Join Us at an Event!
Join a wide variety of Cuyahoga50 community events, exhibits, performances, and conferences throughout 2019. Click here for the Anniversary Week Event Guide, taking place June 19-23, 2019.
If you’re interested in including your event as part of Cuyahoga50, please fill out this form.
Discover what Cleveland was like in 1969 and experience how the community has evolved over the past 50 years. Through immersive exhibits and programming guests can explore change, learn about our city’s vibrant history, and aspire to continue to affect change.
1969 is revealed in the following exhibits: Cleveland Starts Here; Carl & Louis Stokes Making History; Rev. E. Theophilus Caviness: Church, Community, Cleveland; Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel; Crawford Auto Aviation Museum; and Mad for Plaid.
March 13-May 11, 2019 (9 workshops at various locations)
Join us at 9 workshops across the city as we create a city wide banner project. By dyeing squares of cotton in Indigo, you will learn a new art process, take a piece home, and a piece will be sewn into a banner with hundreds of others. The banners will hang from the Detroit Superior Bridge in downtown Cleveland on June 22.
April 11 - June 27
Remove invasive vegetation and improve habitat for native plants and animals in the Cuyahoga River watershed. Dates include April 11, April 25, May 9, May 23, June 13, June 22, and June 27. All from 1–3:30 p.m, except June 22 (9-11:30am). Location is given upon registration.
April 27 - September 28
Last year Drink Local. Drink Tap. removed over 1,800 POUNDS of garbage from Edgewater's Beaches, and they want to keep that momentum going this year! You can choose from 10 different cleanups, taking place from April 27 through September 28. They provide gloves, bags, buckets and trash grabbers, but you are welcome to bring your own supplies! They recommend wearing closed-toe shoes and bringing a water bottle (local tap is the best!).
May 1 - December 30, 2019
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport challenge Northeast Ohio Youth Art students to use their creativity and artistic talent to express the importance of our rivers, lakes, and oceans. The resulting exhibit is a part of CLE’s Youth Art Program.
May 14 - June 15
Join the Cleveland Foundation for several FredWalksCLE events that highlight the natural spaces that nourish and sustain our region. These events lead up to Common Ground on June 30th.
May 15 - August 20
The Akron-Summit County Public Library is hosting a wide variety of events this summer, including:
June 13: The Cuyahoga Valley’s complex ecosystem is home to an outstanding array of birds. Learn about some of these habitats and the fantastic birds you can discover.
July 16: Arrye Rosser, League of Women Voters Natural Resources Chair, presents the success and progress of the Cuyahoga river today.
July 18: Learn the best places to kayak in Summit and Cuyahoga Counties, what kind of equipment you’ll need and a bit about the history (and exciting future) of the Cuyahoga River.
August 20: Elaine Marsh, watershed specialist with the Summit Metro Parks, discusses the conditions that led to a century of river fires, the consequences, and the river’s remarkable recovery.
May 25 - September 22, 2019
Cai Guo-Qiang: Cuyahoga River Lightning features three monumental gunpowder works by Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang (born 1957), known for his explosion events, gunpowder-ignited paintings, and installations, all using environmentally friendly material. While Cuyahoga River Lightning: Drawing for the Cleveland Museum of Art (2018) was created especially for the exhibition, the other two exhibited works in monochrome and polychrome gunpowder illustrate the artist’s reflections on the state of our planet, wildlife, and the world’s diminishing natural reserves of fresh water. The Cleveland Museum of Art is pleased to present this exhibition as part of Cuyahoga50, a citywide commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the last Cuyahoga River fire and celebration of the progress made toward clean water for all.
June 4 and August 6 at 11:00 am; July 10 and September 4 at 6:00 pm
Clarissa von Spee, Chair of Asian art and James and Donna Reid curator of Chinese art, leads a tour through the exhibition Cai Guo-Qiang: Cuyahoga River Lightning, which features three monumental gunpowder-ignited works that reflect the artist’s thoughts on the state of our planet, wildlife and the world’s diminishing natural reserves of fresh water.
