Festival in Cleveland’s Edgewater neighborhood at risk of not happening; funding needed

Published: Jan. 30, 2023 at 5:03 PM EST

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A beloved annual festival in Cleveland’s Edgewater neighborhood is at risk of not happening this summer due to funding issues.

The “Edgewater Neighborhood Fest” is a decades-long tradition.

But the festival supporting LGBTQ+ and minority owned businesses, is in danger of ending.

“We are looking to fill a $25,000 gap to help with the cost with the permitting, extra security, the tents and things like that,” said Evelyn Smith of Northwest Neighborhoods.

Every summer vendors, musicians, and artists line Clifton Boulevard for the festival celebrating and highlighting racial, cultural, and LGBTQ+ diversity.

“Historically this has been an extremely diverse area and it’s something we find very valuable and tries to showcase in the vendors that come to the festival,” said Paula Furst of Northwest Neighborhoods. “And that can be minority-owned businesses LGBTQ businesses.”

Thousands of people come to share in the festivities in Cleveland’s Cudell-Edgewater neighborhood.

“It would hurt the community. Absolutely,” said Kevin Schmotzer, who owns a pet shop on Clifton Boulevard.

Schmotzer sees first hand what this festival means to performers like Jack’s Jazz.

“That’s what we here for. Everybody to have a good time. All together and I hope that happens this year,” said Jack’s Whitsett, with Jack’s Jazz.

A little help is all this neighborhood is asking for. Sadly, those costs could put an end to the summer-time event.

“The cost of doing this festival is large. We shut down a main street. We reroute busses. Those costs add up,” Smith said.

For donation information contact Northwest Neighborhoods.