Parade the Circle, held each June in Cleveland's University Circle neighborhood, is a free, interactive, multi-cultural celebration. The highlight of the day's events is the festive parade around Wade Oval, with the citizens marching in their fanciful, hand-made costumes. Other features include dozens of hands-on activities, a live concert stage, and roving street performers. The 2014 date is June 14.
Parade the Circle began in 1990 with just 125 parade participants and around 1,000 spectators. For those humble beginnings, the event has grown to include around 2,000 parade participants and more than 50,000 spectators in 2013.
The parade is the highlight of Parade the Circle. Anyone may participate in the parade for a $6 fee. Marchers make their own costumes and no written words, logos, or motorized vehicles (except wheelchairs) are allowed. There's no fee to watch the parade. The parade begins at noon. Those interested in participating in the parade should call the Cleveland Museum of Art's Community arts department at 216 707-2483.
Other Activities at Parade the Circle:
In addition to the parade, Parade the Circle features several live entertainment stages, booths with hands-on activities from 25 of the area's cultural institutions, and food offerings from local restaurants. Among the activities are story hours, puppet shows, crafts, and lots more.
Making your Costume:
The Cleveland Museum of Art sponsors several costume and mask-making workshops prior to Parade the Circle. Costume workshops, staffed by professional artists, are held at the museum beginning in May.
Other University Circle Events:
University Circle hosts a variety of free events throughout the year. In addition to Parade the Circle, the neighborhood organization hosts Wade Oval Wednesdays from Memorial Day through Labor Day. These Wednesday evening events feature food, music, and cultural activities.
Hours, Parking, and Other Essential Information:
The activities, events, and food vendors will be set up from 11am to 4pm. The parade steps off at noon.
Many of the nearby parking lots are closed so that the attractions can use them, but parking (for a fee) is available in several area lots, including the one behind the Western Reserve Historical Society, Severance Hall's lot, and three on Bellflower. Close-in parking for the disabled is available in the CIM lot.
Volunteering for Parade the Circle:
More than 100 volunteers are needed each year to make Parade the Circle a success. If you are interested in participating, contact the Cleveland Museum of Art's Volunteer Initiative Office at 216 707-2593.
Parade the Circle
University Circle Inc.