In celebration of the local food movement, Cleveland has been buzzing with activities recently, from the Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Summit to the 8th International Public Markets Conference. Neighborhood Progress just co-hosted Cleveland’s first annual local food feast, the Potluck in the Park, a free and easy way for all Clevelanders to take part in Cleveland’s local food movement.
Over 250 people attended and over 30 volunteered at the event at Edgewater Upper Pavilion Park. Guests brought a dish to share. Local restaurants shared their favorite dishes, including Light Bistro, The Souper Market, The Root Café, Nature’s Bin, Tommy’s Restaurant, Great Lakes Brewing Co., Molinari Culinary, Map of Thailand, Empress Taytu, and Gypsy Bean & Bakery. Cleveland Crops, Cleveland Division of Water and other groups were on hand to provide educational materials, freebies, and activities for attendees. In addition, 120lbs of food was donated to the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland.
The Potluck in the Park occurred only a week after the Cleveland 2019 Summit celebrated the Year of Local Food and transitioned to the Year of Advanced and Renewable Energy. Over 500 people attended the Cleveland 2019 Summit including youth from local high schools. Keynote speakers included Jeremy Rifton, author of Third Industrial Revolution, Janine Benyus, founder of Biomimicry and Kathleen Merrigan, Deputy Secretary of USDA.
The Cleveland 2019 Summit is designed to be interactive and engaging. The Sustainable Cleveland 2019 brings together hundreds of people interested in applying the principles of sustainability to the design of the local economy. The goal is to envision a 10-year campaign for “building an economic engine to empower a green city on a blue lake” by the 50th anniversary of the infamous Cuyahoga River fire. Each year leading up to 2019, one key area fundamental to a sustainable economy is highlighted. Small and large group work sessions are held, and the discussion and results from these are potential next steps for Cleveland.
As the Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Summit was wrapping up, the 8th International Public Markets Conference was underway. The conference brought people together from different regions and countries, as well as professions. Public market managers, community development corporations, local food nonprofits, and economic developers from over 35 different states and 7 different countries, including a group from Hong Kong, China, were present at the conference.
The three-day conference highlighted Cleveland’s local food community and movement as well as the upcoming West Side Market Centennial celebration. The conference focused on the vital role public markets play in transforming local economies and communities. Markets were evaluated on how they could re-invent themselves and evolve into indoor destinations.
The 8th International Public Market is just one of three major events that are celebrating the West Side Market’s Centennial. On Sunday, October 7th, Ohio City will host the West Side Market Street Festival and Parade. Produced by Live Nation, the event will attract over 30,000 attendees to West 25th Street to enjoy live entertainment, food, and artisan vendors. The West Side Market will also have a Centennial Celebration Gala on Saturday, November 3rd. The Gala will feature food from the West Side Market prepared by national and local chefs. Great Lakes Brewing Company will also be on hand with the official handcrafted centennial celebration brew.