Front Porch Concert Series, Summer Meltdown, Spooky Pooch Parade, Chocolate Walk and Light Up Lakewood drew 35,000+ attendees last year
Mark your calendars for plenty of fun in Lakewood this year. Today LakewoodAlive announces its schedule of community events for 2017 – a collection of five events spanning 15 dates that will afford attendees ample opportunities to celebrate Lakewood’s vibrancy.
The Front Porch Concert Series, Lakewood Summer Meltdown, Spooky Pooch Parade, Lakewood Chocolate Walk and Light Up Lakewood encompass a diverse slate of events that truly offers something for everyone. Collectively, this quintet of LakewoodAlive events drew more than 35,000 attendees to Downtown Lakewood during 2016.
From top left: Lakewood Summer Meltdown (Photo by Lakewood Patch), Front Porch Concert Series, Spooky Pooch Parade and Light Up Lakewood
The event schedule kicks off on Friday, July 7, from 7 to 9 p.m. with the first of 11 performances comprising the Front Porch Concert Series presented by Bentley Wealth Management of Raymond James. Like a crowd-pleasing encore performance, this summer series delights its audience, as it features a wide array of free, live music on the front porch of Lakewood Public Library for 11 consecutive Friday evenings. Each week showcases a different style of music while Lakewoodites and visitors enjoy an entertaining evening at an open-air venue. Attendees are encouraged to bring family, friends, snacks, blankets and chairs.
Sponsored by Melt Bar & Grilled, the Lakewood Summer Meltdown on Saturday, July 8, from 4 to 10 p.m. represents one of the region’s most highly-anticipated street parties that drew 10,000 attendees from across Northeast Ohio to the heart of Lakewood last year. This fixture on our city’s summer calendar takes place on Detroit Avenue in Downtown Lakewood between Marlowe and Elmwood Avenues and includes a 5K race, 1 Mile Kids Fun Run, street festival, outdoor activities, games, food vendors, beer garden, live music and more.
Dogs will rule the day on Saturday, October 21, from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. during the 10th Annual Spooky Pooch Parade, which consists of a festival in Kauffman Park, a parade through Lakewood’s Downtown business district on Detroit Avenue and an awards presentation. A favorite Halloween tradition for Northeast Ohio dog lovers and their families, this community festival represents one of the only events of its kind in the region, providing a tail-wagging good time for canine and human guests alike.
On Thursday evening, October 26, Downtown Lakewood will turn downright chocolatey, and even those with a discerning sweet tooth will go home happy. The Lakewood Chocolate Walk is a delectable and decadent evening all about chocolate, with participants visiting a variety of shops and eateries serving as “Sweet Stops” that each provide a unique chocolate treat. This fundraising event supports the Downtown Lakewood Business Alliance and LakewoodAlive’s programming.
The spirit of the season will come to life with holiday cheer when Light Up Lakewood presented by First Federal Lakewood takes place on Saturday, December 2, within the city’s seasonally-illuminated downtown district. A signature event on LakewoodAlive’s calendar, this free, family-friendly festival along Detroit Avenue features a holiday parade, lighting ceremony, winter fireworks, live music, ice carvings, hot chocolate, food trucks, children’s games and much more.
LakewoodAlive 2017 Schedule of Community Events
Front Porch Concert Series
July 7 – September 15 (Fridays)
Lakewood Public Library
Lakewood Summer Meltdown
Spooky Pooch Parade
Lakewood Chocolate Walk
Light Up Lakewood
“We’re excited to announce our schedule of community events for 2017,” said Ian Andrews, Executive Director of LakewoodAlive. “Our wide range of community offerings has something for everyone, improving quality of life for our residents and upholding our mission to foster and sustain vibrant neighborhoods in Lakewood.”
For more information regarding LakewoodAlive’s calendar of community events for 2017, visit LakewoodAlive.org.
Register Now to Attend this Free Workshop at Lakewood Public Library
The arrival of spring beckons the return of sunshine and warmth, yet also typically results in an increase in household pest encounters. That’s why now is an opportune time for area homeowners to attend our latest free workshop.
LakewoodAlive’s “Managing Pests” workshop takes place on March 25.
LakewoodAlive will host “Knowing Your Home: Managing Pests” on Saturday, March 25, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon in the Lakewood Public Library Auditorium (15425 Detroit Avenue). The third workshop of 2017 for this popular home maintenance educational program will delve into how to deal with common household pests including:
Shawn Payne, owner of Lakewood Exterminating, will share tips and tricks for managing household pests, discussing how to identify everyday pests in and around your home, and addressing best practices for sealing your home to protect it from pests and wildlife. A Lakewood resident with an extensive background in horticulture, Shawn was responsible for pest control at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland prior to taking on his business full-time.
In lieu of being charged for these events, participants are encouraged to either consider making a donation to LakewoodAlive or bringing canned foods or other non-perishable items for donation to the Lakewood Community Services Center. We appreciate your support.
LakewoodAlive is excited to welcome Marissa Bozak to our staff to serve as Event & Volunteer Coordinator. In this role Marissa will assist with orchestrating LakewoodAlive’s diverse slate of community events and help organize volunteers for housing projects undertaken by our Housing Outreach Department.
Marissa comes to LakewoodAlive from Notre Dame College, where she served as Associate Director of Admissions & Advising, working with adult, graduate and online students. She previously earned both a bachelor’s degree in Speech Therapy and a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from Baldwin Wallace University.
