Our goal for Blazing Paddles was to reframe the Cuyahoga River narrative and we were so pleased media picked up on a paddleboarding race as a perspective-changer for recreational use of a river that formerly served as a cultural reference point for environmental ruin.Read More
Is there a better way to celebrate how far the Cuyahoga River (and Cleveland) has come since the June 22, 1969 fire than a run/walk of the Cuyahoga River trails followed by GREAT music and Fat Head's Brewery beer? We don't think so.
Here's a rundown of the Ramble schedule:
- Cleveland Rowing Foundation gates open at 4 p.m. for "Happy Hour by the River" where you can enjoy a cold beer and talk with Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie stakeholders at our expo
- At 5 p.m. DJ Red-I starts spinning her music. Brittany “DJ RED-I" is the beatmaker behind the all-female Cleveland hip-hop group “Fresh Produce” - She previously operated “Young Kings” Record shop in Hingetown, and now “Brittany’s Record Shop” in Slavic Village.. specializing in vintage vinyl Soul, Hip Hop and Reggae.
- Around 6:30 p.m. a 3.3 mile run/walk of the Cuyahoga River trails steps off just south of the Columbus Road bridge, transiting the Scranton Flats Towpath, the Cleveland Foundation Lake Link Centennial Trail, and the Red Line Greenway before finishing between CRF and Merwin's Wharf.
- Food trucks will be on-site to satisfy your gnosh needs: CLE Chicken, Sauced Wood Fired Pizza and Little Penguin Froyo.
- At 7 p..m. Ray Flanagan and The Authorities take the stage. They're a full band playing original music and covers of classic rock and blues rock. If you're a fan of groups like Tom Petty and The Heart Breakers or The Black Keys, you're gonna dig this show. Check out this review.
- At 9:15 p.m. Jul Big Green wraps the evening. An Akron based band lead by Julian Huntley, they’ve been playing northeast Ohio and steadily grown to become one of the top regional acts over the past three years. An eclectic band with influence from Pop, Funk and Hip Hop. Try not to dance, you won’t succeed.
Would you expect anything less from our music programmer Thomas Fox?
The following morning is Blazing Paddles, the first ever stand-up paddleboard race held on the birthplace of the environmental movement.
- The race for CASH prizes goes off the line at 9 a.m. off the Cleveland Rowing Foundations docks, heads up river 2.85 miles to the turnaround point at the Jefferson Ave. Bridge (which JUST happens to be the site of the 1952 Cuyahoga River fire, the BIG one), finishing in front of Cleveland Rowing Foundation.
- A parallel event, Surf & Turf, will be happening from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. at Crooked River Skatepark with all ages skateboard lessons from 10 a.m. to noon, an open skate jam from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. with music, raffle prizes, and giveaways.
Check Out This Great WVIZ Story on Blazing Paddles!
We're grateful to our supporting sponsors who have helped make the Expanded Ramble and Blazing Paddles a possibility:
- Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District: "‘Given our role in helping to improve the health of the Cuyahoga River, we’re excited to be part of this celebration. Plus, we’re happy to support an event that connects people to our water resources."
- Fat Head's Brewery is our official brewery partner.
- Canalway Partners: "We're pleased the Share the River Ramble is serving as one of the kick-off events for the inaugural Cleveland History Days, "10 Days and 20 Ways to Experience Cleveland’s History". More information is at http://canalwaypartners.com/events/clevelandhistorydays/
- Ohio City Inc.: "Ohio City Incorporated is working with partners to tie together a growing network of trails and connecting people to the riverfront through Irishtown Bend, and we are thrilled to support the Share the River Ramble which celebrates one of our regions greatest assets, the Cuyahoga River."
- "The Port of Cleveland is excited about the expanding and safe recreational use of the Cuyahoga River. Moreover, we are pleased to support events like Blazing Paddles, that allow people to share the rebirth of the Cuyahoga River with friends and family.” - William Friedman, President and CEO, The Port of Cleveland
- University Hospitals EMS is making sure our event will be a safe one with their kind provisioning of services for both the Ramble and Blazing Paddles. UH has a clear commitment to the community and this falls perfectly in line with their mission.