June 8 - September 22, 2019
As part of Cuyahoga50, a citywide commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the last Cuyahoga River fire and celebration of the progress made since toward clean water for all, the Cleveland Museum of Art will present two exhibitions that highlight the impact of human behavior on the environment. Featuring the work of renowned contemporary artist Edward Burtynsky (Canadian, born 1955), Water: Edward Burtynsky draws attention to current threats to clean, sustainable water and encourages visitors to reflect on individual actions that can impact the future of our planet.
June 17-20, 2019
The Cleveland Print Room, through the Cleveland Foundation’s Creative Fusion, is hosting a river walk along the Cuyahoga River led by Ojibwe elder, Sharon Day. The water walk will begin at the Cuyahoga’s headwaters and end four days later, in a process in which Day leads a group that carries sacred river water to the mouth of the Cuyahoga where it is emptied into Lake Erie. Watch for community meetings around town if you are interested in joining the walk or call 216 802-9441.
June 18, 2019 (12-1pm)
Climate change threatens our nation's oceans, lakes, and waterways. Cleveland, home to Lake Erie which constitutes one-fifth of the world's largest freshwater source, is in a unique position. As regions across the country grapple with drought and water scarcity coupled with an increased frequency of extreme weather events, could they look to Lake Erie and the Great Lakes as a solution to their water problems? The management of the Great Lakes water supply is protected by the Great Lakes Compact, an agreement between the eight states that border the Great Lakes and signed into law in 2008. However, is it enough?
Join City Club in Public Square for a fantastic panel discussion, moderated by Rick Jackson, Senior Host/Producer at ideastream.
June 18, 2019 (4:30-6:30pm)
Cleveland 2030 District and the NEO Region USGBC chapter host a walking tour of the Cuyahoga River. Jane Goodman, Executive Director of Cuyahoga River Restoration, leads a tour starting and ending at Merwin's Wharf. You'll learn more about the history of the river, the great work that's been done to restore it, it's condition today and what next steps are necessary to continue the great progress that has been made. Also learn about Thunderbird - the new development plans for the area including a mixed-use neighborhood and an expansion for Great Lakes Brewing. The tour is free but a donation is welcome.
June 19-22, 2019
A 100-mile passing of the torch along the Cuyahoga River, beginning at the Headwaters (June 19) with a Native American water blessing and culminating in Cleveland (June 22) at Rivergate Park. Along the way enjoy arts/culture/music fests in Kent, Cuyahoga Falls, Akron, and Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
June 19, 2019 (3pm)
Come be part of the live audience!
The Sound of Ideas Community Tour: Cuyahoga River 50 Years After Fire
Sailing on the Goodtime III
Buy your tickets here. Tickets are $20, enter discount code SOI5 to get $5 off.
June 19, 2019 (6-8pm)
Enjoy a FREE concert on Wade Oval in the heart of University Circle. Food trucks, vendors, theme nights, and activities vary each week and are all family-friendly. Bring a picnic or purchase delicious treats from vendors on site. Select museums are open late on Wednesdays.
June 19, 2019 (6-8pm)
Dr. Sherri Mason’s groundbreaking research on microbead plastic contaminants in the Great Lakes has led governments and manufacturers around the world to ban microbeads, small plastics that are a major pollutant in our water. While ending the use of microbeads is an important first step, much more needs to be done to protect our health and environment. Join us for this community event, free and open to all!
June 19, 2019 (6-8pm)
Cleveland Foundation, Land Studio and Cleveland Print Room will host a preview for the opening reception of native Cleveland photographer Sophie Schwartz's, “Bridged” exhibition. Schwartz's project will use the notion of a bridge to lead her exploration of the Cuyahoga River. As she juxtaposes her photographic survey of existing structures and those who use them, she melds and recontextualizes the past and present to inform a larger historical perspective. This event is FREE and open to the public.
