Cleveland – March 2019 – Chasing Away Those Winter Blues, Slovenian Style

Cleveland has always had a large population of people from throughout eastern Europe, including Slovakia. As a result there are a number of festivals coming from those regions.

For this cold Saturday we went to check out Kurentovanje’ – which is a Slovenian festival to chase away winter. Held at the Slovenian National Home on the east side of Cleveland, the hall was full of activities.

The band was playing polkas. They were very talented, and the audience appreciated it.

Numerous ladies had recently made headdresses

The highlight of the day is the parade. I have found for the best photos it is imperative to go to the staging area as they gather.

I am not really sure about someone sitting on his ‘throne’ with a shield, skull staff and motorcycle helmet, but it was just the beginning of the strangeness (and fun).

This pleasant young lady was soon to become the devil.

There were a number of groups dressed in historic ethnic attire.

The Krampus crowd came back from Christmas.

Another band was warming up, or just trying to stay warm.

The Polish apples?

Finally the parade started…. Slovenian flags were everywhere.

The parade featured all the ethnic groups, as well as the local high school drum and dance team.

The Kurent wranglers were keeping them all in line.

The Kurentovanje Festival and Parade was yet another great celebration. Hopefully they do indeed scare winter away soon.

Cleveland – October 2016 – Finding Unusual Things in Northern Ohio

In late October we made a trip to Northern Ohio to hit a number of diverse places that had been on the list for some time. First up was the Northern Ohio Railway Museum. Located in Lodi on a two mile section of the historic Cleveland, Southwestern & Columbus Railway right-of-way, the Museum has over forty of streetcars and other railway equipment in various states.

2016 10 29 23 Seville OH Northern Ohio Railway Museum.jpg


Most of the cars are old Cleveland RTA cars, a few in the barns have been restored.

2016 10 29 15 Seville OH Northern Ohio Railway Museum.jpg


The museum folks permitted me to send my newest toy, a drone, up for a couple of aerial photos.

2016 10 29 46 Seville OH Northern Ohio Railway Museum.jpg


In Hinkley we found Worden’s Ledges, a natural rock formations comprised of sandstone called Sharon conglomerate, were gradually carved out by quick-flowing bodies of water that emptied into an inland sea that covered Ohio over 300 million years ago.

2016 10 29 58 Hinkley OH Worden Ledges & Carvings.jpg


Some of these ledge formations on the Worden Homestead contain artistic carvings of various faces, names, dates, a ship, various religious carvings, and even a fourteen-foot-long sphinx. Faces depicted include Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, legendary baseball catcher Ty Cobb, and a portrait of what seems to be Hiram Worden made them sometime between 1945 and 1955.

2016 10 29 62 Hinkley OH Worden Ledges & Carvings.jpg


For lunch this day we stopped at Szalay’s Farm Market near Peninsula in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. A large farm that grows a massive amount of sweet corn my choice there is a hot dog from a local butcher and a sweet tea. Situated next to the Towpath Trail it was packed on this beautiful sunny October Saturday.

2016 10 29 83 Penninsula OH Szalays Farm Market.jpg


From there we went up to Euclid to the National Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame, founded in 1987 by musicians and leaders of Slovenian community, the most famous being Frankie Yankovic.

2016 10 29 103 Euclid OH Polka Hall of Fame.jpg


Particularly impressive is the accordion display, with an extensive collection.

2016 10 29 93 Euclid OH Polka Hall of Fame.jpg


Upstairs is the Softball Hall of Fame. It too was well done with a great collection of bats, balls, uniforms and memorabilia.

2016 10 29 113 Euclid OH Softball Hall of Fame.jpg


2016 10 29 114 Euclid OH Softball Hall of Fame.jpg


As we started back we stopped off in downtown Cleveland for a nice walking tour of the restored mall areas minus the fencing we saw during the RNC.

2016 10 29 139 Cleveland.jpg


2016 10 29 144 Cleveland.jpg


2016 10 29 145 Cleveland.jpg


2016 10 29 147 Cleveland.jpg