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LakewoodAlive to Host Volunteer Housing Project on Giving Tuesday, November 28

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Support LakewoodAlive’s Giving Tuesday Facebook Fundraising Campaign  

Giving Tuesday represents a global giving movement.  In that spirit, LakewoodAlive will be giving back to the community on Giving Tuesday 2017 by undertaking a volunteer housing project that day to help an elderly Lakewood resident who’s occupied her childhood home for 60 years.

LakewoodAlive Giving Tuesday 2017

LakewoodAlive’s Housing Outreach Program will complete its record-setting 49th volunteer housing project of 2017 on Tuesday, November 28, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. by assisting a longtime resident of Delaware Avenue who suffers from mobility issues.  A volunteer crew comprised of LakewoodAlive staff and board members will aid this resident by providing leaf-raking and yard cleanup assistance.

In honor of Giving Tuesday, Facebook will be waiving processing fees and providing 100-percent donation matching to qualified nonprofit organizations, such as LakewoodAlive.

LakewoodAlive, in conjunction with this volunteer housing project, will orchestrate a one-day fundraising campaign via Facebook to raise donations on Giving Tuesday in support of our ongoing mission to foster and sustain vibrant neighborhoods in Lakewood.  Only donations made through LakewoodAlive’s campaign on Facebook will be eligible for 100-percent matching. 

Visit LakewoodAlive’s Facebook page in the coming days to learn more about our Giving Tuesday efforts.  Thank you in advance for your support.

A Beginner’s Guide to Attending Light Up Lakewood 2017

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Greetings, first-time Light Up Lakewood attendee.  You’re in for a real treat.

Don’t be surprised if your enthusiasm upon reaching Detroit Avenue nears Buddy The Elf levels.  Light Up Lakewood – a fun-filled fixture within Lakewood’s downtown district – represents one of the preeminent holiday events in Northeast Ohio.  If it’s not the most wonderful time of the year, it comes awfully close.

But before you join 20,000 of your closest friends at LakewoodAlive’s dazzling community festival on December 2, there are some things you should know.  Consider this cheat sheet a gift to be unwrapped prior to the first Saturday in December.  Here’s your beginner’s guide to attending Light Up Lakewood 2017 sponsored by First Federal Lakewood.

Light Up Lakewood 2017 Map

(Click here to view a downloadable version of this map.)
(Map design by Convey360)

Who to Bring
Light Up Lakewood is family-friendly and open to everyone – all kids from 1 to 92 (and older, for that matter).  So bring your spouse, grandparent, child, sibling, uncle, friend, insurance agent, mail carrier and cousin twice removed.  Since Light Up Lakewood has a large regional draw, it’s worthwhile to invite your out-of-town friends to come experience the City of Lakewood and this festive occasion.

Free to attend!

Arrival Time
So much merriment to spread, so little time.  Light Up Lakewood represents a day-long celebration that starts with Lunch with Santa at Dewey’s Pizza at 11 a.m. and doesn’t end until the music stops playing at 8 p.m.  Guests are welcome to attend everything or stick with the main festivities taking place between 4 and 8 p.m.  Visit ahead of time to plan which events you wish to attend.

The City of Lakewood’s municipal parking lots are free on weekends.  With thousands of Light Up Lakewood attendees anticipated, however, parking spots near Downtown Lakewood will be in high-demand.  Thankfully, Lakewood has numerous side streets in close proximity offering free, convenient street parking.  It’s important to note that motorized traffic on Detroit Avenue between Arthur and Marlowe will be closed on December 2 starting at 3 p.m.  Provided the weather cooperates, walking or biking to Light Up Lakewood also represent fine transportation options.

Guide to Light Up Lakewood 2017

Light Up Lakewood is free and family-friendly. (Photo Credit: Big Photography)

Staying Warm
If Light Up Lakewood 2017 proves to be wintry, there are various strategies at your disposable for staying warm as you partake in the spirit of the season.  Head indoors at Vendor Village located within the Lakewood Masonic Temple, or take in a performance at Lakewood Baptist Church or Lakewood Public Library.  For those who opt to stay outdoors, several free hot chocolate stands will be available.

Social Media
LakewoodAlive will be posting to its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts throughout the duration of Light Up Lakewood.  Guests are encouraged to use hashtag #LightUpLakewood for their own social media.  Don’t be afraid to go live on Facebook during the Holiday Parade, Lighting Ceremony and Fireworks Show.

