Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Most people believe that the summer season officially gets underway with Memorial Day Weekend. But here in Cleveland, some would say that it actually begins one weekend earlier. The weekend BEFORE Memorial Day Weekend is the time when many people make their way over to University Circle where they take part in the festival known as the Hessler Street Fair.

The Hessler Street Fair actually predates the Woodstock festivals, having its roots in a simple block party that took place in the area around Hessler Road. By 1969, it had become an all-out party with many people from outside of that area showing up to take in the festivities. And decades later, Hessler Street Fair is one of the biggest events throughout the entire Greater Cleveland area, and the event that many people (myself included) consider to be the unofficial beginning to Summer here in Cleveland.

Like the original Woodstock Festival, the Hessler Street Festival also has a political undertone to it: While Woodstock was created to provide just a few days of peace and harmony while the Vietnam War was taking place, the Hessler Street Fair was originally held to cover the financial costs being amassed while trying to fight University Circle Inc as UCI tried to buy and tear down the houses on Hessler Road so that the land could be used by University Circle and Case Western Reserve University. 43 years have passed and the residents of Hessler Road are still fighting. Money raised from the vendors who take part in the festivities will go to help defer the costs of fighting in court to keep Hessler Road the way it is.

The largest part of the Hessler Street Fair is the musical entertainment. The special part the music is that most of the bands contain at least one person with some connection to the street. It is this “home grown”  idea that makes the entertainment so special. And each year, the Hessler Street Fair always has some of the best music of any festival during the summer season throughout all of Greater Cleveland.

This year’s main stage entertainment will include: Jah Messengers, Charlie Mosbrook, Morticia’s Chair, Katty Whomp Us, George Foley and His Rhythm, plus a lot more. On Saturday, May 19th, the featured band of the night will be Into the Blue, a Grateful Dead tribute band made up of members of Sultans of Bing. On Sunday, May 20th, the featured band will be Carlos Jones and the PLUS Band. These bands, as well as many others (including the JiMiller Band) will be part of this year’s event.

If you happen to be a history buff and would like to know a little bit about the fair itself while you are attending the event, just step over into the Hessler Street Fair Museum, located on the grounds of the fair. There, you will see and hear all sorts of things that will take you back in time to some of the more historic parts to the festival. You can even sign the visitor’s book located inside the Museum to let future attendees know that you were there.

As always, the Hessler Street Fair is pure family fun. Along with things to do that will make the adults happy, the event also includes plenty of things to do that will entertain your children. Inside Harmony Park, you’ll find: Balloons from Flower Clown, face painting, scavenger hunts, puppet shows, Mr. Bill Does Magic and much more. So bring the whole family for a day of fun.

The Hessler Street Fair is a two-day annual event that takes place the weekend BEFORE Memorial Day Weekend and will take place May 19th and 20th, 2012. For complete details on the festival, including directions, check out the website for the event. Come out and join in the fun as the Hessler Street Fair celebrates 2012 and beyond.

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Peanuts’ All-Star Jam (11-26-08)

Posted: November 14, 2008 in Events
Throughout the years, Cleveland has been home to many popular, if not successful, bands. Some of these bands became so popular, you not only knew the name of the band, you also knew who played in them. Some of the bands became well known in Cleveland area music history. Bands like Clearlight/Masque, Sweetleaf, Souvenir, Wish You Were Here and others became so well known, you might even consider them “legendary”. Some of the band members from these bands take time out for one night to help create one magical event each year. That event: The Peanuts’ All-Star Jam.
 
