street rapid station is across from the market, and several bus lines serve the area as well.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Arts & Culture

Art seen near Lincoln Park
Diversity is the theme of this year’s Tremont Arts & Cultural Festival. This weekend the festival will celebrate diversity through food and art, with a special focus on LGBTQ and Latinx artists.

Just about any type of art you can imagine will be available for sale during the free event, which runs from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday in Lincoln Park. And young visitors can make their own art in the Children’s Village.

You won’t go hungry during the festival. Restaurants from the neighborhood and other areas of Greater Cleveland will sell food to eat on site, where there will also be a beer and wIne garden. In addition, the Tremont Farmers Market, held Tuesdays in Lincoln Park from May to October, will be set up Saturday and Sunday.

The festival also provides an opportunity to buy goods from fair-trade merchants and learn about local nonprofits, which will have informational tables there. Live music and dance performances are on the schedule as well.

There are several options for transportation and parking, more than there were years ago. Lincoln Park is bordered by West 14th Street, Kenilworth Avenue, West 11th Street and Starkweather Avenue. On-street parking fills up quickly, but a few nearby lots offer free parking. Paid parking and valet service are also available.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Farewell to Summer

Say goodbye to the summer of 2019 Saturday night during a free party in Cleveland’s Uptown neighborhood. The End of Summer Party will go from 7 to 11 p.m. on Toby’s Plaza, at Euclid Avenue and Mayfield Road. 

The Katy will perform, starting at 7, and an outdoor screening of 2018’s “Aquaman” (PG-13), complete with free movie snacks, will follow at 9. Virtual reality and backyard games also will be part of the fun.

The Katy’s About section on Facebook describes the trio’s music this way: “The Katy’s music just feels good. From the energetic melodies and pulsing, driven tempos to the purposeful lyrics addressing inequality, relationships, adoration and struggle, The Katy changes sonic shapes that evoke both reflection and chills in the listener.”

Toby’s Plaza is behind moCa Cleveland, the Museum of Contemporary Art. Before the party, you can visit the museum, which has free admission and is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. 

The neighborhood has several parking options and the museum is a short walk up Mayfield from the Little Italy-University Circle station on the RTA Red Line.

Saturday’s weather forecast calls for a high of 81 degrees and scattered thunderstorms. Here’s hoping the storms don’t crash the party.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Clean Water Fest

Touring a wastewater treatment plant might not be your idea of a good time. But the Clean Water Fest, happening Saturday in Cuyahoga Heights, offers more than that.

As numerous events did over the summer, this year’s Clean Water Fest will celebrate the rebirth of the Cuyahoga River. A 1969 fire was not the first time the polluted river burned, but it helped establish the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1970. This past March, the Ohio EPA declared fish from the Cuyahoga safe to eat.

Besides the plant walking tour and open house, Saturday’s free event will include exhibitor booths, live entertainment and the opportunity to sit in Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District trucks and operate equipment. There also will be a 5½-mile bike tour of the Southerly Wastewater Treatment Plant. You have to register for that.
A couple of notes: You must wear closed-toe, flat-sole shoes as a safety measure to tour the plant. Also, construction on Canal Road has altered parking arrangements this year. Visitors will park at nearby Integrity Energy, 5711 Grant Ave. in Cuyahoga Heights, and be shuttled to and from the fest, which runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Cheap Travel

If you’re a regular reader of CLE on the Cheap, chances are you like to save money. Really, who doesn’t like to save money? But not everyone wants to spend the time it requires.

A program Monday night in Westlake could help you with your next vacation. Joe the Coupon Guy is presenting a “Travel Affordably" class from 7 to 8:15 p.m. at
Westlake Porter Public Library, 27333 Center Ridge Road.

Joe the Coupon Guy, actually Joe Daugirdas of Willoughby Hills, is well known in Greater Cleveland for saving staggering amounts of money on things he buys and sharing his secrets with the rest of us. He sometimes saves so much during a shopping trip that the store owes him money. The savings let Joe buy much more than he needs, so he donates the surplus to local charities such as the Greater Cleveland Food Bank.

At Monday’s class, Joe will share how to get the best deals on car rentals, flights, cruises, lodging and transportation. He’ll also tell you how to save on entertainment and restaurants at your destination. If you’re one of those who save all year for an annual vacation, don’t you want to get the most bang for your buck?

The class is free, but registration is required.  

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Fall Arts Festival

It’s not quite fall yet, but it’s not too early for the Rocky River Fall Arts Festival. It’s happening Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Old River shopping area on Old Detroit Road.