Be sure to bring your appetite with you to Light Up Lakewood.  The many terrific restaurants and eateries contained within the event footprint will be open for business throughout the festivities.  Additionally, a collection of food trucks will be on-site along Detroit Avenue.

There’s truly something for everyone at Light Up Lakewood 2017.

Schedule of Events:

  • 11 am – 1 pm – Lunch with Santa at Dewey’s Pizza
  • 11 am – 4:30 pm – Ongoing performances at Lakewood Baptist Church
  • 12 – 4 pm – Santa visits Lakewood Baptist Church
  • 3 pm – King and Queen Ceremony at Plantation Home
  • 4 pm – Festival Kickoff with Vendor Village at the Lakewood Masonic Temple (inside both floors)
  • 5 pm – Start of Parade at Manor Park and Detroit Avenue, headed westbound on Detroit
  • 5:30 – 8 pm – Ongoing performances at Lakewood Public Library
  • 5:30 – 8:30 pm – Santa visits Lakewood Public Library
  • 6 – 6:30 and 7 – 8 pm – Performance by The Sellouts
  • 6:30 pm – Lighting Ceremony at Main Stage at City Center Park (in front of Marc’s Plaza)
  • 7 pm – Fireworks Show
 Guide to Light Up Lakewood 2017

Musical Performances take place at Lakewood Baptist Church and Lakewood Public Library.

Lakewood Baptist Church Performance Schedule – Mosaic of Music:

  • 11:00-11:20 am – Lakewood Baptist Church Organist – Opening Ceremony
    • Welcome, Acknowledgements, Thanksgivings and General Announcements
    • Carol Sing (Everyone is Invited to Sing Along!)
    • “Bee My Baby” Choir
  • 11:30-11:50 am – Lakewood Catholic Academy Jazz Band
  • 12:00-12:20 pm – Harding Singers
  • 12:30-12:50 pm – Garfield Jazzy Jam Holiday Ensemble
  • 1:00-1:20 pm – Harding Singers Too
  • 1:30-1:50 pm – Harrison Elementary
  • 2:00-2:20 pm – Garfield Music Crew
  • 2:20-2:30 pm – Beth’s LHS Quartet 1 from Balcony
  • 2:30-2:50 pm – Harding Middle School Jazz Band
  • 2:50-3:00 pm – Beth’s LHS Quartet 2 from Balcony
  • 3:00-3:20 pm – Horace Mann
  • 3:30-3:50 pm – Lincoln Singers
  • 4:00-4:20 pm – LHS Chamber Orchestra

Lakewood Public Library Performance Schedule:

  • 9:00 am – 5:00 pm – Friends Holiday Public Book Sale (Book Sale Room)
  • 6:00 – 8:30 pm – Holiday Crafts & Activities (Multipurpose Room)
  • 4:30 pm – St. Edward’s Trash Talkers (Front Sidewalk)
  • 5:30-5:55, 6:35-7:00, 7:15-7:45 – Beck Center for the Arts Music Makers (Children’s Section-South)
  • 5:30 – 8:30 pm – Santa Visits/Photos (Bring Your Camera)
  • 6:00-6:30 pm – Stringin’ Along Middle School Strings (Children’s Section-South)
  • 6:15-6:30 pm- Vive/Fourtes (New Books Room)
  • 6:30-7:00 pm- Four Seasons (New Books Room)
  • 6:30 – 8:00 pm – H2O’s “Twigbee-Style” Shop (Homework Room)
  • 7:00 – 8:00 pm – Story Time – every half hour
  • 7:15 – 7:45 pm – LHS Chamber Choir (Atrium.)
 Guide to Light Up Lakewood 2017

The holiday parade commences at 5 pm. (Photo Credit: Big Photography)

Other Entertainment/Activities:

  • Cleveland Metroparks NatureTracks
  • DJs
  • Ice Carvings
  • Live Huskies
  • Face Cut-Out Photos
  • Face Painting
  • Green Screen Photo Booth
  • Ice Bowling
  • Kids Games
  • Life-Sized Games
  • Ohio Mobile Gaming Truck
  • Pedi Cab Rides

Taking in the Parade
The Holiday Parade will step off from Manor Park at 5 p.m. and proceed west on Detroit Avenue, ending in front of Lakewood Public Library.  It’s recommended to find your parade-viewing spot early and to consider bringing a lawn chair if you think you’ll be more comfortable sitting down.  Many merchant window-fronts on Detroit Avenue also provide prime indoor vantage points.

