West Side Market: Celebrating 100 years

West Side Market: Celebrating 100 years
The West Side Market celebrates 100 years
The West Side Market celebrates 100 years

Cleveland's Ohio City neighborhood will be buzzing Sunday with costume and color, food and festivities, and music and merrymaking as the Street Festival and Parade welcomes tens of thousands of people honoring the West Side Market and its upcoming 100th birthday.

And, for the first time in a decade, the West Side Market will be open on a Sunday to commemorate a century of great food and service to the community.

"The West Side Market is one of Cleveland's unique assets," said Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson. "For the past century, the city has invested in the Market, and in turn, the Market has provided great local food options and special memories for families from around the region. As we prepare to celebrate the Centennial in November, the Street Festival and Parade event is another way to bring the community together in the tradition of the West Side Market."

The event will begin at noon with a West Side Market-themed parade that features more than 400 participants, including current and past vendors, neighborhood block clubs and community groups who have created original, colorful costumes. The Parade is produced in partnership with the acclaimed Cleveland Museum of Arts Parade the Circle.

Following the parade, attendees are invited to shop inside the West Side Market, where many of the Market vendors will be selling prepared sample-size food items. In addition, more than 30 Ohio City restaurants and establishments will set up along a closed West 25th Street with specialty food items and merchandise for purchase. Two bustling beer gardens will feature Great Lakes Brewing Company and Market Garden Brewery drafts where neighbors will share a toast to the Market.

In addition, two outdoor stages will host day-long live entertainment, with performances by headliners Chris Allen & The Guilty Hearts and Carlos Jones and the PLUS Band closing the festival. Live performances also will be held inside the West Side Market.

To add to the family fun, visit the Ohio City Farm located just a few steps from the Market and festivities. The farm offers family-friendly entertainment, including a build-a-scarecrow area with other harvest-time activities such as pumpkin painting, a pie-baking contest, acoustic performances and more.

As part of the Centennial Celebrations series of events presented by Charter One, the Street Festival and Parade is produced by Live Nation  and is sponsored by the Cleveland Clinic's Lutheran Hospital.

The Street Festival + Parade also is sponsored by Cleveland City Councilman Joe Cimperman. The Ohio City neighborhood is part of Cimperman's council district.

"I am excited to sponsor the Street Festival and Parade," Cimperman said. "As a first-generation Slovenian immigrant to the United States, I know that this celebration of the West Side Market's 100 years in Cleveland means more than just providing all ethnicity's access to the comfort and tradition of their native fare and delicacies; it is about the relationships that have been built for the last century between friends and families of all origins and the pride that we share in our Market and our city."

Portions of Lorain Avenue and West 25th and West 24th streets will be closed to traffic and festival-goers are encouraged to take advantage of convenient public transportation. Visitors can park for free at any of the RTA Red Line Rapid stations and ride the Red Line and exit at the Ohio City Rapid station on the corner of West 25th Street and Lorain Avenue, located less than a block from the West Side Market. Blue and Green Line Rapid riders can transfer to the Red Line at Tower City. Multiple locations throughout Ohio City also will be available for bicycle parking.

"This really is going to be a celebration like no other we have had in Ohio City," said Eric Wobser, Executive Director of Ohio City Incorporated "The West Side Market is the anchor of the Ohio City neighborhood, so on October 7, we're going to surround this magnificent landmark with an amazing lineup of food, entertainment and activities for the entire family. This celebration will allow everyone to experience the pride and spirit of this vital piece of our history and identity."

The Centennial Celebrations serve to commemorate the history of one of the nation's last authentic public markets. Currently, the Market is home to more than 100 diverse vendors and remains a treasured tradition in Cleveland, providing the city with access to culturally authentic and locally sustained food options. A portion of the proceeds from the Centennial Celebrations will benefit the West Side Market Restoration Fund. For more information on the Centennial Celebrations, or for a detailed schedule of the Street Festival + Parade activities, click here.

About the West Side Market

The West Side Market is Cleveland's historic public market offers fine meats and seafood, fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, dairy and cheese products, fresh flowers, ready-to-eat foods, herbs, candy and nuts. An estimated one million visitors from all over the world shop the Market every year, drawn by the authentic, old time market experience, the quality and freshness of its food, and its welcoming vendors. The market gained even more notoriety with the broadcast of television programs that featured the West Side Market on the Travel Channel and Food Network.

The West Side Market's beginnings date back to 1840 and were commissioned by the City of Cleveland. The current building took 14 years to build at a cost of $734,890.72. Many stands have remained under individual family control for much of the life of the Market - in a few cases dating back to its 1912 opening. Today, the Market is owned and operated by the City of Cleveland.

Ohio City Incorporated is the community development corporation dedicated to developing, preserving, and promoting Ohio City as a desirable place to live, work, study, and play. In partnership with the City of Cleveland, Ohio City Incorporated is charged to plan, promote, and execute the West Side Market Centennial Celebration.

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