Join Us at an Event!
Join a wide variety of Cuyahoga50 community events, exhibits, performances, and conferences taking place throughout 2019. Events will continue to be added, including anniversary week (June 19-23, 2019), so check back regularly.
If you’re interested in including your event as part of Cuyahoga50, please fill out this form.
Also check out the Xtinguish Celebration, including the Torch Fest and Crooked River Conversations.
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.
March 15-April 22, 2019
The Cleveland Institute of Art is showcasing student work from across 15 majors focused on the role of artists and designers in protecting water and the environment.
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 20, 2019 (10:00am-5:00pm)
Don’t miss Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s exciting Earth Day event, Party for the Planet! Visit Cleveland Metroparks Zoo on Saturday, April 20 beginning at 10 a.m. for a daylong conservation celebration. Meet animal keepers, view animal enrichment demonstrations, check out the vendor village and electric vehicle display, enjoy a dance party and experience hands-on activities to help connect with the natural world.
April 23, 2019 (2-4pm)
Think the 1969 fire was the only one? With the Crooked River Contrasts exhibit as a backdrop, learn the fascinating history of fifteen major fires along the Cuyahoga River, and the battles to extinguish the misconceptions about the river. You’ll also learn more about the wonderful new Fire Museum, all from Paul Nelson, Western Reserve Fire Museum Historian.
This event is sponsored by Xtinguish Celebration, West Creek Conservancy and Ohio Humanities.
On and Around April 26, 2019
A number of partners are hosting Arbor Day events on and around April 26th, from sapling giveaways and tree plantings to info sessions and a Toast to Trees. Join us as we celebrate trees and their vital role in cleaning our water.
April 26-28, 2019
The Xtinguish Celebration is a series of events to help commemorate the progress made since the infamous 1969 Cuyahoga River Fire. The incorporation of this project expands the conversations around the Cuyahoga River into the film community. All of the films for this special competition must take place in, on, or somehow feature the Cuyahoga River! Will your voice be heard? This competition will take place on the weekend of April 26th-28th with a very special screening showcase of the films on May 31st at moCa Cleveland.
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 2, 2019 (6:00-8:00pm)
An event showcasing work submitted by Tri-C students in recognition of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the infamous Cuyahoga River fire. Student submissions will interpret a sustainability-related change (or metamorphosis) meaningful to them — something environmental, social and/or economic. Submissions may call attention to positive or negative changes.
May 6-8, 2019
The Council of the Great Lakes Region’s (CGLR) fifth Great Lakes Economic Forum brings together hundreds of leading industry executives, senior government officials and policy experts, academics, and change agents from the nonprofit sector who have a stake in growing the economy of the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Region, safely and sustainably, and improving the well-being of the Region’s citizens.
May 7, 2019 (4pm)
The theme for this year’s Annual Meeting is “An Environment for Success,” representing the collective effort by the foundation and its many committed donors and partners to set the stage for success and opportunity in the arts, our economy, through our schools, in our neighborhoods and in the physical environment we call home. The meeting will feature a keynote lecture by Bill Nye. Perhaps best known as Bill Nye the Science Guy, he is a man with a mission: to help foster a scientifically literate society and help people everywhere understand and appreciate the science that makes our world work.
May 11, 2019 (10:00am-4:00pm)
Take a free, guided tour of a water treatment plant and enjoy family-friendly activities at Cleveland Water's annual open house in celebration of Drinking Water Week. This event is a fun and educational opportunity to learn how water gets from Lake Erie to your home.
May 11, 2019
Join us for Northeast Ohio's largest "done in a day" clean-up of the Cuyahoga River corridor. We clean up to help bring awareness to areas that will one day become a future trail and/or park. There are 10 clean-up sites so you can decide on the most convenient location. Gloves, bags and a signature frog art RiverSweep tee will be provided. Stay after the clean-up for the free celebratory luncheon at Hart Crane Park.
May 16, 2019 (7:30-10:00am)
This session will look at the lake and the river today. We'll talk about everything from algal blooms, developing new technology, and stormwater management to preserve our water supply. And we'll celebrate the progress we've made over the last five decades.
May 18, 2019 (all day… and night)
Spend some time with the Cuyahoga and its watershed. There will be festivities, peaceful paddling, and lots to do along the river, up in its tributaries, and along the lakefront. Get to know the river and its watershed up close and personal. Check the schedule of events at www.crookedriverday.org.
