Cleveland’s Hessler Street Fair

You know summer has kicked off in Cleveland, not because of the weather (which has a mind of its own), but because of the festivals. Last weekend, with unseasonably warm 80 degree weather beckoning, we loaded the car full of friends and headed to the Hessler Street Fair.

Cleveland Ohio Hessler Street Fair summer festival hippie Case Western Reserve University

This was my first time down Hessler Street, which is nestled in Cleveland’s University Circle between the museums (like the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Botanical Garden, and The Children’s Museum of Cleveland) and the esteemed Case Western Reserve University. The Street Fair has been running annually since 1969, when the Hessler Neighborhood Association was founded as a nonprofit to “enhance the social and architectural quality of the neighborhood.” Because people came together to preserve and maintain the neighborhood, Hessler Road and Hessler Court were dedicated as Cleveland’s first local Landmark District in 1975.

Last weekend, the street welcomed artists, painters, jewelers, bakers, soapmakers, woodcarvers, food vendors, face painters, drummers, and free spirits of all sorts decked in dreadlocks and tie-dye. In other words, Hessler Street Fair is Cleveland’s Hippie Festival, complete with drum circles and hippie vans and reggae music, mon.

Cleveland Ohio Hessler Street Fair drum circle

Cleveland Ohio Hessler Street Fair hippie Love Bus

 

Here is a very small sampling of the art and artists at Hessler Street Fair:

Cleveland Ohio Hessler Street Fair Van Gogh Starry night painting art vendor summer festival Cleveland Ohio Hessler Street Fair woodcarving woodworking art vendor summer festival

Cleveland Ohio Hessler Street Fair bean sugar skull art vendor summer festival Cleveland Ohio Hessler Street Fair mandala art vendor summer festival

 

leveland Ohio Hessler Street Fair handmade jewelry Kimberly Monaco leveland Ohio Hessler Street Fair hippie Love Bus painted detail dove

And for dinner, among the array of classic fair food and local Cleveland vendors, we chose the finest organic grass-fed beef hamburgers – that is, both the cow and the grass are certified organic. My boyfriend said it tasted “like the meat you get in Indiana,” which is the home-raised, all-natural, grass-fed beef I buy from my mom’s butcher…and I take that as a sign of good, down-home, wholesome freshness! We followed that up with the requisite funnel cake for dessert.

Cleveland Ohio Hessler Street Fair organic grass-fed hamburger cheeseburger

We went on Saturday night to hear roots reggae from Cleveland’s own Carlos Jones. The music was great, the message was positive, the vibe was electric, and the people-watching was interesting, to say the least.

leveland Ohio Hessler Street Fair Carlos Jones reggae music concert

Cleveland Ohio Hessler Street Fair Carlos Jones reggae music concert summer festival

Cleveland Ohio Hessler Street Fair Carlos Jones reggae music concert summer festival

Coming up next weekend: The Tremont Greek Fest, one of my favorites, to officially kick off summer over Memorial Day Weekend.

What are your favorite summer festivals?

 

Speak Your Mind

*