Libraries don’t turn 150 years old every day. To celebrate the momentous occasion of Cleveland Public Library’s sesquicentennial anniversary—and to give back to the community that has generously supported the Library for so long—the entire city is invited to the free, daylong CPL150 Street Festival on Saturday, July 27, 2019.
On this day, Superior Avenue will be closed between E. 3rd and E. 6th Streets in front of the Main Library campus downtown to accommodate a lively festival jam-packed with activities, attractions, and performers. Clevelanders of all ages are invited to this free, fun-filled event.
“The CPL150 Street Festival is for everyone,” says Felton Thomas, Jr., Executive Director. “Throughout the day, we’ll have lots of activities appropriate for children and families, and the evening will include programming for adults. This festival will be a colorful, joyous celebration created specifically for the people of Cleveland. Consider this your formal invitation to come downtown on July 27 to take part in the festivities.”
From 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., the event will focus on family-friendly entertainment, including an appearance from Eric Litwin, the original author of Pete the Cat; puppet shows and workshops; balloon twisting demonstrations; an appearance from author and illustrator Raúl the Third; a Hiplet dance performance presenting a fusion of classical ballet, hip-hop, and other urban dance styles; eSports gaming events; and much more.
The day’s eclectic range of activities and entertainment will be punctuated by public art and giveaways. Free tickets for The Lion King at Playhouse Square will be given away to the first 200 students at the festival who completed the Summer Lit League program. In addition, the Library will also give away hundreds of backpacks filled with supplies for children and teens. Tours focusing on the Library’s The World of Puppets: From Stage to Screen exhibit will be offered.
The CPL150 Street Festival will also unveil the Library’s 2019 See Also art installation in the Eastman Reading Garden. Feel free to inflate your expectations (pun intended) for this bright, bold, and interactive inflatable installation created by Town and Concrete from France. In addition, the Street Festival will display mural art, chalk art, and other artistic creations to expose attendees to both international and locally based artists.
As the day wears on, adult-focused programming will kick into gear from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. MOCA will present LOADED at the festival as a preview of their upcoming performance season—an experience set to include performance art, film, and avant-rock, punk, hip-hop, and electronic music.
Evening headliners include comedian Roy Wood, Jr., who appears on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (among other Comedy Central programs) and has entertained millions on stage, television, and radio. Following Wood’s comedy act, Dâm-Funk takes the stage for a DJ set to wrap up the evening with selections of soul, funk, R&B, and hip-hop for an 18+ crowd.
Rain or Shine
All neighborhood branch libraries in the Cleveland Public Library system will close on July 27 in honor of the festival, excluding seven branches that will offer free, regularly scheduled shuttle service to and from the festival on Lolly the Trolley. Those branches include Addison, Collinwood, East 131st, Eastman, South, Sterling, and Woodland. (Find your nearest branch.)
The CPL150 Street Festival will take place rain or shine. In the event of inclement weather, many events can be moved inside the Main Library campus. That means there’s no excuse to miss the city’s biggest party of the year—so we’ll see you there.
The CPL150 Street Festival is free and open to all. The festival takes place from 1:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 27 on Superior Avenue outside Main Library located at 325 Superior Avenue.