In 1975, Peanuts (The Host of the North Coast) put together an annual event where many of his friends in the Greater Cleveland music community would get together with only one purpose in mind: TO JAM. On that one night a year, Peanuts takes over one of the live music venues in Greater Cleveland to put on his live jam session with several of his musician friends helping out for the night.
Each year since 1996, when The All-Star Band became the Host Band of the evening, many different Cleveland musicians have taken part in being in the Host Band. This year, the Host Band consists of: Jim Bacha on bass from Clearlight/Masque, The Killers… Cy Sulak on guitar from My Old School, Sweetleaf… Jerry Zsigo on guitar from BMZ, Clue… George Yunis on lead vocals from Souvenir, Champion…Gary Jones on keyboards from Freewheelin’, Midlife Chryslers… and John “J.D.” Darling on drums from Wish You Were Here, The Brothers Blues Band. And THAT is just the Host Band.
The premise of the Peanuts’ All-Star Jam is just that: TO JAM. The Host Band takes to the stage and performs for around forty minutes or so….. And then the real fun begins. Anyone who’s anyone shows up at the All-Star Jam to get the chance to share the stage with people they haven’t played with in years, or to get to play with people they have never shared the stage with until that night.
Aside from the talented musicians that grace the stage in the All-Star Band, the larger part of the night belongs to the myriad of talented musicians that help make up the music scene of Greater Cleveland. With all of the talent that exists in the area, it is always a surprise and a thrill to see who comes out just to join in on the fun. Some of the giants in the Cleveland music scene that have taken part in the Peanuts’ All-Star Jam throughout the years have included: Norm Tischler from Tiny Alice, Kevin McCarthy from The Cletus Black Revue, Geoff Kelleher from Rendezvous, Gary Simmons and Paul Fayrewether from Fayrewether, and many, many others.
With all of the talent on stage in the All-Star Jam Band, as well as the talent waiting for their turn to participate, there is never any shortage in great musicians to see each year.
To check out The Peanuts’ All-Star Jam for yourself, this year’s event takes place November 26, 2008 (that’s Thanksgiving Eve) at The Hi-Fi Club. The club is located at 11729 Detroit Avenue, in Lakewood, OH. The Show starts at around 9:30PM and goes until ? And the best part of all, IT’S FREE!! “If you’re 21 and over with a proper I.D, you’re on the guest,” Peanuts says.
 

The North Coast Music Festival Pt. 1

Posted: November 7, 2008 in Events
NCMFThe city of Cleveland has been lucky to have so many fun and interesting music events here over the last few years. From the Cleveland Music Festival (now The Cleveland 100), The CMJ Rock Hall Fest, and most recently, The New Music Seminar, Cleveland has had a lot of good things happening in the area as far as music is concerned. And it will only get better.
 
With The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame inductions taking place in the city next year, the city of Cleveland is about to get a really big shot in the arm as far as our national exposure is concerned. But the Rock Hall inductions are not the only things to look forward to next year. There is so much more.
 
Next year, the city of Cleveland will have another music event taking place in the middle of summer 2009 that the whole world will be paying attention to. Next August, Cleveland welcomes The North Coast Music Festival. The North Coast Music Festival will be taking place on Malls B and C in Downtown Cleveland and will feature many bands from around the area, around the country, and from around the world.
 
The North Coast Music Festival will be a three-day event that will have many different parts to it:
 
There will be a whole lot of music played by over 50 bands from around the country and the world. With many different styles of music as part of this event, there will definitely be something for everyone. Bands will include people like Blessid Union of Souls; Cleveland’s own Rosella, as well as many others.
 
There will be a Motorcycle Rally taking place that will support the Military Heroes and act as a Welcome Home Party for the veterans who have recently been brought back. As part of the Welcome Home Party, Nashville Recording Artist Daniel Smith will be singing his hit, “Thank You”.
 
And there will be a competition to find Ms. North Coast. And everyone can take part. Those ladies, who think she has what it takes to win, can take part in the contest, and the rest of us can be part of the judging.
 
And of course, there will also be things like food to check out and other things to do. Some of the other things scheduled for the event include several parties that you can be a part of if you buy tickets to the festival. For complete information on what you have to do to be a part of the parties, check out the website.
 
The North Coast Music Festival will be taking place from August 7th to August 9th, 2009. The reason for the early article on a festival that will not be taking place until late summer, 2009, is because a limited amount of tickets for the event have been made available for early purchase. The tickets will be going on sale for the festival on November 15th, 2008. If you are interested in being part of one of the biggest things to happen to Cleveland, this is the time to make sure you have your tickets for the festival.
 

For complete information on The North Coast Music Festival, check out the website at www.northcoastmusicfestival.com. You can also find the festival on MySpace at www.myspace.com/northcoastmusicfestival.