June 19, 2019 (8-11pm)
Be among the first to see Squidsoup’s immersive lighting installations, entitled Ascendance and Cuyahoga Flow. Additionally, Cleveland's Praxis Fiber Workshop will be hanging three indigo-dyed banners from the bridge, produced through a series of community dye workshops. The preview event is free, but reservations are required. All visitors to the bridge should wear flat shoes. You’ll need to bring a legal form of ID and sign a waiver to enter the streetcar level of the bridge. Entry for the June 19 event is on the east (Downtown) side on W Superior Avenue, near the Settler's Landing stop on the RTA Waterfront Line (see map).
June 20, 2019 (starts 7pm)
Cleveland Foundation, PechaKucha Night Cleveland and LAND studio will host Global PechaKucha Night: Waterways, a groundbreaking event featuring thought leaders and activists from around the globe. The PechaKucha format is fast-paced and engaging, with each presentation consisting of 20 slides timed to 20 seconds of speaking time per slide. This will be the 34th PechaKucha Night in Cleveland, and the first to feature nationally and internationally renowned experts in addition to local presenters.
June 20, 2019 (7:30pm)
An evening of Neo Soul and Jazz on the river with Grammy Award nominee Eric Roberson, featuring percussionist Elec Simon and friends. Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Cuyahoga River Burning presented by The Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
June 20, 2019 (11am-6pm)
Erie Hack is a data and engineering competition designed to generate innovative technology solutions, or “hacks,” that address the Lake Erie Basin’s most pressing problems. This program leverages the expertise of researchers, designers, engineers, developers and creatives across the region to activate, cultivate and accelerate these hacks. June 20th will mark the Erie Hack Final and Innovation Summit which will combine the awarding of $100K in prizes to top performing teams with keynote speakers and panels on topics of water innovation.
June 21, 2019 (8:30am-5:00pm)
The Lead Safe Home Summit will convene caregivers, residents, landlords, advocates and local elected officials to learn about lead poisoning in our community and help build the path to a lead-safe Cleveland. Registration will open at 8:30am.
June 21, 2019 (12:00-1:30pm)
Fifty years after the last fire, the Cuyahoga River is alive again due to concerted federal and local efforts to clean up our waters, air, and land. However, the nation now faces unprecedented environmental challenge, all made worse by accelerating climate change. Many of these challenges, while very real, are less visible than the dramatic image of water catching fire. Environmental threats coupled with rising socioeconomic inequality — if not reversed — will profoundly affect Americans for generations to come. Despite widespread alarm and action being taken at many levels, the science tells us that we must do much more, and quickly.
Three panelists will debate the past, present, and future of environmental policy, including:
David W. Orr, Ph.D., Oberlin College
Shanelle L. Smith, The Trust for Public Land
Christine Todd Whitman, Former Administrator, U.S. EPA, and 50th Governor of New Jersey
June 21-30, 2019
Cleveland’s history is America’s history. Predicted for greatness by George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. A city founded on the shores of Lake Erie. Shaped by a crooked Cuyahoga River that defined its identity and grew its wealth. A wealth fueled by the many immigrant groups that settled here. It is a city that emerged from the Gilded Age as a leader in policy and programs, building not only a great city but a greater civilization. This same river would catch fire on a hot summer day in June of 1969. It became a poster child of a national movement to save the environment. Today, industrial freighters share a clean Cuyahoga River with wildlife and recreational watercraft. Cleveland is writing a new chapter in its comeback story.
Cleveland History Days kicks off on Friday, June 21st with a short opening ceremony at Burning River Fest and concludes, followed by a wide variety of events.
June 21, 2019 (5:00-9:00pm)
Ethiopian photographer and photojournalist Micheal Tsegaye is the Cleveland Print Room’s Creative Fusion International Artist-In-Residence for this project. Tsegaye will transform the Cleveland Print Room Gallery into the Cuyahoga River and its crooked bends from aerial photos and images from the riverbed.
The Blue Heron Homecoming will be named the "Cuyahoga River Homecoming" this year, and will be held in conjunction with the 50th anniversary celebrations happening all over Northeast Ohio! This is a family event, hands-on-exhibits for kids and adults, free rain barrels, tree giveaway, Eco's Enviro Party, food, entertainment and more!
