Axios Cleveland

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🗓️ Happy Monday and welcome to April.

Today's weather: Rain showers with a high of 50.

🎧 Sounds like: "Blinded by the Light" by Manfred Mann's Earth Band

🏟️ ICYMI: After last week's State of the City address, Mayor Justin Bibb confirmed that he wants to keep the Browns in downtown Cleveland.

Today's newsletter is 911 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Happy Śmigus-Dyngus, Cleveland

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

It's time for some polka, paczki and piwo.

State of play: Today is Dyngus Day, or Wet Monday — the Easter Monday celebration that has become a Polish cultural holiday in the United States and has grown steadily over 12 years of formal festivities in Cleveland.

  • From 10am to 8pm, expect live music, tasty Eastern European delicacies and cultural celebrations, including the annual pierogi eating contest and the crowning of Ms. Dyngus.
  • The celebration will commandeer the streets of the Gordon Square Arts District in Detroit-Shoreway.

Catch up quick: Dyngus Day marks the end of Lent, which in Christian traditions often comes with restrictive observances — no meat on Fridays and personal sacrifices, famously.

Between the lines: Historically on Dyngus Day, boys in Poland would pour water on girls they had crushes on.

  • In Cleveland, it's common to see squirt guns, an evolution of that tradition.

What they're saying: "It's incredible to see the community's commitment to beloved Polish traditions," said Adam Roggenburk, whose company produces the annual event, in a statement.

  • "There is truly nothing like witnessing people and local businesses unite to embrace the rich Polish history and revel in Cleveland's biggest polka party."

By the numbers: Last year, an estimated 45,000 people attended the Dyngus Day bash, event organizers tell Axios.

Zoom in: Cleveland still has several Catholic churches that offer Polish-language masses.

  • The official Dyngus Day service, complete with the Easter "sprinkling rite," will be at St. Stanislaus in Slavic Village at 10am.

Stop by: DJ Kishka, long the face of Dyngus Day and Cleveland polka, will open the ceremonies in Gordon Square at 10am on the Gordon Green outdoor stage.

  • Adult tickets for the day are $12. VIP passes, which come with Dyngus Day merch and drink vouchers from Flight, are $85.

Go deeper: The history of Poles in Cleveland

2. 🌑 Best places to watch the eclipse

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

We are one week away from the total solar eclipse.

Why it matters: More than 200,000 visitors are expected to visit Northeast Ohio, according to Destination Cleveland.

The intrigue: Burrell Observatory director Gary Kader says the best place in Northeast Ohio to watch the eclipse is in Avon Lake.

  • The westside suburb is right on the centerline of the path of totality and will experience three minutes and 52 seconds of totality.

By the numbers: NASA estimates most places along the path of totality will see a duration between three and a half and four minutes.

  • The longest duration of totality will be four minutes, 28 seconds, in Torreón, Mexico.

What we're watching: There are plenty of other places in Northeast Ohio to celebrate the eclipse, including Great Lakes Science Center, which is hosting its Total Eclipse Fest from 10am to 5pm.

Be smart: To view the eclipse safely, you must wear eclipse glasses or viewers that meet international standard ISO 12312-2.

Go deeper: How the total solar eclipse affects animals

3. The Terminal: Local news squad

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

🫶 WKYC anchor Maureen Kyle announced that she is stepping away from the station's morning show duties to focus on her weekly streaming show, "Mom Squad."

  • Kyle is the fourth departure from WKYC in the past two weeks. (Cleveland.com)

🇧🇷 Batuqui, Cleveland's most celebrated Brazilian restaurant, is relocating on Larchmere Boulevard to the home of a former church. (Cleveland Scene)

🚧 The multibillion-dollar renovation of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport will begin later this year with the demolition of the on-site Sheraton Hotel. (Crain's Cleveland Business)

🚨 In Summit County, Black elected officials are calling on the city of Akron to pause its search for a new police chief, citing a lack of diversity in the existing pool of candidates. (Ideastream)

4. Hulett unloader could be reassembled in Canton

The Hulett unloaders in action. Photo: Cleveland Memory Project

The Port of Cleveland has entered into a contract with Canton-based Maple Leaf Demolition to remove the dismantled pieces of two Hulett unloaders from the Cleveland Bulk Terminal.

Why it matters: The Port selected Maple Leaf, officials said, because the company wants to reassemble one Hulett in its entirety on a site it owns in Canton.

What they're saying: "We are very pleased to offer Maple Leaf the opportunity, because we recognize the role [the Huletts] played in Cleveland's industrial and maritime history," said Dave Gutheil, the Port's chief commercial officer, in a statement.

Caveat: The machines are more than 800 tons apiece, and there's no guarantee Maple Leaf will successfully reassemble one.

Flashback: The Huletts revolutionized the Great Lakes shipping industry, dramatically reducing the time and manpower necessary to unload freighters of their iron ore cargo.

  • At their height, 77 unloaders existed across the Great Lakes, with 14 in Cleveland, but they became obsolete with the arrival of self-unloading ships.

What's next: Removal could begin as early as this month.

  • If Maple Leaf is unable to re-erect the Hulett, the Port says, it will still be contractually obligated to preserve pieces of the machine for a year to give other companies an opportunity to display them.

Go deeper: The history of Cleveland's Hulett unloaders

5. 📸 Capturing Cleveland

The damaged roof of an abandoned observatory shot from the inside.
Observing the sky. Photo: Ella Rochford

This week's photo was taken by Ella Rochford (@eleanor_rochford_), who visited the abandoned Warner and Swasey Observatory in East Cleveland.

📷 If you have a recent photo representing Cleveland's essence, please submit it by replying to this email.

Thanks to our editor Emma Way and copy editors Matt Piper and Yasmeen Altaji.

Our picks:

🇸🇻 Sam is once again recovering after a night of pupusas from Guanaquitas 2.

🥾 Troy is off to Hocking Hills. Wish him and his new hiking boots luck.