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Renowned Singer-Songwriter Diana Chittester Takes Stage at Front Porch Concert Series this Friday, July 21

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Live music starts at 7 p.m. from the front porch of Lakewood Public Library

Sometimes less is more.  That’s certainly the case when Lakewood resident Diana Chittester takes the stage at LakewoodAlive’s Front Porch Concert Series this Friday, July 21, standing alone for an energetic solo performance that’s sure to delight the crowd.

Diana Chittester LakewoodAlive Front Porch Concert Series

Singer-songwriter Diana Chittester

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, which aims to foster Lakewood’s vibrancy while providing a family-friendly summer entertainment option, runs through September 15.

Week 3 features singer-songwriter Diana Chittester, a Pennsylvanian-turned-Lakewoodite who’s renowned both for her vocals and her energetic acoustic guitar-playing.  Her solo show is brought to life by her signature percussive multi-part playing, mimicking a full band on a solo acoustic guitar, while blending intelligent lyrics and storytelling that engages the audience.

Since getting her start at the Winchester Music Hall in Birdtown in 2008, Diana has recorded multiple albums and regularly performs locally and regionally at venues and festivals.  Earlier this year she completed a 10-city tour with Canadian songwriter Royal Wood.  When not working on her upcoming album or performing, Diana also teaches educational workshops at schools and festivals.

LakewoodAlive Front Porch Concert Series

Photo by Alex Belisle/Faces of Lakewood

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

LakewoodAlive, Citizens Bank Join Forces to Complete Yard Beautification Project on Waterbury Avenue

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The elderly homeowner observed the scene unfolding before her with a look that mixed joy and amazement.  Never before had she experienced anything like this, as 15 volunteers helped restore the backyard of the Waterbury Avenue home that’s been in her family since 1930.

LakewoodAlive Citizens Bank Housing Projec

The outstanding volunteer team from Citizens Bank consisted of branch managers

“I can’t begin to express my appreciation,” said Ms. Waterbury (real name withheld).  “This is the first time in my life I’ve ever had anyone help me like this.”

LakewoodAlive’s Housing Outreach Program recently partnered with a superb group of volunteers from Citizens Bank to complete this yard beautification project for Ms. Waterbury, 79, a retired science teacher.  The project consisted of everything from clearing brush to planting flowers to painting fences and doors.

The hard-working volunteer team from Citizens Bank was comprised of branch managers from throughout Greater Cleveland, including each Lakewood branch.  No stranger to completing volunteer housing projects with LakewoodAlive, ‘Team Branch Managers’ succeeded at having fun while putting a smile on Ms. Waterbury’s face.

“Making a difference makes us feel good,” said Elisha Unger, project leader for Citizens Bank.  “We really want to help others, and there’s no better way to do that than to help folks in our own backyard.”

Long after the fresh green fence paint had dried, there’s little doubt Ms. Waterbury was still overjoyed with the results of this volunteer-driven housing project.  Her parents originally purchased the home for $9,000 in 1930 but now it looked like a million bucks.

“I used to do a lot of volunteering in my youth, and it’s really wonderful to see these volunteers now helping me,” Ms. Waterbury said.

To learn more regarding LakewoodAlive’s Housing Outreach Program, visit LakewoodAlive.org/HousingOutreach or contact Allison Urbanek, LakewoodAlive’s Housing Outreach Director, at 216-521-0655 or aurbanek@lakewoodalive.org.

LakewoodAlive Citizens Bank Housing Project     LakewoodAlive Citizens Bank Housing Project

LakewoodAlive Citizens Bank Housing Project     LakewoodAlive Citizens Bank Housing Project

Lakewood Summer Meltdown Celebrates City’s Vibrancy

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View our photo album from Lakewood Summer Meltdown 2017

For one July Saturday each summer, a transformation takes place in Downtown Lakewood.  Detroit Avenue ceases to serve as a bustling main street, undergoing a conversion into an urban playground for families, friends, festival-goers, runners, beer enthusiasts and music lovers alike to celebrate a city’s vibrancy.

Lakewood Summer Meltdown 2017

“Water Moose” sprinkler park (photo by Brad Tunstall)

Lakewood Summer Meltdown 2017 – sponsored by Melt Bar & Grilled and presented by LakewoodAlive – attracted an estimated regional crowd of 10,000 to the heart of the city along Detroit Avenue.  Attendees at the eighth annual installment of Lakewood’s summer street fest were not disappointed, as they enjoyed everything from street vendors to road races to a beer garden with live music.

