university circlefest

100.) Holiday CircleFest – Cleveland – December 5, 2010

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.Author’s Note: For newer photos of this festival, check out my 2013 visit

http://ohiofestivals.net/holiday-circlefest-cleveland-revisit/.

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The moment finally arrived.

After hours, if not days, of countless planning, traveling, and writing, I finally found myself attending my 100th festival of the year at Holiday CircleFest…

…and, this time, I had plenty of company (as seen here during a toast to me!).

Thanks to all who came!

This was an interesting choice for my 100th because it was different than almost all of the other festivals I’ve attended (with exception to Cleveland’s Winterfest and the Dean Martin Festival). Instead of a set location, the festival took place at participating churches, museums, theaters and educational institutions, including places like…

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Each of these places basically held an open house with some extra holiday festival activities as incentive to visit.

A brilliant idea on part of University Circle. Not only were they taking advantage of the season by creating a holiday festival, but they were advertising themselves to a public that would soon be getting cabin fever and seeking things to do when it was too cold to do anything outside.

What better way to familiarize a public to your institutions than through a festival (my opinion anyway)?

But it was impossible to see all of the participating locations by foot alone, especially in the 4.5 hours that the festival ran…

…so the festival provided free shuttles to help festival goers get around a little faster.

Brilliant again!

We took advantage of the shuttle and parked for free at the Cleveland Play House

…where we were met by Pat from NBC Cleveland’s Channel 3 (WKYC).

Since I didn’t think I would be attending 100-festival thing every year, I did my best to let the local media know the event’s significance before it happened so they could cover it.

I tried working the angle of it being a world record (I still think it is).

The hope was that they could share my blog to the world so that others would be aware of it. Then all those readers would see my adventures and want adventures of their own. And THEN, through those adventures, the world would act more like a community, people would be enjoying the little things in life and there would be peace, love and harmony.

Oh, and I also wanted the media to throw a party for me with cake, local celebrities and a special ceremony where Ohio mayors came to award me keys to their cities.

A man came dream.

Fortunately, in the end, Channel 3 was able to incorporate it into their news story about the Holiday CircleFest…

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…which you can see here.

After the interview, we went about to explore the Cleveland Playhouse…
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…admiring the hallway of trees…

…and how each one was decorated and topped.

In the large lobby in the back…

…next to the walking Eat’N Park cookie…

…there were free cookies to decorate…

…or nab ready-to-go.

Afterwards, we grabbed a shuttle and headed to Wade Oval, located in the circle of museums. There, even in the arctic cold, festival goers took delight in various activities, including…

…free carriage rides…

…free Mountain Dew White Out sampling…

…free posters and coupons (for a posed picture)…

…ice skating…

… and ice carving demonstrations.

But it really was cold…so we soon headed back inside…

…to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

For the kids…

…there were craft activity areas…

…and storytelling with Santa.

For the animal lovers…

…there were live reindeer…

…and a owl handler.

We took advantage of the free admission and checked out some of the outside animals as well, including…
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…deer, a fox…

…and some cool river otters.

I love the river otters!
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We eventually moved on…
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…to the Western Reserve Historical Society

…where they had Christmas decor…

…concerts…

…and dress-up opportunities.

In the back, there was a model train set ready-to-go…

…where festival goers could hit the appropriate buttons…

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…and make the trains move.

Again, we took advantage of the open house and went downstairs…

…where we admired the historical town display…

…unique pretzel truck and antique cars.

We even imagined ourselves driving in one!

But, with all that imagined driving, we were starting to get a bit peckish…
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…so we made our way to the Case Western Reserve Alumni House…

…where they had grilled cheese sandwiches, chicken sandwiches, tomato bisque…

…and gingerbread cookies…

…which were free to decorate (it helped if you were a kid or had access to one).

Guests were also invited to…
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…lounge in the sitting room with some holiday Peanuts

…or let the kids take part in even more crafts (they really like crafts in Cleveland!).

But we were starting to run out of festival time, so we headed out to our last stop…
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…the Cleveland Botanical Gardens.

Many of us had never been here…

…so we checked out the gardens…

…and the critters that lived there (hissing cockroaches).

We passed yet another craft area…

…and found ourselves before some sinfully sweet masterpieces.


But with all these tasty displays…

…we found ourselves getting hungry again…even after the snack at the Alumni House.

So we took off to finish the festival right.

We shuttled back to our cars and drove off to Pacific East Japanese Restaurant.

There, we feasted on various types of sushi…

…which we completely devoured.

It was perfect food after a perfect day with perfect family and friends.

Yes, 100 festivals was definitely worth it.

Thanks to everyone who came and to everyone who has been following me on my adventures!

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