Seeking to celebrate traditions, customs and diversity of the multitude of different cultures that inhabit the world, the city of Cleveland will be playing host to the Cleveland World Festival being held at Rockefeller Park (located along MLK Jr. Blvd. between St. Clair and Superior Avenues) on Sunday, August 2.
Taking place from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. among the Cleveland Cultural Gardens in Rockefeller Park, visitors will be able to experience the costumes, food, music, sports and customs of an assortment of cultures (more than 120 different ethnic groups) that make up Cleveland’s heritage. Just some of the entertainment that visitors can expect to experience include a performance by a German brass band, a performance by an Indian classical dance group, Persian dance and music, Tibetan gong music, a performance of aerial arts by Jasmine Dragons, the Kultura Filipiniana Dance Troupe, a performance art piece (“While Our Eyes are Closing”), a performance by the Miguel Cuni, Jr. Band offering a selection of Cuban music and belly dancers accompanied by a giant drum circle.
Some of the Cleveland World Festival highlights include a commissioned site-specific musical and travel performance called “Same Boat” described as “a Semi-Symphonic Roving Street Song for Brass Band, Puppet Boat and Cleveland’s Cultural Gardens.” “Same Boat’s” musical inspiration was Italian, Slovak, Greek, Ukrainian, Lithuanian and Croatian folk traditions. Also don’t miss the celebrated group of African-American performance poets, “Distinguished Gentleman of Spoken Word” comprised of poets ages 8-18.
Another highlight is performances by the Great Lakes Light Opera offering “La Vida Breve” (a one-act Spanish opera and for the kids), “Alice’s Adventures in Operaland.” And be sure to check out a performance by the Cleveland Shakespeare Festival. The World Festival will also feature a Kids Village (offering sprinklers, water slides and fun arts & crafts activities) and a Sports Village featuring games of world sports competitions like Chess (free to participate), the Youth 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament ($10 per team), Badminton ($20 per team), Table Tennis/Ping Pong ($20 per player) and a Youth Futsal (street soccer) Tournament ($10 per team). And free yoga classes will be held in the grassy area in the Croatian Garden.
Other musical entertainment (on numerous stages) include Chakai Manta (Latin American music), the Vernon Jones Blues Cartel, the Portersharks (Irish music), Cats on Holiday, Chris Bennett (hip hop), Shawn Head (Japanese folk music) and renowned sitarist Hasu Patel.
When you get hungry while strolling the World Festival, make a stop at the Food Village where vendors will be offering a wide variety of ethnic food and beverages. Just some of your food options include Greek, BBQ, Italian, Chinese, Indian, Thai, Mexican and Polish (Don’t miss those famous Cleveland pierogis).
Again, hours for the Cleveland World Festival are 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Admission is free but there are fees for some of the sports competitions. Free parking is available at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center parking garage at Magnolia Dr. and E. 105th St. Free shuttle service to the Festival is being offered from the garage. Attendees who use wheelchairs can park on MLK Blvd. north of the Irish Garden and at the African American Garden.
For more information about the Cleveland World Festival, get online at www.clevelandworldfestival.com. Again, the majority of the Festival is being held at Rockefeller Park along MLK, Jr. Boulevard in Cleveland, Ohio.