The Summer Meltdown got underway at 4 p.m. with the street festival component, featuring 75 vendors, food trucks and local restaurants, games and interactive activities along the western half of the festival.  Meanwhile, the eastern end featured the ever-popular skate park presented by West Side Skates and “Water Moose” sprinkler park.

Lakewood native Michael Gill constructed the initial version of his Water Moose sprinkler park seven years ago with assistance from Lakewood Hardware.  This web of sprinklers connected to a fire hydrant has developed into a fan favorite at the Summer Meltdown, inducing shrieks of delight from wet, yet happy children.

Lakewood Summer Meltdown 2017

Photo by Alex Belisle/Faces of Lakewood

The 1 Mile Kids Fun Run – sponsored by Lakewood Family YMCA – once again proved to be a highlight of the Summer Meltdown.  More than 100 children (some accompanied by parents) participated in this out-and-back race up Belle Avenue, with some holding hands as they crossed the finish line.

The Meltdown 5K presented by Cleveland Clinic Lakewood saw more than 350 runners take off along a fast course through the neighborhoods east of Lakewood Park.  Runners enjoyed near-perfect weather, glimpses of Lake Erie and personal-best race times.  Aaron Apathy and Sarah Horbol placed first among male and female participants, respectively.

Lakewood Summer Meltdown 2017

Photo by The Lakewood Citizen

New for 2017, the Summer Meltdown Bike Raffle resulted in two lucky contestants winning Charge Grater commuter bicycles courtesy of Beat Cycles.  The raffle winners were drawn on stage near the end of the festivities, culminating a raffle that began in mid-June through ticket sales online and at Beat Cycles.

Sponsored by First Federal Lakewood, the Gary K. Bish Memorial Beer Garden drew upwards of 2,000 attendees to enjoy craft beers like the Lakewood Lager and Summer Meltdown Ale from Buckeye Brewing Company.  Beer enthusiasts complemented their beverages with cuisine from food vendors and local restaurants.

Crowd-pleasing band Front Porch Lights capped the evening with an energized, two-hour performance.  Led by frontman Conor Standish, the quintet delighted the large crowd with a mix of rock, alternative, indie and cover songs.  Following loud applause, Standish exclaimed to the crowd, “We are Front Porch Lights and we love you, Lakewood!”

Lakewood Summer Meltdown 2017

Photo by The Lakewood Observer

LakewoodAlive thanks its sponsors, its volunteers, the City of Lakewood, the Lakewood Police Department and all participants and attendees for making Lakewood Summer Meltdown 2017 a major league success.

“This community event wouldn’t be possible without the support of our city, our generous sponsors and our contingency of nearly 100 volunteers who helped us bring approximately 10,000 people to Downtown Lakewood,” said Ian Andrews, Executive Director of LakewoodAlive.  “Each year our Summer Meltdown gets better and we’re proud of the role this event plays in upholding our mission to foster and sustain vibrant neighborhoods in Lakewood.”

The Lakewood Summer Meltdown is generously supported by the following sponsors:

Title Sponsor:
Melt Bar and Grilled

Platinum Sponsor:
PrimeLending

Meltdown 5K Sponsor:
Cleveland Clinic Lakewood

Beer Garden & Gold Medal Sponsor:
First Federal Lakewood

Gold Medal Sponsors:
City of Lakewood | Beat Cycles | Cuyahoga Community College | Geiger’s | Lakewood City Schools Community Recreation and Education Department

1 Mile Kids Fun Run Sponsor:
Lakewood Family YMCA

Table Sponsor:
Eric Lowrey, Berkshire Hathaway/Lucien Realty

Beer Garden Stage Sponsor:
The Ferry Cap and Set Screw Company

Silver Medal Sponsors:
Cox Communications | Lakewood Urgent Care | Peace Racing | West Side Skates

Bronze Medal Sponsors:
Ride + Workout  | 2nd Sole | The Lakewood Citizen | Window Universe

Fun-Loving Band Cats on Holiday Brings Uniqueness, Energy to Front Porch Concert Series this Friday, July 14

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Live music starts at 7 p.m. from the front porch of Lakewood Public Library

If high-energy, danceable music is your groove, then you won’t want to miss this Friday, July 14, when Cats On Holiday brings its eclectic blend of original tunes and party songs to LakewoodAlive’s Front Porch Concert Series.