Having discovered LakewoodAlive through attending the Lakewood Chocolate Walk, Marissa quickly grew to appreciate our community-centered nonprofit organization. She volunteered during the Lumberjack Bash and looks forward to playing a key role with each of LakewoodAlive’s upcoming community events, though she is most excited for the 10th Annual Spooky Pooch Parade on October 21st.
“We’re thrilled to have Marissa join our team,” said Ian Andrews, Executive Director for LakewoodAlive. “The blend of skills, experience and enthusiasm Marissa brings to LakewoodAlive position her exceptionally well to contribute to our ongoing mission to foster and sustain vibrant neighborhoods in Lakewood.”
Marissa currently lives with her husband, Jeremy, and their Yorkshire Terrier, Ziggy. In her spare time she enjoys Disney, crafting and family time, as well as volunteering for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
From the LakewoodAlive office, in the INA Building basement at the corner of St. Charles and Detroit Avenues, comes the first in a series of articles about LakewoodAlive. Since 2011, I have had the honor to be part of this incredible organization and I’ve also been faced with many reasonable questions. What is LakewoodAlive? Who works where? What does the organization do? Isn’t LakewoodAlive “The City”? It’s time to answer these questions and start a conversation. We hope you enjoy this series which will run through the end of 2017.
LakewoodAlive is a non-profit 501c3 community development organization. What does that mean? We work to support small businesses and business districts. We work to ensure residents are living in healthy and safe housing. We work to bring the community together to discuss the issues of the day. By supporting businesses, homes, people, public spaces and promoting conversation, we believe we are fulfilling our mission to foster and sustain vibrant neighborhoods.
The series will spend more time delving into each of the programs from Main Street to Housing Outreach to Community Forums. For this first piece, the aim is to give a broad overview.
LakewoodAlive is a volunteer-driven organization and is governed by a board of directors of folks who either live or work in Lakewood. There are 25 voting and 3 non-voting members. The board president is Eric Lowrey, a realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Lucien Realty. Our vice president is Brittany O’Connor of Citizens Bank. The treasurer is Will Costello of Laskey Costello. Our secretary is Kerri Rodgers of Sherwin-Williams. Visit our website at lakewoodalive.org to see our board roster.
There are board-designated committees, most of which are open to anyone who wishes to volunteer and lend their talents. They include housing, design, community forums, finance, governance, marketing, development (fundraising) and the Downtown Lakewood Business Alliance.
While we are volunteer-driven, a dedicated and talented staff is essential to coordinating all of our programming from day-to-day activities to long-range planning year after year. The staff is comprised of 5 full-time employees and is made up of Executive Director Ian Andrews, Housing Outreach Director Allison Urbanek, Staff Program Assistant Lisa LaRochelle, Community Engager Mark McNamara, Marketing & Development Manager Matt Bixenstine, and Event & Volunteer Coordinator Marissa Bozak.
Our office is in the basement of the INA Building below Panera Bread. What we lack in sunlight, we gain in a reasonable rent for a small budget.
Where do we go from here? Stay tuned for the next series of articles which will explain each of our programs, how they connect to our mission, and hopefully dispel a few myths while starting a conversation with new questions. Stop by the office, pick up the phone or send an email. We are here to support this community. Help us do that by volunteering, providing a donation, or simply letting us know about something that’s been on your mind that we might help with. Have a question? Call me at 216-521-0655 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you.
Christine Gordillo of the Lakewood City Schools contributed to this article.
With assistance from LakewoodAlive, Harrison Elementary has been awarded a $2,000 grant from the Whole Kids Foundation, the charitable arm of Whole Foods Market, to build and maintain a community garden on school grounds.
The grant enables LakewoodAlive to assist Harrison Elementary with constructing four raised beds at the school located within Lakewood’s Historic Birdtown Neighborhood. LakewoodAlive serves as a community partner in the grant, coordinating volunteers to build beds and prepare for planting this spring, as well as providing ongoing support with maintaining the garden.
The schools grounds at Harrison Elementary in Birdtown will be the site of a new community garden.
LakewoodAlive Community Engager Mark McNamara, who has completed a gardening course, will oversee construction of the beds. Through its Housing Outreach Program, LakewoodAlive places strong emphasis on fostering community vibrancy in Birdtown, a low-to-moderate income neighborhood that’s steeped in history.
“Birdtown began in the late 1800’s as a working-class neighborhood where many residents supplemented their food by establishing their own vegetable gardens,” said McNamara. “There was a time when people lost touch with the source of their food but now, generations later, we’ve come full-circle. The Birdtown Neighborhood now has two urban orchards and an urban farm, and we’re excited to add this community garden that can serve as an educational tool for students.”
Plans are in the works to share the harvest from the garden with Harrison Elementary families. Members of the Harrison Garden Club and campers from Camp Can Do, held at Harrison each summer, will collaborate to water the garden.
In writing the grant, English Language Learner teacher Tiffany Hickey said: “We would like to use our garden space as an outdoor classroom for all grade levels. The students will reconnect with nature and understand real sources of food. They will learn about agriculture and gardening, which are priceless life skills. The students will also learn personal responsibility from caring for the garden. The garden will provide opportunities for learning across subject areas including: science, health, social studies, and math. The students will learn focus and patience, cooperation, teamwork and social skills.”