June 21, 2019 (9:30am-12:00pm)
Join the Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District for a bicycle tour of stormwater infrastructure. Meet at 3311 Perkins Ave, Cleveland, Ohio 44114 at 9:30am. Tour leaves at 10:00am after a brief orientation and cursory bike mechanical check. The tour will head east toward University Circle. Stops include: pervious pavers, underground infiltration systems, stream relocation/restoration, soil remediation, bio-retention, and more. The route will cover approximately 10 miles on city streets with minor elevation changes.
Dress appropriately for the weather and bring a water bottle. Bike support will not be available. For more information please contact Brent Eysenbach at 216-524-6580 x1011 or email@example.com
June 21, 2019
A ceremonial torch traveling the length of the river will make a stop in CVNP! We will salute efforts to restore the river in the park with song, poetry, and the unveiling of a new statue. We will also celebrate the progress in creating a water trail. Please arrive early as parking is limited.
June 21-22, 2019 (6:00-11:00pm)
The Great Lakes Burning River Fest returns for its 18th year of music, beer, and community at one of the most beautiful waterfront locations in Cleveland. All proceeds benefit the Burning River Foundation, which is dedicated to improving, maintaining and celebrating the vitality of our regional freshwater resources.
June 21-24, 2019
River Rally is a national conference for river and water champions. Unique in its focus on providing practical education, inspiring courage, and celebrating achievements, River Rally brings together hundreds of NGO staff and volunteers, academics, agency and foundation representatives, industry innovators, and community leaders from across the United States and the world who care about rivers and water issues.
June 22, 2019
Blazing Paddles is a stand-up paddleboard race, canoe & kayak celebration of how far the Cuyahoga River has come since the 1969 fire. The paddleboard race will have two distances - 5.7 miles and 2 miles. Canoe and kayak float course is still in process.
June 22, 2019 (8:00am-12:00pm)
A water-focused festival with a 1-mile walk/4-mile race and interactive and educational games for both adults and children. 100% of the proceeds of the event will be used for projects to provide safe water to those in need in east Africa.
June 22, 2019 (12pm-5pm)
Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Cuyahoga River burning for the last time at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium! Enjoy an afternoon of make-and-take crafts, games, and informational displays focused on being good stewards of our natural resources.
June 22, 2019 (10am-11pm)
Join Cuyahoga County, City of Cleveland, and many other partners for the annual Veterans Memorial Bridge and Subway tour. This free, self-guided tour allows visitors to experience the original streetcar station and tracks, as well as unique views of the Cuyahoga River, Lake Erie, and downtown Cleveland. The event will feature a special immersive, color-changing light exhibition designed by internationally-renowned Squidsoup. There will be food trucks, plenty of family-friendly activities, a series of films, and dozens of information tables.
Be mindful that there is NO PARKING available at the site of the tour, and limited street parking on both the east and west side entrances. Alternatives include Drop Off Zones (2433 Superior Viaduct and corner of West 10th St. and Superior Ave.), RTA, and Bicycling. A release form must be signed for anyone who enters the bridge and a valid ID is required for entrance. Details: http://bit.ly/30jR5xA
June 22, 2019 (10am-5pm)
Rivergate Park serves as a major hub for the Cuyahoga50 celebration, with tons of recreation and family-friendly activities both on land and on the river. On land, experience games, food trucks, beer garden (thanks to Great Lakes Brewing Company for your support), and live entertainment from DJ Blackfire and Broken English. There will also be a Metroparks Family Zone at Merwin’s Wharf, the culmination of the Xtinguish Torch Fest, and special guest speakers.
On the Cuyahoga River, enjoy the Blazing Paddles Paddleboard, Kayak, and Canoe Paddlefest, Cleveland Rowing Foundation's Summer Rowing League Regatta, and the Cuyahoga50 Public Float. The historic photo op for all you paddlers will be at 1:00pm!
