2.) Cleveland Kurentovanje Winter Festival – March 1, 2014

This past Saturday, St. Vitus Church watched over the neighborhood…

…with its murals…

…cultural decor…

…and decorative flowers…


(Photo courtesy of A Voice from the Rustbelt)

…only to find something strange going on in the streets.


(Photo courtesy of A Voice from the Rustbelt)

Sheepskin-garmented masked creatures called Kurents…


(Photo courtesy of A Voice from the Rustbelt)

…paraded down with their bells and clubs…


(Photo courtesy of A Voice from the Rustbelt)

…chasing away the winter…


(Photo courtesy of A Voice from the Rustbelt)

…and cheering the townspeople right before they had to give up chocolate for Lent (seems a fair exchange)!

This was all part of the Cleveland Kurentovanje Winter Festival

…a spin-off of an annual carnival event that has been taking place in Ptuj, Slovenia since 1960.

And although St. Clair Avenue was a much different setting than Ptuj…

…it can’t be denied that the neighborhood has deep Slovenian roots…

…with a genealogical society (SGSI)…

…a museum (Slovenian Museum and Archives)…

…Slovenian businesses (Azman and Sons)…

…and even some notable Slovenian charm.

This was Cleveland’s second Kurentovanje festival and it mainly took place inside the Slovenian National Home

…where live music encouraged spirited social fun…

…a bit of dancing…

…and an appetite for ethnic dishes…

…that included krofe (fried dough) and sausage sandwiches.

 

Food booths could be found all over the premises, including the basement…

…in the main hall (The Pierogi Lady)…

…outside along the street (Donut Lab/StrEat Mobile Bistro)…

…and even near the outside back staircase…

…where they were grilling cheeseburgers topped with hashbrowns (a guilty pleasure!).

Spirits were also easily found inside the building…

…as well as outside in a beer tent…

…where DJ Kishka was playing some of his best.

Festival goers could lounge with friends in the basement with an ethnic beer or two…

…as kids busied themselves with activity tables…

…an open stage…

…and abandoned bocce courts.

Meanwhile, other festival goers shopped for Slovenian Home products…

…international treats…

…jewelry (Lake Erie Monster Gems/Lise Anderson)…

…and even recycled art (Upcycle Parts Shop).

(Did you recognize those flowers from earlier in this post?)

I, instead, shopped for food…

…acquiring grub from local businesses…

…and bringing it home for one delicious winter meal.

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One Response to 2.) Cleveland Kurentovanje Winter Festival – March 1, 2014

  1. Thank you so much for coming and for this fantastic review! Hvala Lepa! Thank you!

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