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.
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 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 22, 2019 (5:00-7:30pm)
Enjoy a evening of conversation, fun and food presented by the Greater Cleveland Aquarium, West Creek Conservancy, Ohio Humanities and Xtinguish. We’ll discuss clean water innovations and tech, explore the meaning of “Blue Economy” and learn how commerce and stewardship can be combined. Featuring David Grunenwald (Jacobs Investments), Bryan Stubbs (Cleveland Water Alliance), and William D. Friedman (Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority). RSVP by May 17 to Mary Grodek, email@example.com
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 28, 2019 (6:30-8:30pm)
Presented by West Creek Conservancy and the US Bartenders Guild, and sponsored by Cantera Negra Tequila, May 28th will be the official date to designate the Xtinguish Crooked Cocktail for the 50th anniversary of the Cuyahoga River Fire. It will be featured throughout the year at numerous venues and events. The top 3 cocktails (including the People’s Choice chosen by you!) will come back on June 22nd for a “finals” competition, as part of the Xtinguish Village effort at Rivergate Park, in parallel with Cuyahoga50. This competition will take place on the Putzfrau working boat (the first boat to clean up our river) and will require an element of fire! join this historic event and we will see you at "The Bar".
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.
May 31, 2019 (7-11pm)
Watch all of the films created as a part of the 48HFP: Xtinguish Celebration at moCa Cleveland! This premiere event will be FREE to attend, but with limited seating. There are TWO different screening times for the evening, at 7:00pm and 9:30pm. We will also be unveiling the flaming Crooked Cocktail, the official drink of this year's Xtinguish Celebration! moCa's cash bar will be open for the evening.
June 1-2, 2019
The Friends of Euclid Creek with the Collinwood Rain Barrel Project and the City of Beachwood are sponsoring a Rain Barrel Painting workshop for adults and families (one barrel per family). Cost is $60.00 for a rain barrel, downspout kit, and painting supplies; there will be food and live music.
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 10, 2019 (doors open 5:30pm)
Scott Hardy and Jill Bartolotta, experts from the Ohio Sea Grant College Program, will lead a lively discussion on plastic pollution / marine debris.
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 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 (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
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 (9:30am-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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 (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 (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 (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
Results of the Greater Cleveland Rain Barrel Design Competition will be exhibited, including children's, amateur adult, and professional adult. Barrels will be silent auctioned from 1-2:30pm on Sunday, August 4th. Exhibit will run from July 31-August 22.
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.