This weekend in Cleveland: Greek Fest, East Meets West and more

hingetown_sunday_market_10-20-13_178.jpgBob Perkoski

This weekend, enjoy authentic Greek food at Tremont Greek Fest, indulge in brunch at Hingtown’s May Market, feast on fresh fish at Port Clinton’s Walleye Fest, tear it up at East Meets West 2015 Game of S-K-A-T-E and much more.

East Meets West 2015 Game of S-K-A-T-E
Saturday, May 23rd. 2 pm
Slavic Village Development, 5620 Broadway Ave.
$10 to participate (free to watch)

Skating is a lesson in failure and individuality. Skateboarder and innovator Rodney Mullen once said, “I fell in love with skateboarding because it was individual; there were no teams, there were no captains, there was nothing too perfect.”

In a similar spirit, there will be no teams and no captains on Saturday at the 8th annual East Meets West Skateboard Festival. Like “HORSE” in basketball, “SKATE” pits two skaters in head-to-head, trick-for-trick competition until one skater gets all five letters and is knocked out.

The winner advances to the next round in a single elimination tournament until the winner is crowned. This year, there will be a new Veterans Division bracket for ages 30 and over. DJ New Era will spinning ‘90s R&B and hip hop all day with Vince Frantz, skateboarder and director of Public Square Group and other members of Public Square Group MC-ing the event.

Frantz believes that for youth, skating can provide a community of support and be a release from the pressure of meeting others' expectations. It can be an outlet unlike high-stakes testing and organized sports, where failure is recognized as progress and creativity is rewarded.

“Through skateboarding, kids learn that all success comes through persistence and conviction. When you finally reach your goal — you know that it was because you picked yourself up 1,000 times to finally make it,” says Frantz.

East Meets West was started in 2008 to bring skaters from as far away as Sandusky and Mentor and all around the city together once a year to a central location in Cleveland proper.

“When you have something like skateboarding in common, it trumps all the income and ethnicity boundaries that keep folks within their smaller pockets of influence. Skateparks are the one place where you could have kids, teens and 35 year olds all skating the same thing at the same time and sharing the experience,” Frantz says.

Slavic Village has a growing skateboarding scene. Frantz attributes Marty Piszczak, who ran the Stella Walsh recreation center, for his contributions to the skate community. Piszczak converted the unused indoor handball courts to allow skateboarding during Cleveland’s harsh winters. He was the guest of honor at each East Meets West skate event until he passed away in late 2013. Luckily, his efforts and passion live on at this year’s competition.

Spectators are welcomed to join free of charge. This event benefits Public Square Group, Slavic Village Skateboarding, The Broadway Public Skatepark Project and Slavic Village Development.

45th Annual Tremont Greek Fest
Friday, May 22nd - Monday May 25th. 12 pm - 12 am
Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 2187 West 14th St.

Enjoy a lively Greek party full of Greek dancing, food, drinks and, of course, all the crispy, honey-drenched baklava you can eat at the 45th annual Tremont Greek Fest! For decades, this tradition has taken place at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation. The event will offer tours of the grand 103-year-old church that contains dozens of hand-painted Byzantine icons from 1920s. There will be tons of authentic food and dancing featuring many Greek churches in Northeast Ohio.

35th Annual Main Street Port Clinton Walleye Festival 
Thursday, May 21st - Monday, May 23rd, 1 pm - sundown
Waterworks Park, 211 W. 3rd St. Port Clinton
$16 ($40 5-day admission)

If you love fresh fish, Port Clinton is worth the trip. Port Clinton is so devoted to their walleye that they’re commonly known as “the Walleye Capital of the World.” The Walleye Festival takes place in scenic Waterworks Park on the shores of Lake Erie and features outdoor concerts, food, a parade, educational programs, "Kids Fishing Derby,” Walleye 5K Run & Walk, carnival rides, and more than 130 vendors.

11th Annual “Art Fur Animals” Benefit and Auction
Saturday, May 30th. 7 - 10 pm
Red Space 2400 Superior Ave. E., Cleveland, OH 44114
$40 at door, $35 presale

Animal lovers unite! The 11th Annual “Art Fur Animals” benefit features live and silent auctions showcasing art from over 150 local artists. There will also be music, appetizers and an assortment of local public figures working the bar including Plain Dealer sports writer Bud Shaw, Stephanie Sheldon from the Cleveland Flea, Councilman Matt Zone and WKYC Reporter Maureen Kyle. The night's proceeds will go directly to the care of animals at Cleveland City Kennel.

Sunday Market: May
Sunday, May 20th. 10 - 4 pm
Hingetown 1455 West 29th St.

Get your brunch on this Sunday in Hingetown, part of Ohio City located between Ohio City's Market District, Gordon Square Arts District, and the Warehouse District! Enjoy a champagne garden, oysters, macrame workshop, bar, flowers, coffee and more. Shop at the neighborhood businesses, enjoy food, drinks and shopping from an array of Cleveland makers and vintage dealers. Click here for a full list of vendors.

Later this week:

Fix 2016 Civic Hackathon
Friday May 29th - Saturday, May 30th. 6 pm
St. Luke's Pointe Auditorium, 11327 Shaker Blvd.

At Fix 2016 Civic Hackathon, the people have the power. The event is the next step in Cleveland's civic solution process. Hack Cleveland is a community-powered think tank, comprised of civic-minded makers and social justice advocates.

Hackathon joins coders, designers, and innovators to brainstorm, design and build a web or mobile app that can change the world. Hack Cleveland exists to provide opportunities to gather, amplify and implement the ideas of the people, through technology. Fix 216 will gather residents, community leaders, activists, organizers, innovators and technologists to brainstorm, design and build web or mobile apps to address public safety, excessive force and the Department of Justice consent decree in Cleveland.

Engage Cleveland!
May 31- June 7, 2015.
Times & Locations vary: full schedule here.
Free - $10

Grab your coworkers and attend the second annual Engage Cleveland! The organization is focused on advancing the success of young professionals in Cleveland by connecting them to the organizations, nonprofits, events, businesses and individuals to help them become better integrated to the city.

“There’s a lot of boomerangs that find themselves back in Cleveland,” says Angela Almasy, assistant account executive at Dix & Eaton. “We want to highlight everything that every Cleveland has to offer for young professionals and provide them a chance to network.”

Events range from a Lunch & Learn: National Republican Convention to Discovering the new Right Field District featuring speakers Andrew Miller and Leland Patten of the Cleveland Indians and plenty of affordable yoga classes. Full event schedule.

Jacqueline Bon
Jacqueline Bon

About the Author: 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.