Enjoying the Lighting Ceremony
Year in and year out, the Lighting Ceremony represents one of the highlights of Light Up Lakewood.  The Main Stage serving as the site of the Lighting Ceremony will be at City Center Park in front of the Marc’s Shopping Plaza near the intersection of Detroit and Cook Avenues.  Arrive there early to secure that photo-worthy view.

Guide to Light Up Lakewood 2017

The Fireworks Show culminates Light Up Lakewood (Photo Credit: Big Photography)

Watching the Fireworks Show
Many of the best vantage points for viewing the Fireworks Show are also located within the vicinity of the Main Stage, and it’s recommended to take in this culmination to Light Up Lakewood from City Center Park on the south side of Detroit Avenue.  The municipal parking lots behind Geiger’s and the Lakewood Post Office parking lot also present strong firework-viewing options.

For more information regarding Light Up Lakewood 2017, please visit

Light Up Lakewood is generously supported by the following sponsors:

Title and Fireworks Sponsor
First Federal Lakewood

Snowflake Sponsor
City of Lakewood

Lighting Sponsor
Lakewood City Center

Sparkle Sponsors
Convey360 | Cleveland Clinic Lakewood | Lakewood Anglican Church | Roundstone Insurance

Photo Booth Sponsor
Eric Lowrey, Berkshire Hathaway/Lucien Realty

King and Queen Scholarship Sponsor
Plantation Home

Jingle Sponsors
Lakewood Catholic Academy | Ohio Savings Bank | Plantation Home | The University of Akron, School of Social Work, Lakewood Campus

Twinkle Sponsors
Beck Center for the Arts | Cox Communications | Dewey’s Pizza | Dollar Bank

Planning Ahead: LakewoodAlive’s Community Forum Ponders Future of Aging Population

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Lakewood is their present, but can it also be their future?  Such was the question at hand during LakewoodAlive’s latest community forum.

With assistance from Lakewood Public Library, LakewoodAlive hosted a community forum entitled “Aging in Place: Wave of the Future” on Thursday, November 9, at Lakewood Congregational Church.  This community conversation sought to create insightful dialogue regarding how Lakewood can best prepare for an aging population, as it’s estimated that one in five Americans will be older than 65 by 2030.

LakewoodAlive Aging In Place Community Forum Flyer

LakewoodAlive’s Aging in Place Community Forum sought to address how the community can best prepare for an aging population.

Following introductory remarks from Lakewood Mayor Michael Summers and LakewoodAlive Executive Director Ian Andrews, moderator Katie Kurtz, Clinical Manager, Department of Human Services for the City of Lakewood, oversaw a discussion exploring how to better understand the concept of aging in place in one’s home, the barriers to this lifestyle and the opportunities it presents.  The conversation’s focus was to bring to light challenges our community is facing and will continue to face as the Baby Boomer population ages, as well as solutions and resources that residents can use to make the process a safe and effective one.

A distinguished panel of experts from across a range of related fields participated in this community conversation.  Panelists included Curt Brosky (LSC Service Corp.), Janice Dzigiel (Senior Transportation Connection), Mark McDermott (Enterprise Community Partners) and Allison Urbanek (LakewoodAlive).

“As the age demographics of our region change, it’s vital that our community demonstrates the foresight necessary to ensure that Lakewood remains a desirable and accessible place for an aging population to live,” said Andrews.  “This community forum represents a starting point for having this ongoing conversation within our city.”

If you are considering having a discussion with a friend of family member on this topic, check out this helpful handout, the Aging In Place Resource Guide  put together by the City of Lakewood, Division of Aging.

LakewoodAlive thanks Community Forum Committee volunteers for spearheading the planning process: Cindy Einhouse, Cindy Friedmann, Katie Kurtz, Rachel Kribbs and Mark Thomas.

LakewoodAlive hosts community forums pertaining to topics relevant to Lakewood citizens.  For more information, please visit or contact LakewoodAlive at 216-521-0655.

The Top 10 Traditions of Light Up Lakewood 2017

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Traditions abound during the holiday season and Light Up Lakewood is no exception.  Both the popular community event itself, and many of the festivities comprising it, are woven into the framework of many Lakewoodites’ holiday rituals.

