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Hippie Hippie Shake

East Side street fest harks back to the days of peace, love, and sunflowers.


To outsiders, the Hessler Street Fair is an annual outing to check out the artists and musicians who live, work, and play in the area. But to those who live on the street, it's a nostalgic walk to the '60s, when life took on a turn-on-tune-in-and-drop-out vibe. And the fortysomething fair's respite last year only makes the reminiscing sweeter. "Seeing it not happening for a year made people realize how much they loved it," says Andrew Kessler, the fair's director. "There's a lot of anticipation and excitement."Started as a small block party, the fair has grown to showcase the neighborhood's restaurants, bars, and art studios. After most of the original core of organizers moved from the neighborhood in 1984, the fest shut down for 11 years, before another group resurrected it in 1995. This year, musicians Jim Volk, Tiny Alice, and Crossties will serenade spectators as they eyeball more than 50 booths of art, sculpture, and jewelry. "It's about being outside and meeting other people and seeing their crafts and art," says Kessler. "Other events are concerned with how much money will be made. This isn't about being commercial." The fair runs from noon to dusk today and tomorrow on both Hessler Road and Hessler Court, north of Euclid Avenue. Admission is free. Call 216-556-3716 or visit
May 17-18, noon, 2008


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