Summer Activities

Cuyahoga County Fair

The Cuyahoga County Fair

The Cuyahoga County Fair

Being something of a county fair snob, I have always favored the Wayne County Fair. I don’t remember my first visit but I think it was in the early 1990’s. I loved the animal barns, the 4H displays, the bake offs, fair food, tractor pulls, and countless booths for water filters, new gutter systems, and lawn mowers.

But, to be non discriminatory, I decided I had to branch out and try the fair where I live. On a quiet Tuesday I showed up when the fairgrounds in Berea opened at noon. The booths were just pulling up their shutters but I could walk through the barns. I have to be honest. I was terribly disappointed. Even though I know that Cuyahoga County is mostly an urban place, I thought there would be more of everything. The barns were mostly empty. There were very few displays of sewing, honey, and even the baked goods looked sad.

I must say the food was plentiful, diverse, and delicious.  I’m a corndog aficionado.  However, I won’t pay the $6 senior fee to go back just so I can sample the French Waffles.  Give me lots of little bunnies, piglets, and chickens instead.


Take A HikeSummer Activites

Last year I joined a group of interested people to Take a Hike through the Warehouse District on a Saturday morning. The Take a Hike Tours are offered through the Cuyahoga Arts and Culture organization.

This year I wanted to learn about the Canal Basin. This interest was partly driven by the fact that I volunteer as a Roving Historian in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. I teach visitors about canal history.

These tours run every week from May 15- September 15.  In addition to the two I’ve mentioned, there are tours of the Gateway District, Playhouse Square, and the Civic Center. They are free because Dollar Bank, the Cuyahoga Arts and Culture Council, and several institutions generously sponsor them.

The Canal Basin tour met on Sunday morning at 10am. at the foot of W. Superior at an RTA stop at Settler’s Landing. Our tour guide spent the next 2 hours leading about 50 of us around 5 little parks on the east side of the Cuyahoga River.  We learned about the early settlements, the traffic along the river, and the development of the canals and trains. We also heard about industry in the region and the health of the water in our river.

Along the way we had some “visitors.” One was an actor portraying the wife of Cleveland’s early mayor Albert Kelley.  Another visitor told us about the plans for the Canal Basin in the next 4 years. By then the Canalway towpath and America’s Byway will be completed and meet at the Basin.