As the next chapter of CPL approaches, the organization also takes a minute to kick back and have fun. Come July 27, Superior Avenue and the institution’s Main Library Campus downtown transforms for the CPL 150 Street Festival.
A mix of storytelling, music, food and activities for the whole family, the event highlights how vital CPL has been to the city’s growth throughout its 150 years and how it plans to remain relevant in the future.
“The Cleveland Public Library is not your normal library,” says Aaron Mason, the library’s director of outreach and programming services. “I just hope that people look back and see what we’ve done, but most importantly look forward and just know that the library is evolving along with the needs of the community and we’re here to stay.”
We pulled a page from the party planners to give you a sneak peek into the day’s festivities.
Music fills downtown from the main stage, featuring acts such as children’s artist Big Bang Boom!, Chicago dance company Hiplet and an evening performance from LA-based artist DJ Dam-Funk, who spins ’70s- and ’80s-inspired dance music. “It’ll be a very diverse audience with young and old alike,” says Mason. “We hope to dance the night away.”
The library already hosts monthly e-sports competitions at its Main Library Campus. “We’re one of the first, if not the first public library to really build up a program like that,” Mason says.
To celebrate the accomplishment, the library hosts a Super Smash Bros. tournament at the fest, along with virtual reality activities where guests can create masterpieces through 3D painting and sculpting or hop on a plane and virtually fly to different global destinations.
During the fest, visit the library’s The World of Puppets: From Stage to Screen to dive into the history of the art form — from the first models made in Indonesia and Africa, to Sesame Street’s Oscar the Grouch.
Learn to make shadow puppets and marionettes before catching a procession of South African puppeteer Roger Titley’s animal puppets. “They’re life-size, so animals like the giraffe are huge and it’ll be magnificent,” says Mason.
After perusing a few different carnival attractions, CPL decided to go big or go home — with the 60-foot I-X Indoor Amusement Park Ferris wheel. “To my knowledge, it’s the first time a Ferris wheel will ever be put on Superior Avenue downtown,” says Mason.
To kick off the evening events, comedian Roy Wood Jr. performs at 6:30 p.m. Known for work on Comedy Central programs such as The Daily Show, he performs a set that blends humor for the adults with political satire. “He’s a magnificent comedian and we’re happy to have him,” says Mason.
things to do
8:00 AM EST
July 22, 2019