June 22, 2019 (4:00-9:30pm)
FREE TO THE PUBLIC
Experience a unique farmers market with local music and artists along the thriving Cuyahoga River on the West Bank of the Flats. Shop from a wide range of vendors including Railway Barbershop, Witzi’s Granola, Stone Eagle Farms, Bold Pickin’, Gaughan Bee Dancin’, Wild Iris, Ashley’s Floral, Back Attack Snacks, Pope’s Kitchen, Cleveland Fresh, Yellow House Cheese, and more! The Cuyahoga50 Lighted Boat Parade will immediately follow Farmers Market Fest.
June 22, 2019 (7:30-10:30pm)
TICKETED EVENT (Tickets available at nauticaqueen.com)
Be a part of the Cuyahoga50 Lighted Boat Parade with the Nautica Queen and Cruzan Rum for this special cruise (21+). Enjoy green and blue specialty drinks onboard as we recognize the progress our city has made to establish a “green city on a blue lake”. Includes: 1 comp specialty drink, Cruzan swag bag, buffet dinner and music.
June 30, 2019
Common Ground is a day of community conversation. On June 30, residents, neighbors, families and organizations across the region will host a mealtime conversation about the future of our shared home. United by a common question, all Common Ground conversations have the same goal: to create spaces where meaningful connections are made and purposeful actions begin.
June 21-23, 2019
Join the Cleveland Institute of Art for Reclaim the River, an interactive model for innovative urban design aimed at improving fish habitats and water quality in the Cuyahoga River. Meet the designers and learn how sustainable design can improve the health of our river. Times include June 21 (3-5pm), June 22 (10am-4pm), and June 23 (12-4pm).
June 22, 2019 (11am-3pm)
Come and view the Never, Ever Give Up - CLE public art installation filled with anonymous stories from folks in Northeast Ohio all answering the question: What is the hardest thing you ever had to do? In response, write a Letter of Hope and drop it in our bright yellow mailbox.
June 22, 2019 (11:00am-12:30pm)
Join us on the bank of the once-burning river to celebrate 50 years of progress. We will host emcee Dan Moulthrop of The City Club and #Cuyahoga50 partners to mark the anniversary of the 1969 river fire and enjoy our #RiverReborn. Live remarks from state and local officials, a dedication and tour of critical Cuyahoga River infrastructure, a groundbreaking for the 4th leg of the Towpath Trail, plus ice cream and live music for all. Free event and free parking.
June 22, 2019 (2pm)
The Foundry is pleased to welcome Dr. John Hartig, a Fulbright Scholar whose research focuses on cleanup of the Great Lakes. Dr. Hartig will delve into how public outcry over the 1969 Cuyahoga river fire catalyzed river cleanup locally and nationally, and helped to revitalize the Flats.
June 22, 2019 (2-6pm)
The Cleveland Foundation, Land Studio and Cleveland Print Room will host an afternoon opening of native Cleveland photographer, Sophie Schwartz's exhibition, Bridged. Schwartz's Creative Fusion project will use the notion of a bridge to lead her exploration of the Cuyahoga River. As she juxtaposes her photographic survey of existing structures and those who use them, she melds and recontextualizes the past and present to inform a larger historical perspective. Come create cyanotype prints with the Cleveland Museum of Art's Studio Go truck and take home your blue photographic images during this FREE event.
June 22, 2019 (9:30-11:00pm)
Decorate your boats and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the infamous Cuyahoga River fire with a boat parade from Whiskey Island to Merwin’s Wharf. 50+ decorated parade boats will meet in the Cleveland Harbor near Whiskey Island at 8:30 p.m. and parade up the river at dusk. Boats will turn around by Merwin’s Wharf and the Columbus Road bridge. The round trip will take about 1 1/2 hours. Parade participants will receive a commemorative burgee. Also boats will be judged within their respective class to receive a show award.
The boat parade can be viewed from the subway level of the Detroit-Superior Bridge, Burning River Fest, Nautica, and along the East and West Banks!
