Sept. 19 will mark the SPARX City Hop festival's 13th year, and visitors can expect the largest SPARX gathering to date — more than 115 artists, galleries, retailers, and restaurants are participating in this event that is all about Cleveland culture, history, and community.
Festivities begin at 11 a.m. under the GE Chandelier in Playhouse Square at the SPARX Main Hub, which will offer three trolley routes with guided tours around the city. The Hub will also offer tours of Cleveland’s historic theaters and an information booth for the most touristy of attendees.
The Blue Line Trolley will take folks through Downtown’s Superior Arts District, Campus District and Asian Town Center, including stops at the Tower Press building and the Artcraft Building. On Superior between 19th and 21st there will be a celebration of PARK(ing) day, an annual worldwide event where artists, designers, and citizens transform parking spaces into temporary public parks.
Hop on the Green Line to take a tour of the Gateway District and scarf down a few of Barrio's DIY tacos before catching a local band. Then stop in Ohio City to grab a drink at the music-themed bar JukeBox, or an iced-tea at organic tea shop Cleveland Tea Revival. Be sure to hit the Transformer Station to preview a cool new video piece by Tim David, Transit Byzantium, that explores Cleveland by following pedestrians through the city on foot.
The Red Line will take participants through the Tremont area, including stops at Lincoln Park, Lucky Park, and Professor Avenue, where attendees can see art, shop, and grab dinner, respectively. Each stop will feature live music and dance and easy access to shops, galleries, restaurants and cultural institutions that are participating in SPARX, so whichever trolley folks end up on, they are bound to have a banging good time.
This event is perfect for giving a friend a crash course in Cleveland, or for reacquainting yourself with the city after a summer of binge-watching Netflix. Check out the video below by the Downtown Cleveland Alliance for a glimpse at the event in real time.