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LakewoodAlive’s 2017 Front Porch Concert Series Draws Crowds, Elicits Smiles in Downtown Lakewood

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Seventh Year of Popular Summer Series Featured 11 Crowd-Pleasing Performances

On 11 occasions this summer, Downtown Lakewood took on a different persona.  Always a bustling commercial district, the Detroit Avenue corridor now brimmed with family gatherings, dancing children, melodious tunes and a cheerful atmosphere fit for celebrating the weekend’s arrival.

The 2017 Front Porch Concert Series featured 11 performances drawing approximately 11,000 attendees.

The 2017 Front Porch Concert Series concluded last Friday evening, Sept. 15, when Rock On Band featuring Nance Sias performed the 11th and final show on the front steps of Lakewood Public Library.  Sponsored by Bentley Wealth Management of Raymond James and presented by LakewoodAlive, this popular summer concert series drew approximately 4,000 attendees to Downtown Lakewood for performances held on consecutive Fridays from July 7 through Sept. 15.

A staple of Lakewood’s summer since 2011, the Front Porch Concert Series adds vibrancy and an enhanced sense of community to Lakewood’s urban core, inducing smiles and foot-tapping among guests from all walks of life.  Each week showcased a different style of family-friendly music while Lakewoodites and visitors enjoyed an entertaining evening at an open-air venue.

The 2017 installment of the Front Porch Concert Series featured fabulous weather and an incredible variety of musical genres ranging from rock-n-roll and jazz to reggae and swing.  With 11 total performances this summer, the series has now hosted nearly 70 concerts since its inception.

LakewoodAlive's 2017 Front Porch Concert Series

2017 marked the seventh year for LakewoodAlive’s Front Porch Concert Series.

“On behalf of LakewoodAlive and Lakewood Public Library, thank you to the musicians, sponsors, concert-goers and volunteers who helped make the 2017 Front Porch Concert Series such a tremendous success,” said Ian Andrews, Executive Director of LakewoodAlive.  “Like a catchy song stuck in your head, the concert series kept us wanting to hear more, and furthered our mission to foster and sustain vibrant neighborhoods in Lakewood.”

LakewoodAlive thanks the following talented musicians and bands for performing as part of the 2017 Front Porch Concert Series: Carlos Jones (week 1), Cats on Holiday (week 2), Diana Chittester (week 3), The Chris Vance Trio (week 4), Revolution Brass Band (week 5), Red Light Roxy (week 6), Becky Boyd & The Groove Train (week 7), Vance Music Studios Rock Bands (week 8), Ernie Krivda (week 9), The Havana Nights Orchestra (week 10), Rock On Band featuring Nance Sias (week 11).

The 2017 Front Porch Concert Series is generously supported by the following sponsors:

Title Sponsor:
Bentley Wealth Management of Raymond James

Encore Sponsors:
Cuyahoga Arts & Culture | Lakewood Public Library

Harmony Sponsors:
City of Lakewood | Cleveland Clinic Lakewood | Cox Communications | Lion and Blue | Vance Music Studios

LakewoodAlive's 2017 Front Porch Concert Series

LakewoodAlive, Dependable Painting Help Make Homeowner’s Dream Come True

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Collaborative Effort Results in Fresh Paint Job on Elbur Avenue Home

She had watched the paint gradually peel away from her Elbur Avenue home for years, dreaming of a new paint job and unsure of where to turn.  Money, after all, had become tight.

Dependable Painting Before and After

A before-and-after comparison illustrates the sleek “Trusty Tan” paint job now on Ms. Elbur’s home.

Ms. Elbur (real name withheld) had quit her job to serve as full-time caretaker for her aging father, a disabled veteran who required around-the-clock care.  Together they occupy the nearly century-old colonial Ms. Elbur has lived in all 38 years of her life, coping with his health issues but struggling with home maintenance.

“I needed help with my home and through word-of-mouth I kept hearing that there’s this program out there,” said Ms. Elbur.  “That’s how I found LakewoodAlive.”

When Allison Urbanek, LakewoodAlive’s Housing Outreach Director, learned of Ms. Elbur’s predicament, she knew exactly whom to call.  Cindy Friedmann, a LakewoodAlive board member and president of Dependable Painting, did not hesitate to offer assistance when approached by Urbanek.

Thanks to Friedmann’s generosity, Dependable Painting donated labor and materials to paint the exterior of Ms. Elbur’s home.  It took the union craftsmen 14 man days to complete the job over the course of a week.  The crew also expertly handled disposal of the prior lead-based paint.

Dependable Painting

A crew member from Dependable Painting touches up the trim on Ms. Elbur’s home.

“It was our pleasure to lend a helping hand,” said Friedmann, a longtime Lakewoodite who previously assisted LakewoodAlive with painting projects on Belle, Olive and Spring Garden Avenues.  “Dependable Painting is committed to assisting those in need within our community.”

Today peeling paint on Ms. Elbur’s home has been replaced by an attractive color coined “Trusty Tan.”  Making the outcome even brighter, Grace Presbyterian Church generously furnished Ms. Elbur and her family with a gift basket containing gift cards and bakery items upon completion of the project.