RiverNight (6:30-9:30pm at GAR Hall in Peninsula) is the River Day nightcap. Whether you paddled, hiked, pulled weeds, picked up trash, floated down the lazyish river, or spent the day wishing you were doing those things (okay, maybe not the trash part), come join the fun, enjoy some great music, eat a little, drink a little, bid on some cool stuff, and maybe win a weekend getaway. It's all to benefit Cuyahoga River Restoration. No fire, just fish and fun.
May 18, 2019 (10am-1pm)
Do you want to make a lasting impact on the environment in Cuyahoga Valley National Park? Join us for River Day, and help to improve the ecosystem of your national park. By helping the park's habitat restoration efforts, you will help improve soil quality, restore native plants, and reduce stormwater run-off.
May 19, 2019 (4-7pm)
Join the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park when they host the Wild and Scenic Film Festival On Tour at Happy Days Lodge. Wild & Scenic focuses on films which speak to the environmental concerns and celebrations of our planet.
May 21, 2019 (9:00am-5:00pm)
This one-day event will feature industry experts and local leaders presenting on emerging green roof and wall research, the importance of green infrastructure policy and initiatives in Northeast Ohio, and advanced topics in green roofs and walls such as design for maximizing stormwater benefits, and valuing the benefits of green roofs. There will also be a small trade show component for local green roof/wall companies, and an interactive panel discussion on northeast Ohio policy and research requirements.
May 23, 2019 (4-6pm)
Professor John Hartig, Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research at the University of Windsor, will discuss past and current research on restoration Areas of Concern rivers in the Great Lakes basin. A local panel will respond concerning the Cuyahoga River.
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.
May 29, 2019 (7:00pm start)
This event is part of the Cleveland History Stories series the Music Box does in partnership with the Western Reserve Historical Society. Cleveland Metroparks historical interpreter Doug Kusak plans to address all the hype about the fire and ignite a discussion about the real history and impact it had on Cleveland.
June 2, 2019 (11:30am-4:00pm)
Join PHASTAR Corporation for a wonderful June brunch at the Shoreby Club in Bratenahl with featured speaker Chad Pregracke, a recipient of CNN’s Hero of the Year Award (2013) who has received international acclaim for his efforts to clean up America’s rivers. The event will be held outdoors under a gorgeous, open-air tent with breathtaking views of Lake Erie. Limited ticket availability.
June 4 and August 6 at 11:00 am; July 10 and September 4 at 6:00 pm
Clarissa von Spee leads a tour of this exhibition featuring three monumental ignited-gunpowder paintings that reflect the artist’s thoughts on the state of our planet, wildlife, and the world’s diminishing natural reserves of fresh water. Free; no registration required.
June 5-7, 2019
The Green Marine team presents GreenTech 2019, a must for everyone involved or interested in maritime transportation and its greater sustainability through greener technologies, innovation, and best practices in the maritime industry.
June 7, 2019 (4pm and 7pm)
At 4pm at the Wick Poetry Center, enjoy poetry readings from Ohio poets, including Ohio Poet Laureate Dave Lucas, and poems from local school students. Then, beginning at 7pm at the School of Architecture and Design, Jim White (former Exec. Dir. of Cuyahoga River RAP) will present the gains made since 1969 and the aims needed to delist the Cuyahoga River as an Area of Concern (AOC).
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 8, 2019 (10am-4pm)
For 30 years, the Cleveland Museum of Art has been bringing this FREE signature summer event to Greater Cleveland. University Circle comes alive with color, music, and art for all ages. International and national guest artists join Greater Cleveland artists, families, schools, and community groups in a spectacular display of bright costumes, giant puppets, stilt dancers, handmade masks, and colorful floats.
This year’s theme is Mythology of Illusion. A city or a region establishes its own mythology. The burning of the Cuyahoga River is part of Cleveland’s.
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. (Tentatively June 17-20, 2019)
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 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
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 21-30, 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 (9:45am-12:00pm)
Cuyahoga SWCD will lead a group bicycle ride from Midtown through Downtown, University Circle and back stopping along the way to highlight the stormwater infrastructure.
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 (10am-5pm)
Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Cuyahoga River burning for the last time at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium! During your Aquarium visit, enjoy a family friendly event that focuses on recycling, conservation and caring for the planet.
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 (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. Boats decked out in Christmas lights 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.
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
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 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.
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.
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.