June 23, 2019 (10am-12pm)
Join us for Drink Local. Drink Tap for a cleanup of Perkins Beach at Cleveland Metroparks' Edgewater Park. They provide gloves, bags, buckets and trash grabbers, but you are welcome to bring your own supplies! We recommend wearing closed-toe shoes and bringing a water bottle (local tap is the best!).
June 23, 2019 (12-5pm)
As part of the celebration of Sustainable Cleveland’s Cuyahoga50 at North Coast Harbor, Great Lakes Science Center will offer FREE general admission to all guests from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 23, courtesy of ArcelorMittal.
June 23, 2019 (12-5pm)
Join us as we celebrate Cleveland, water and sustainability. With activities spanning both the Great Lakes Science Center and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, there is something for everyone. Interact with local organizations, participate in science activities, and network with those that share your passion for sustainability. Live musical performances by Hey Mavis and The Labra Brothers.
June 26, 2019
Artist Cai Guo-Qiang joins David Stradling, co-author of "Where the River Burned: Carl Stokes and the Struggle to Save Cleveland," for a lively discussion of Cai’s art and social and environmental matters in the context of the exhibition Cai Guo-Qiang: Cuyahoga River Lightning – which features a painting created in reference to Cleveland’s infamous 1969 Cuyahoga River fire. Moderated by Phillip Dodd, award-winning BBC broadcaster and former director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. Free; ticket required.
July 11-14, 2019
You will not want to miss this rare chance to catch a glimpse, step aboard, and even set sail on some of the grandest ships of yore. Enjoy some of the finest festival foods, craft beers, music, street performers and reenactments. Enjoy three full days of family fun, amusement and recreation.
July 31 - August 22
Thursday, August 8th the Friends of Euclid Creek will present the Lake Erie Speakers Series at the Beachwood Community Center. The event will feature:
Fredrick Vincent of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, will speak on the "Deep Tunnel Project".
Chris Winslow, Director of the Ohio State University Stone Lab, will speak on "How Activities on Land Affect Lake Erie"; and,
Dr. Robert Brand, Cuyahoga County Board of Health, will speak on "Safe Consumption of Fish from Lake Erie".
From July 31 to August 22nd, in conjunction with the Lake Erie Speakers Series, the Friends of Euclid Creek, the City of Beachwood and the Collinwood Rain Barrel Project will be presenting a creative art show of painted rain barrels, photography, paintings, and much more, all on the theme of Nature at the Beachwood Community Center. An artists' reception will be held on Sunday, August 4th. The rain barrels on display will be available for sale by silent auction during the run of the exhibit, with the proceeds going to support programming by the Friends of Euclid Creek. Admission to all of these events is free, and light refreshments and desserts will be served.
August 15, 2019 (6-9pm)
Join Museum naturalists for a late summer, evening cruise along the Cuyahoga River. We’ll board the Holiday at scenic collision bend in the Flats. We’ll watch for birds, dragonflies and other signs of nature. Our excursion will take us up river to see the Cuyahoga’s many bridges, as well as a trip down the abandoned Cuyahoga River channel. Appetizers and one drink ticket included. Cash bar available.
Members: $65; nonmembers: $80. Limit 40.
September 21, 2019 (9am-4pm)
Be a part of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s (NEORSD) 2019 Open House as we celebrate the Cuyahoga River’s 50-year comeback story and the clean water work that made it possible.
Literally thousands of guests show up on a fall Saturday every year to learn more about where their water goes and what they can do to keep our Great Lake great. This year’s theme celebrates note only our lake’s greatness, but the rebirth of our once-burning Cuyahoga River as well.
October 16, 2019 (8am-6pm)
Ten years ago, Mayor Frank G. Jackson launched Sustainable Cleveland 2019 to engage all citizens to design and develop a “green city on a blue lake”. Since then we've made tons of progress as a community, galvanizing action among thousands of people and organizations. Summit 2019 will celebrate that progress and the people that made it happen.
The Summit will also look forward, establishing some key priorities in the Climate Action Plan that require community-wide action. Stay tuned in the months ahead for more details. Tickets on sale beginning June 2019.