LakewoodAlive’s Housing Outreach program, meanwhile, continues to assist Ms. Elbur with other housing needs, including yard maintenance and mulching.

“I can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am for the help I’ve received,” said Ms. Elbur.  “I’d recommend LakewoodAlive to anyone.”

LakewoodAlive’s Housing Outreach Program is designed to offer a one-stop place for residents, both owner occupants and renters, to gain access to services so they are able to live in healthy and safe housing.  Through this program, LakewoodAlive fosters and sustains vibrant neighborhoods, one home at a time.  For more information please contact Allison Urbanek at aurbanek@lakewoodalive.com.

Lakewood Chocolate Walk to Delight Taste Buds on October 26

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Tickets for Highly-Anticipated Event Go On Sale October 2

Get ready to rejoice, chocolate lovers!  A delectable evening awaits when the 9th Annual Lakewood Chocolate Walk takes place on Thursday, October 26, from 6 to 9 p.m. in Downtown Lakewood.

Lakewood Chocolate Walk

Tickets for the Lakewood Chocolate Walk go on sale at 10 a.m. on Monday, October 2.

The Chocolate Walk – hosted by LakewoodAlive and the Downtown Lakewood Business Alliance (DLBA) – represents a popular autumn tradition with a devout following of chocoholics from all over Northeast Ohio.  Participants visit more than 20 shops and eateries in Downtown Lakewood that are Sweet Spots on the Chocolate Walk.  In an arrangement that would make the late Gene Wilder of “Willy Wonka” fame flash his trademark smile, each Sweet Stop provides visitors a unique chocolate treat.

Limited to 300 attendees, this much-anticipated event will sell out very quickly.  Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on Monday, October 2, and can be purchased online at LakewoodAlive.org/ChocolateWalk A limited number of General Admission tickets can also be purchased at lion and blue (15106 Detroit Avenue) starting at 10 a.m. on October 2.  Please note that there is a purchasing limit of four tickets per person, and that the Chocolate Walk is intended for adults aged 21 and older.

A $30 General Admission ticket gains you entrance to First Federal Lakewood (14806 Detroit Avenue) at 6 p.m., where you’ll receive your Chocolate Walk supplies.  Guided by a map and the signs and festive bows decorating participating merchants, you’ll take to the streets to visit the Sweet Stops, collecting something chocolate-themed at each location.  You may visit the stops in any order you wish – the merchants eagerly await you.

Lakewood Chocolate Walk

The 9th Annual Chocolate Walk takes place October 26 in Downtown Lakewood.

For those seeking to elevate the joy of the chocolate experience to an even greater level of bliss, a VIP ticket option is available for $50.  The Pre-Walk VIP Reception, limited to only 50 attendees, takes place from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. at KB Confections (13519 Detroit Avenue), where guests will sample decadent treats, as well as appetizers, wine and beer.  Transportation aboard the “Chocolate Express” will be provided from Downtown Lakewood to the VIP Reception and back.  VIP tickets will only be available for purchase online.

The evening ends for all attendees with the Final Stop at First Federal Lakewood.  You may stop in there whenever you finish your walk, turn in your completed Golden Egg Hunt form, wet your whistle and grab a salty snack.  The Final Stop will be your last chance to purchase tickets for the 50/50 raffle and raffle baskets, with the drawings held at 8:55 p.m.  You need not be present to win.

“Our annual Chocolate Walk represents a unique opportunity to showcase Lakewood’s vibrancy,” said Ian Andrews, Executive Director of LakewoodAlive.  “We hope you can join us for this memorable evening, with proceeds supporting the Downtown Lakewood Business Alliance, our Downtown Lakewood Program and LakewoodAlive.”

For more information regarding the Lakewood Chocolate Walk, please visit LakewoodAlive.org/ChocolateWalk.

Lakewood Chocolate Walk

Children’s Concert to Culminate 2017 Front Porch Concert Series this Friday, Sept. 15

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Children's Concert

The 2017 Front Porch Concert Series concludes with a children’s concert.

Rock On Band featuring Nance Sias rounds out popular summer series

All good things must come to an end, and the Front Porch Concert Series is no different.  Rock On Band featuring Nance Sias takes the stage in Downtown Lakewood this Friday, Sept. 15, at 7 p.m. to perform a children’s concert and round out LakewoodAlive’s 2017 Front Porch Concert Series.

Sponsored by Bentley Wealth Management of Raymond James, the Front Porch Concert Series features free, live music on the front steps of Lakewood Public Library (15425 Detroit Avenue) in Downtown Lakewood from 7 to 9 p.m. for 11 consecutive Fridays.  The series aims to foster Lakewood’s vibrancy while providing a family-friendly summer entertainment option.

Rock on Band featuring Nance Sias will perform to celebrate the success of the Front Porch Concert Series, which has drawn several thousand concert-goers to Downtown Lakewood this summer.  This singer-guitarist duo has been known to delight audiences with a fun selection of children’s songs, including Disney favorites and other recognizable classics.

