“Peace, love and Lemonade….. Peace, Love and Lemonade… ” the bongo players paraded down the festival at the start playing the bongos and singing this one lyric… and it set the mood for Hessler!
Its a Cleveland institution, a festival that dates back to the hippie era and to an age when big business was destroying architecturally interesting neighborhoods. Hessler Street is a small brick street immediately off Ford Road, just north of Euclid Avenue. Its all of two city blocks, with interesting vintage architecture – row houses and large colonials that pale in comparison to the mansions of Bellflower Avenue, one block away. But the architecture, and the street were once in danger of being ripped down to make way for development of CWRU’s campus, which now surrounds this hold out. Hessler Court is the small one block street that intersects Hessler Street… and it is one of the few remaining wooden streets between New York and St Louis. Did you know that wood streets can outlast brick… and were originally installed because they were quieter when horse hoofs hit them. Such rich history in that part of the city. And we are thankful for those pioneers who held strong, and saved the street, and created the institutional event known as Hessler Street Fair.
Hessler is an Art Festival with ~40 handcrafted artists, varying from painters to glass blowers, woodworkers, soap (Yes we represented in the soap category), hand dyed things (there too- although the tie dye was the hot commodity at Hessler). And there was music – a continuous stage both days with locally known bands. The fair ends with Carlos Jones and his distinct Reggae sounds. And there is plenty of food… everything from vegetarian fare to barbecue, brats, burgers and grilled corn.
For Steve and I the weekend was also a milestone in our life together. Sunday, May 17th marked our 35th wedding anniversary. It sounds funny but i loved how we celebrated our day as part of the major events of the festival. And Steve purchased a beautiful sterling silver ring with a turqoise set in the bezel of the ring… fit perfectly, and I love it. The maker of the ring, Tom Cole, is a local Tremont artist with amazing metal working skills. Our anniversary was the highlight of the weekend, which was uniquely Cleveland.
Ou Here are some of the photos: