celebrate local: five can't-miss events this thanksgiving weekend

In a city with an increasing number of independently owned restaurants and locally made goods, it’s easy to trade in the big box stores for local retailers. This Thanksgiving weekend, change your shopping habits by celebrating Small Business Saturday and deliberately buying local.
4th Decade Larchmere Holiday Stroll
Friday, Nov. 28th, 10 to 5 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 29th, 10 to 5 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 30th, 12 to 4 p.m.
Larchmere Boulevard (one block north of Shaker Square)
For a real slice of homegrown Cleveland, bring your friends and family to the Larchmere Holiday Stroll. The celebration has entered its fourth decade. Over the years, businesses and tenants have come and gone, but one thing has remained the same -- Larchmere is an arts, antiques and design district entirely comprised of locally owned businesses. Explore Larchmere’s galleries and restaurants and go for a horse and buggy ride. This free transportation will lend an old-fashioned charm to the newly finished streetscape on Friday and Saturday (1-4 p.m.).
At a time when bookstores are increasingly hard to find, Loganberry Books is a rare breed. The Holiday Stroll happens to coincide with Indies First -- a national initiative to support local bookstores by featuring authors as booksellers to spread the love of literature. Loganberry invited a roster of local authors to celebrate the event throughout the day. Make sure to visit Otis’ Old Curiosity Shop, Loganberry Books’ annual holiday pop-up shop, only open Nov. 20th to Dec. 31st. The store features a mix of local art, fair trade crafts, educational toys, greeting cards and vintage curios. It’s an old-fashioned treasure trove sure to bring out the nostalgic child in you.

Saturday, Nov. 29th, 1 to 7 p.m.
Playhouse Square

This Saturday, downtown hopes to sprinkle some magic into the holiday season! Bring your friends and family to a fireworks show and the first-ever tree lighting ceremony at Playhouse Square and check out unique retail options in Downtown Cleveland. There will be tons of family-friendly activities taking place downtown throughout the day. Visit the pop-up shop in Playhouse Square, enjoy food trucks, meet Santa and even go for a free horse-drawn carriage ride through downtown.

Coming home to Cleveland for Thanksgiving? Global Cleveland and The Cleveland Leadership Center are hosting Home Sweet Cleveland on November 29th as part of Winterfest.

Make sure to visit Northeast Ohio’s longest-running independent craft show, Cleveland Bazaar at the 5th Street Arcades. Then head to the corner of West 6th and St. Clair Avenue in Cleveland’s Warehouse District to Small Box, a marketplace featuring retail shops made from converted shipping containers. The Cleveland Browns merchandise store, Banyan Box and The Wandering Wardrobe will all be open for more local shopping options.

Winter Wine & Ale Fest
Saturday, Nov. 29th, 7 to 10 p.m.
200 Public Square

After Winterfest festivities conclude with the annual lighting of Downtown, warm up with with a beer and kickoff the holiday season. The 5th Annual Winter Wine & Ale Fest hosted by Downtown Cleveland Alliance will feature more than 20 craft brews, wines and spirits, live music and delicious food -- this year’s celebration includes four more restaurants and four more breweries than last year.
Dishes are based on the best pairing with wine and ales and are created especially for the eent. Dining destinations providing tastings include Taza Lebanese Grill, Pura Vida by Brandt, Harry Buffalo, StrEat Mobile Bistro, Ken Stewart’s, Willeyville, Lago East Bank, McCarthy’s Downtown, Brickstone Tavern, Cupcakes by Holly and Brewnuts. This year’s event will also include custom cocktail samples created by Cleveland Whiskey that includes Christmas Bourbon.
Proceeds from the evening’s festivities benefit Downtown Cleveland Alliance’s GenerocityCleveland initiative, which funds programs and services provided by DCA and its faith-based partners to the homeless. Tickets are $65 and can be purchased here; they include 20 tasting tickets and a commemorative tasting glass. (Covered parking is available at 200 Public Square for ticketholders.)
The Hildebrandt Holiday Open House & Studio Sale
Saturday, Nov. 29th & 30th, 11-5 p.m.
3619 Walton Ave., Clark Fulton neighborhood
Hildebrandt Provisions Co.
The historic Hildebrandt building is hosting its second annual open house and studio sale, featuring an eclectic mix of food and art entrepreneurs based out of the west side studio space. The event is free, open to the public and full of thoughtful homemade gift opportunities! Art for sale will include ceramics by Stephanie Craig and Todd Leech, married ceramicists who work collaboratively from HECTICStudio; textured stoneware pottery by Bette Drake; abstract ceramics by Elizabeth Emery; colorful architectural blown glass by Michael Mikula; handmade furniture by Soulcraft Woodshop; and pickled vegetables made by Wake Robin Foods. Come discover new artists and explore the studio.
Wade Oval Ice Rink
Friday, Nov. 28th, 12-9 p.m.
Wade Oval, 10820 East Boulevard
University Circle
Instead of whining about the winter weather, lace up your skates and embrace it at the Wade Oval ice skating rink! It’s $2 to skate and $3 for skate rentals. While you're there, make a date to stop by the Euclid Beach Carousel at the Western Reserve Historical Society. Mark your calendar for December 7th because skating is free at Holiday Circle Fest!

Read more articles by Jacqueline Bon.

Jacqueline Bon is a freelance writer that has been contributing to Fresh Water Cleveland since 2014. As a journalist by trade and self-taught photographer, she has a lot of curiosity in people and their stories. She is a graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and has pursued film and digital photography for a decade. She is likely to be the first person on the dance floor, especially if you put on Prince.
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