Children's Concert

Rock On Band featuring Nance Sias performs this Friday at Lakewood Public Library.

“Once again, the Front Porch Concert Series has been a tremendous success, contributing to the growing vibrancy of our downtown district,” said Ian Andrews, Executive Director of LakewoodAlive.  “We hope you can join us this Friday evening for what promises to be an enjoyable conclusion to the 2017 series.”

Now in its seventh year, LakewoodAlive’s popular Front Porch Concert Series adds vibrancy and an enhanced sense of community to Lakewood’s urban core, drawing several thousand attendees annually.  Each week showcases a different style of music while Lakewoodites and visitors enjoy an entertaining evening at an open-air venue.  Visit LakewoodAlive.org/FrontPorchConcerts for more information.

The Front Porch Concert Series is generously supported by the following sponsors:

Title Sponsor:
Bentley Wealth Management of Raymond James

Encore Sponsors:
Cuyahoga Arts & Culture | Lakewood Public Library

Harmony Sponsors:
City of Lakewood | Cleveland Clinic Lakewood | Cox Communications | Lion and Blue | Vance Music Studios

Children's Concert

 

How to be Top Dog at the 10th Annual Spooky Pooch Parade

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Like a talented musician amidst a world-class orchestra, it’s not easy to stand out from the crowd at the Spooky Pooch Parade.

LakewoodAlive Top Dog

“Where’s Waldo” – 2016 winner of Best in Show

For one autumn afternoon each year, Kauffman Park transforms from a picturesque downtown greenspace to an expansive sea of costumed canines.  Beagles, bloodhounds and bulldogs become dinosaurs, hot dogs and Darth Vaders.  The entertainment value is priceless, and the joy observed on the faces of children and other parade participants (four-legged and otherwise) is even better.

But what about if you’re in it to win it?  Just how can you ensure your canine remains conspicuous despite the masses of mutts?  There are, after all, various “Best of…” awards to be claimed when the 10th Annual Spooky Pooch Parade – sponsored by Discount Drug Mart and presented by LakewoodAlive – takes place from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 21.

Here are five tips for claiming victory during the upcoming Spooky Pooch Parade:

1. Register Your Pooch!

You miss every shot you don’t take.  Register your furry friend to march in the 10th Annual Spooky Pooch Parade now by visiting LakewoodAlive.org/SpookyPooch.

2. Know the Award Categories

LakewoodAlive Top Dog

“The Addams Family” – 2016 winner of Spookiest Pooch

While it’s easy to immediately get enthused about a clever costume idea, like dressing your prized Pekingese as a lion, it’s worthwhile to take a step back and first examine the award criteria.  This will enable you to target specific categories with your canine costume.  Prizes (limited to one per canine) will be awarded for first, second and third place in five categories.  The award categories are as follows:

  • Best Pooch & Child
  • Best Pooch & Adult
  • Best Pooch & Group
  • Spookiest Pooch
  • Best in Show

It’s worth mentioning that Pet’s General Store is donating one year’s worth of free dog food to the winner of Best in Show during the 2017 Spooky Pooch Parade!

3. Be a Package Deal

As the aforementioned award criteria suggest, you bolster your chances of claiming victory by collaborating with your pooch on a shared costume theme.  Three of the five award categories require a collaborative effort, and you certainly aren’t excluded from the final two criteria when you play the Robin to your pooch’s Batman.  Besides, dressing up is ageless and fun!

4. Play to Your Dog’s Strengths…or Weaknesses

There are two ways you can capitalize on your canine’s unique appearance and personality with your Spooky Pooch Parade costume.  First, you can leverage your pooch’s innate characteristics to select the perfect costume, such as dressing your basset hound as a rabbit or your Shih Tzu as an Ewok.  Conversely, though, it’s often even more effective to take your dog out of its comfort zone and pay homage to Opposite Day.  Consider, for instance, dressing your Doberman as a dainty daisy or your Chihuahua as a ferocious monster.

LakewoodAlive Top Dog

“Kayaking Dog” – 2016 runner-up for Best in Show

5. Strive for Humor

Even the most discerning judges tend to have a funny bone.  When in doubt, aim to be humorous with your costume.  Dressing your pooch as a rapper named “Hound Doggy Dog” is sure to garner some chuckles, as will achieving a costume that’s timely based upon current events.  A little creativity goes a long way.  And as Charlie Chaplin once said, “A day without laughter is a day wasted.”

Ultimately, whether you spend five weeks or five minutes on your dog’s costume, the Spooky Pooch Parade is all about enjoying a fun afternoon while showcasing Lakewood’s vibrancy. Win, lose or draw, everyone goes home as happy as a dog with a bone.

The Spooky Pooch Parade is generously supported by the following sponsors:

Title Sponsor:
Discount Drug Mart

Top Dog Sponsor:
City of Lakewood

Dedicated Dog Sponsors:
Dog Life in CLE
Inn The Doghouse
Lakewood Animal Hospital
Pet’s General Store
The University of Akron, School of Social Work, Lakewood Campus

Poochy Sponsors:
Diana M. DeCesare, Remax Beyond 2000
Men’s Cuts

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