Light Up Lakewood 2017

Huskies are a fixture at Light Up Lakewood. (Lakewood Observer)

Here’s our list of the top 10 traditions associated with Light Up Lakewood 2017, which is presented by LakewoodAlive and sponsored by First Federal Lakewood.  This festive community event takes place Saturday, December 2, in Lakewood’s downtown district.

10. Vendor Village
Lakewood’s historic Masonic Temple is the site of Vendor Village, which presents a prime opportunity for attendees to experience product offerings from area merchants while staying warm. It’s a perfect change-of-pace from all the festivities taking place outside along Detroit Avenue.

9. Huskies
With beautiful gray-and-white coats and distinctive eyes, Siberian Huskies always represent a hit at Light Up Lakewood. These intelligent canines flourish in wintry weather and in some ways have become synonymous with Lakewood’s annual holiday festival.

8. Lakewood Public Library
Lakewood’s crown jewel of a downtown library plays an integral role in making Light Up Lakewood a favorite holiday event. Library visitors can enjoy a host of musical performances, as well as a visit from Santa Claus. It’s the Light Up Lakewood epicenter for crafts and other children-centered activities.

Light Up Lakewood

The Grinch and Buddy The Elf are always a hit at Light Up Lakewood. (Lakewood Citizen)

7. King/Queen Ceremony
As a prelude to the day’s main events, a King and Queen of Light Up Lakewood get crowned at 3 p.m. at Plantation Home, which has served as the longtime sponsor of this tradition. This prestigious honor for two high school juniors comes with a scholarship, as well as recognition during the Holiday Parade and Lighting Ceremony for their service to the community.

6. The Grinch/Buddy The Elf
You’re a popular one, Mr. Grinch. He and Buddy The Elf are the ultimate crowd-pleasers at Light Up Lakewood. Both stroll along Detroit Avenue as admirers flock for greetings and photo opportunities.  And as Buddy likes to say, “The best way to spread holiday cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”

5. The Parade
Who doesn’t love a parade? Lakewoodites come out in droves to observe all the pageantry as Light Up Lakewood’s Holiday Parade makes its way down Detroit Avenue from Manor Park to Lakewood Public Library.

4. “Flipping the Switch” at the Lighting Ceremony
The Lighting Ceremony at City Center Park provides a treat for all ages. When Santa Claus, Buddy The Elf and the “Why I Love Lakewood” essay contest winner flip the big red switch, the areas surrounding the Main Stage become illuminated with holiday lights.

Light Up Lakewood

Fireworks provide a fitting culmination to Light Up Lakewood. (Cleveland Scene)

3. Fireworks Show
There’s something special about watching flashes of brilliant color splash across the December sky above the rooftops of Downtown Lakewood. The Fireworks Show represents a feast for the eyes and a fitting culmination to LakewoodAlive’s signature community event.

2. Celebrating Lakewood’s Vibrancy
Lakewood is chock-full of community vibrancy, and perhaps no single event better illustrates this than Light Up Lakewood. Thousands from across the region will attend, yet you’ll repeatedly bump into people you know while you collectively enjoy a holiday-infused downtown setting.

1. Spending Time with Family and Loved Ones
At its core, the holiday season is all about spending quality time with the people you love. As a free, family-friendly community event, Light Up Lakewood affords families and friends a perfect opportunity to connect for a special holiday experience. We hope to see you and your family on December 2.

For more information regarding Light Up Lakewood 2017, please visit

Light Up Lakewood is generously supported by the following sponsors:

Title and Fireworks Sponsor
First Federal Lakewood

Snowflake Sponsor
City of Lakewood

Lighting Sponsor
Lakewood City Center

Sparkle Sponsors
Convey360 | Cleveland Clinic Lakewood | Lakewood Anglican Church | Roundstone Insurance

Photo Booth Sponsor
Eric Lowrey, Berkshire Hathaway/Lucien Realty

King and Queen Scholarship Sponsor
Plantation Home

Jingle Sponsors
Lakewood Catholic Academy | Ohio Savings Bank | Plantation HomeThe University of Akron, School of Social Work, Lakewood Campus

Twinkle Sponsors
Beck Center for the Arts | Cox Communications | Dewey’s Pizza | Dollar Bank

9th Annual Lakewood Chocolate Walk Draws Sellout Crowd for Memorable Evening of Sweets

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Some people have a single sweet tooth while others have an entire mouth full of them.  For Sue Zuck and her family, the latter category applies, and their devotion to chocolate – and Lakewood – knows few bounds.