Last night's cruise on the Goodtime III reminded us of the old line about a busman's holiday: A holiday in which you spend most of your time doing the same or something very similar to your normal work. Ostensibly we were guests of the Goodtime III's 60th Anniversary Cruise along Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River.Read More
We have to hand it to the hapless Cleveland Browns: Not only have they recently fumbled a great opportunity to bond with their long suffering fans, but they've managed to elevate Lake Erie's brand to a point where that Great Lake now eclipses the Cuyahoga River as shorthand for national media to kick Cleveland in the shins.
In case you missed last week's announcement via Twitter, Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson announced he'd be jumping in Lake Erie on June 1. Last year coach Jackson had vowed to jump in Lake Erie if his team failed to improve on its 1-15 record in 2016. As long-suffering Browns fans know, the team managed to go winless in 2017, putting coach on the clock for delivering on his promise.
Last week's announcement gave some cause to wonder how coach Jackson's June dip in a Great Lake was a sufficient enough nod to loyal fans who have endured the Browns' 1-31 record over two seasons. Many thought a dip in winter (before the NFL draft) would have been a more deserving and appropriate "cleansing of the Cleveland Browns".
And we have to admit a certain wonderment at how Browns brass are turning a wonderful opportunity to bond with their devoted fans (@Reflog_18's Cleveland Browns Perfect Season Parade anyone?) into an overly managed, private photo-op that loses any sense of connection with the Browns' fan base. Shutting loyal fans out of the opportunity to personally witness coach Hue making good on his word is a half-hearted way to erase the sins of the past. Does anyone doubt a public event would be both more appropriate AND effective? C'mon Browns, there's still time to call an audible and make coach Hue's dip a public celebration!
But the Browns HAVE done something that bears noting. After the Browns' announcement of coach Jacksons dive into the lake, we couldn't help but notice how national media described Lake Erie as "pretty gross" and "stinky".
Years of repeated algae blooms in Lake Erie's western basin have managed to taint the national brand of that Great Lake. And out-of-towners don't discern the problem as a localized one. They think ALL of Lake Erie is covered in pea-green soup. Heck, even Ohio's Governor John Kasich has trouble communicating Lake Erie's impaired status effectively. And yeah, we're even guilty of having a little fun at Lake Erie's expense with a "Creature" riff we made back in 2014 during the Toledo water crisis.
But the Lake Erie PR pulse from last week's Browns announcement made us realize Lake Erie's ongoing challenges with algae blooms has tainted the public mindset to a point where a spoiled Lake Erie has finally eclipsed the Cuyahoga River as shorthand for out-of-towners to kick Cleveland in the shins. After 49 years, the memories of the 1969 fire (under the image of the 66-year-old photo from the 1952 fire) have finally receded. Good for the river, bad for the lake. To recognize that changed status, you're invited to the 2nd annual Share the River Ramble, our June 22 walk, run, beer and music celebration how far the Cuyahoga River has come since the 1969 fire.
Of course some national media still have trouble keeping Lake Erie and Cuyahoga River history straight. Check out yesterday morning's First & Last on ESPN Radio. And yeah we know Golic Jr. didn't grow up in Cleveland but his dad did!
Believe it or not but the kick-off to St. Patrick's Day and the countdown to spring's arrival in northeast Ohio starts this Saturday when over 3,500 St. Malachi Church Run participants begin their 5-mile trek through downtown Cleveland with a crossing of the Cuyahoga River over the Detroit-Superior Bridge!Read More
One of our favorite sub-topics of interest falls under the relatively wonky heading "infrastructure", with a specific focus on: 1) public water/wastewater infrastructure and 2) waterfront infrastructure related to commercial port operations.Read More
Today our nation remembers, commemorates, and celebrates the birth of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and we're reminded of King's impact on something he may not be widely recognized for: the rebirth of the Cuyahoga River.Read More
Thanksgiving provides a wonderful time for family and friends to gather and celebrate a modern "harvest" together. It's also a time that allows people the opportunity to consider the many things we have to be thankful for. In that spirit, we wanted to reflect on the many things (in no particular order) we're thankful for with regards to Cleveland's waterfront.Read More
Last Friday we caught up with the inaugural Critical YAK, an informal aquatic gathering where kayakers put in at Cleveland Metroparks' Merwin's Wharf dock, paddled 1.7 miles down the Cuyahoga River out to Lake Erie, hung a left and beached at Wendy Park for some fun at Whiskey Island Still and Eatery before returning to Merwin's Wharf.Read More