The free festival, sponsored by the Rocky River Parks and Recreation Foundation, will have artists, food trucks and live music. Proceeds pay for things such as playground equipment and improvements to city parks.

Parking is limited in the Old River area. Fortunately, valet parking will be available during the event. The website doesn’t indicate whether there’s a charge, but I would be prepared to tip the valet even if parking is free. 

Besides enjoying the festival, visitors can shop and eat at a number of Old River businesses. Inexplicably, Pure Enchantment, one of my favorite places, is not on the “shop” list and neither Flip Side nor Kathy's Kolackes and Pastry Shop is on the “eat” list. Other than Stino da Napoli, which opens at 5, all the shops and places to eat should be open during the festival.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Books & Brew

It’s called Books & Brew Book Sorting, but it also could be called Doing Good While Drinking. This event, happening Tuesday evening and on four other dates through Dec. 11, offers a fun way to help a good cause.

BYOB and help sort and pack books at and for Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank, 3635 Perkins Ave., Suite 1E, in the city’s Midtown neighborhood. Light snacks will be provided.

Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank provides free books for Cleveland children in need. Since starting in March 2016, the organization has distributed more than 2 million high-quality children’s books to more than 100,000 children and families in need in Greater Cleveland annually, according to its website.

Tuesday’s free event goes from 6 to 8 p.m., as do subsequent events on Oct. 2 and 24, Nov. 12 and Dec. 11. Note: Not all of these dates fall on the same day of the week.

The Facebook event page invites “Young Professionals” to bring a buddy, although it doesn’t specify a maximum age. I doubt organizers would reject any willing volunteers for being “too old.” However, you do need to be 21 or over to participate. 

Register here for one or more of the dates. Each date has 30 slots for volunteers, but some are already taken. At this writing, Tuesday’s event was filling up the fastest, with 14 of 30 slots filled. If you’re interested, you’d be wise to sign up ASAP.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Happy Birthday to Us

One year ago today, CLE on the Cheap debuted with this post about the Baseball Heritage Museum at League Park. It seemed fitting to lead off with a baseball-oriented post.

Since then, the blog has informed readers about numerous free and low-cost ways to have fun in Northeast Ohio. It has published 90 posts about local places and events accessible to those on a budget. The blog also has added a Facebook page that is approaching 100 followers.

As we start our second year, I'm planning to look for new places and events to cover and revisit some that are worth repeating. As always, your suggestions for posts are welcome.

Thank you to my sister Patty for helping me get this blog started. I've learned how to handle the technical stuff myself in the past year, but I wouldn't have started it without Patty.

Thank you to everyone who has read, commented on and shared CLE on the Cheap posts and joined the Facebook page. I'm so grateful for your support.

Look for posts here and on Facebook most Tuesdays and Fridays. It's my intent to post on those days every week, but occasionally life gets in the way. I'll try my best to stick to that schedule from now on.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Fresh Fun

A new event in Cleveland is offering a mix of food, health and wellness, live music, kids’ activities, art and a green infrastructure hike.

Fresh Fest will take place from noon to 9 p.m. Saturday at Rid-All Farm and Otter Park, 8129 Otter Road in the Kinsman neighborhood. The city has repurposed 26.5 acres of previously vacant land for the urban farm. 

The festival will include a farmers market from noon to 4 p.m. and food trucks throughout the event. Visitors also can enjoy food tastings, live music, a scavenger hunt, complimentary five-minute massages and meditation, among other things. Check out the full schedule and the musical lineup and get details about the free hike. Registration is required for the hike.

Locals who live in the suburbs and/or on the west side of town might not know much about the Kinsman neighborhood or the people who live there. Festival organizers seem to acknowledge that in their mission statement: “The mission of Fresh Fest Cleveland is to celebrate the arts and urban agriculture, promote health and wellness (and) showcase fresh and local food, all while breaking down the barriers of this unified and fertile neighborhood and emphasizing cultural unity.”

The neighborhood is not as far from the west side as you might think. Google Maps says it’s a 20-minute drive from Rocky River, for example. When you get there, you can park for free at The Cleveland Metropolitan Housing Authority’s administration building, 8120 Kinsman Road, or St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, 7903 Kinsman Road. Lolly the Trolley will provide free round trips between the two parking areas and the festival. Trolleys will make pickups every 15 minutes.

By the way, Fresh Fest is looking for volunteers to help on Saturday with setup, cleanup, parking and “other.” You can sign up here.