9th Annual Lakewood Chocolate Walk

The Lakewood Chocolate Walk is a popular autumn tradition.

The Erie, Pennsylvania residents traveled four hours from their home and back in one day to attend the 2017 Lakewood Chocolate Walk in Downtown Lakewood.  They weren’t alone in crossing state lines in the name of chocolate, as another group of attendees ventured from Detroit, Michigan to partake in the festivities along Detroit Avenue.

In total, a sellout crowd of 300 attendees from across Northeast Ohio and beyond participated in the 9th Annual Lakewood Chocolate Walk on Thursday evening, October 26.  This large contingent of chocoholics descended upon Downtown Lakewood to visit more than 25 merchants serving as “Sweet Stops” by each offering guests a unique chocolate treat.

Hosted by LakewoodAlive and the Downtown Lakewood Business Alliance (DLBA), the Chocolate Walk has developed into a highly-anticipated Lakewood tradition.  Tickets went on sale during the morning of October 2 and sold out within a matter of minutes.

Zuck stayed up following an overnight shift at work to secure her tickets online.  Having participated in the Chocolate Walk several years ago, she was aware of the chocolate-induced fun associated with this popular Lakewood autumn tradition.  But would she make the trek again next year?

9th Annual Lakewood Chocolate Walk

KB Confections provided a perfect setting for the Pre-Walk VIP Reception.

“Absolutely – my family really loves this experience,” Zuck said.  “We plan on coming back to Lakewood next month to do some holiday shopping.”

The evening kicked off with the Pre-Walk VIP Reception at KB Confections, where 50 lucky guests enjoyed chocolatey concoctions and libations within the bakery’s greenhouse cafe.  Aladdin’s Eatery and Upper Crust Lakewood furnished savory foods for the VIP guests, who rode aboard the “Chocolate Express” to and from Downtown Lakewood.

“Welcome to the Lakewood Chocolate Walk, here’s a chocolate appetizer!” stated “Charlie Chonka” – played by volunteer J.P. Ptacek – in greeting guests who arrived at First Federal Lakewood to commence the walk.  Attendees were given a map of Sweet Stops and ventured out to delight their taste buds by visiting participating merchants.  In addition to being rewarded with delectable treats, attendees sought to find 12 hidden golden eggs.

9th Annual Lakewood Chocolate Walk

Sue Zuck (second from right) and her group traveled from Erie, Pennsylvania to attend the 2017 Chocolate Walk.

The evening concluded with the Final Stop at First Federal Lakewood.  Here attendees were able to wet their whistles and enjoy a final round of sweets thanks to Insomnia Cookies and Trikeable Treats.  The Final Stop provided the setting for naming winners of raffle baskets, the Golden Egg Hunt and the silent auction, for which one lucky attendee earned a Gathering’s dinner for six valued at $800, courtesy of Roundstone Insurance.

“Our annual Chocolate Walk represents a unique opportunity to showcase Lakewood’s vibrancy while raising proceeds to support the Downtown Lakewood Business Alliance and our Downtown Lakewood Program,” said Ian Andrews, Executive Director of LakewoodAlive.  “We’re truly grateful to all attendees and merchants who participated in this memorable evening, as well as to volunteers Paula Reed and Anna Iacovetta, both of whom spearheaded organizing this community event.”

LakewoodAlive and the DLBA thank the following merchants for their participation in the 9th Annual Lakewood Chocolate Walk: Addicted Coffee & Ice Cream, Aladdin’s Eatery, Barton Senior Center, Burgers 2 Beer, Campbell’s Sweets, Cotton Lakewood with Sweet Amelia’s, Discount Drug Mart, Dramatics Hair Salon with Ice Cream Joy, Edible Arrangements, First Federal Lakewood, Fred and Daisy’s, Geiger’s, Gianna Jewelers, Home for the Holidays Pop-Up ShopKB ConfectionsLakewood Baptist Church, lion and blue, Melt Bar & Grilled, Norris Chiropractic with Fear’s Confections, Paisley Monkey with Indigo Perfumery, Plantation Home, Rozi’s Wine House, SouperMarket, Tease Hair + Body Parlor, The Tea Lab, Trikeable Treats with Elmwood Bakery, Upper Crust Lakewood and Voodoo Tuna.

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