10831 Magnolia Drive
Cleveland Ohio 44106United States
Summer in Cleveland starts with Parade the Circle, where art comes to life as stilt-walkers, belly dancers and gangs of costumed revelers take to the streets.
The Cleveland Museum of Art's Parade the Circle (held every year on the second Saturday in June) is not your everyday parade. Replace the floats, marching bands and local celebrities with towering stilt-walkers and giant papier-mch puppets, steel drums and saxtets (five strolling saxophone players), plus families on foot (or bikes or roller skates), and you've got something much more magical than a typical parade. This is the art world's version of that children's film, "Night at the Museum," where all the paintings and sculptures come to life and take to the streets surrounding the museum. But the magic is the result of nearly a year's worth of collaboration between museum staff, local and international guest artists, and more than 80 different groups representing the area's premier cultural institutions, community groups, and even local families. And for the 75,000 Clevelanders who rush to Wade Oval to watch the pageantry unfold, this event signals the beginning of summer. The free parade starts at the CMA parking lot and moves counterclockwise around Wade Oval. The official start time is noon, but plan to arrive by 11:30 a.m. with a blanket or chairs to claim your slab of sidewalk. If you come late, you'll have better luck finding a spot along East Boulevard (try the area in front of the Cleveland Institute of Music). You'll also want to bring water, sunscreen and something to munch on. Access to public bathrooms is limited (you will not be allowed to enter most of the buildings, but there are a few port-a-johns). Parking is tricky, the CMA website links to a couple of suggested parking areas, or try the nearby University Hospitals parking garage ($4 and a 10-minute walk). Postparade, you can catch up with the artists and participants in Circle Village, where you'll find dozens of arts and activity tents, two stages with live entertainment (mostly jazz), and plenty of food stands. Circle Village is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.