May 25, 2023 - Things to Do

Cleveland is the land of festivals

People in colorful costumes in a parade.

The surreal wonder that is Parade the Circle. Photo: Courtesy of Cleveland Museum of Art

Northeast Ohio's outdoor festival season is in full swing.

Why it matters: This will be one of the biggest summer event seasons since the start of the pandemic thanks to the return of Parade the Circle.

Driving the news: Following last weekend's Asian Festival, three more popular festivals take place Memorial Day weekend, including Berea's National Rib Cook-Off, Tremont Greek Fest and Reggae Fest.

The big picture: Ohio is the second most "festival-obsessed" state, behind only Wisconsin, according to a recent Google search analysis by UK fashion retailer Boohoo.

  • Any weekend with somewhat-decent weather is spent celebrating something in the Buckeye State, Axios Columbus writes.

Zoom in: Ohio Festivals lists more than 150 festivals taking place in Northeast Ohio from now through Labor Day.

Between the lines: Parade the Circle, Cleveland Museum of Art's showcase of costumed performers and art sculptures, returns June 10.

  • The event was canceled due to the pandemic in 2020, scaled down in 2021 and canceled again in 2022.
  • This year's event is expected to approach pre-pandemic attendance, drawing around 80,000 to University Circle, according to CMA.

What they're saying: The pandemic caused "feelings of disconnection and longing for normalcy," Stefanie Taub, CMA's director of community arts, wrote in April.

  • "The return of Parade the Circle allows us to reunite with each other, reestablish community bonds, and celebrate through art."

What's next: Parade the Circle is sandwiched between two other huge festivals — Pride in the CLE on June 3 and the Tri-C JazzFest taking place June 22-24.

🗓️ Mark your calendar for some of Cleveland's other major festivals:

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