Ohio City Street Festival is a spotlight for the market


The Ohio City Street Festival gives a chance for the neighborhood to showcase its talents.

Ohio City has a diverse group of people and businesses that just five years ago were in desperate need of a way to showcase their city and the great people, food and entertainment it holds. The fourth annual Ohio City Street Festival held on Sunday, Sept. 24, gave the city this opportunity once again in a new favorite for the residents and all around.

This past Sunday was the fourth festival in five years.

“We had the first one and the following year we did not hold it again, and we had the local businesses who had attended the year prior complaining that they wanted this event,” recalled Chris Schmitt, president of Ohio City Incorporated’s Board of Trustees laughing. “They loved the opportunity to not only make money, but see the people of their city and other local businesses and restaurants.”

They have continued the festival ever since and have no plans of stopping again. Planning for this event is a year-long ordeal.  

The original idea for holding the festival was to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Ohio City and promote the market and all that Ohio City has to offer, such as West Side Market and Great Lakes Brewing Company.

Average attendance has been nearly 20,000 people in the eight hours they hold it each year.

One staff member at the event said, “The noon to eight p.m. time makes it much easier for people to come and go, and even though it’s a Sunday many people come towards the end.”

This year’s festival had activities all around the Market District such as live music, an adult playground and a kids’ area. The main stage provided music by Axis Trio and held a Mitchell’s Ice Cream eating contest.

Groups would also roam the festival and interact with guests. The Cleveland Museum of Art’s parade puppets moved around the crowds, allowing kids to enjoy story time and magic shows throughout the day.

The festival was truly an event for the whole family. John Careys, an Ohio City resident, enjoyed “great food and music.”

“It was nice to sit and people watch,” he said.

His seven-year-old daughter, Amy, was partial to “the really cool bouncy house.”

Ohio City will be continuing this tradition next year and the board would like to invite all to come and enjoy the neighborhood and everything it has to offer. They plan on making the event bigger each year and they are improving annually, so next year’s festival is expected to be even better than this year’s.