LakewoodAlive Front Porch Concert Series

All smiles at Week 1 of the 2017 Front Porch Concert Series (Photo by Alex Belisle/Faces of Lakewood)

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, which aims to foster Lakewood’s vibrancy while providing a family-friendly summer entertainment option, runs through September 15.

Week 2 of the series, presented by Lion and Blue, features Cats on Holiday, a roots-based “Swamp Pop” band.  This quintet has been pleasing audiences for nearly 20 years with its own special blend of Texas- and Louisiana-inspired Blues, Rock, Roots & Zydeco, infused with healthy doses of original songs and lyrics about urban life.

Known for its fun-loving style and audience engagement, Cats on Holiday has released five albums and performs throughout the year at live music venues in Northern Ohio, upstate New York and the Lake Erie Islands.  The band consists of Denis DeVito (Vocals, Button Box, Guitar), Paul Kompier (Guitar, Vocals), Dillon DeVito (Bass, Vocals), Toby Packard (Drums) and Jeffrey Bowen (Congas, Percussion, Poetry).

Now in its seventh year, the 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

Carlos Jones Concert, Summer Meltdown Highlight Big Weekend in Downtown Lakewood

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If you’re seeking a fun-filled weekend of free community events in Downtown Lakewood, then you’ve come to the right place.

LakewoodAlive kicks off its 2017 events season by hosting a “double-header” during the weekend of July 7-8.  Local reggae star Carlos Jones takes the stage at Lakewood Public Library at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 7, to start the 2017 Front Porch Concert Series.  The fun continues on Saturday, July 8, when the Lakewood Summer Meltdown takes place from 4 to 10 p.m. in Downtown Lakewood.

LakewoodAlive Front Porch Concert Series

Front Porch Concert Series (photo by Alex Belisle/Faces of Lakewood)

The Front Porch Concert Series, sponsored by Bentley Wealth Management of Raymond James, features free, live music on the front porch of Lakewood Public Library (15425 Detroit Avenue) in Downtown Lakewood from 7 to 9 p.m. for 11 consecutive Fridays.  The series, which aims to provide a family-friendly summer entertainment option, runs through September 15.

Week 1 of the series brings to the stage Carlos Jones, a key figure within the Cleveland reggae scene for nearly 40 years.  Specializing in a brand of roots reggae first popularized by Bob Marley, he has toured extensively for decades, gaining a large and loyal following of reggae enthusiasts.  Visit LakewoodAlive.org/FrontPorchConcerts to learn more.

The Summer Meltdown, sponsored by Melt Bar & Grilled, serves as one of the region’s most anticipated street parties, drawing attendees from across Northeast Ohio to the heart of our city.  This celebration of summer takes place in Downtown Lakewood between Marlowe and Elmwood Avenues.

A “something for everyone” event, the Summer Meltdown offers seemingly endless recreation and celebration opportunities, including a 5K race, 1 Mile Kids Fun Run, bike raffle, street festival, beer garden, live music, food vendors, outdoor activities and more.  Visit LakewoodAlive.org/Meltdown to learn more.

“We’re thrilled to be able to offer this action-packed weekend, and grateful to the many incredible volunteers and sponsors who help make our community events possible,” said Ian Andrews, Executive Director of LakewoodAlive.  “Our Front Porch Concert Series and Lakewood Summer Meltdown both showcase a level of community vibrancy that’s quintessential Lakewood.”

Lakewood Summer Meltdown

Lakewood Summer Meltdown (photo by Alex Belisle/Faces of Lakewood)

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

The Lakewood Summer Meltdown is generously supported by the following sponsors:

Title Sponsor:
Melt Bar and Grilled

Platinum Sponsor:
PrimeLending

Meltdown 5K Sponsor:
Cleveland Clinic Lakewood

Beer Garden & Gold Medal Sponsor:
First Federal Lakewood

Gold Medal Sponsors:
City of Lakewood | Beat Cycles | Cuyahoga Community College | Geiger’s | Lakewood City Schools Community Recreation and Education Department

1 Mile Kids Fun Run Sponsor:
Lakewood Family YMCA

Table Sponsor:
Eric Lowrey, Berkshire Hathaway/Lucien Realty

Beer Garden Stage Sponsor:
The Ferry Cap and Set Screw Company

Silver Medal Sponsors:
Cox Communications | Lakewood Urgent Care | Peace Racing | West Side Skates

Bronze Medal Sponsors:
Ride + Workout  | 2nd Sole | The Lakewood Citizen | Window Universe

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