When you think of summer your mind naturally turns to sun filled days, swimming and warm weather. In Cleveland, Ohio our summers are short so we try to cram in as many activities as possible. Some of those activities include hiking, boating on Lake Erie, camping or attending outdoor concerts. For me, summer wouldn’t be summer without a trip to my favorite Cleveland park – Cain Park.
Located 15 minutes east of downtown Cleveland in Cleveland Heights, Ohio Cain Park has the gained the reputation of “Your Summer Arts Park” and rightfully so. Established in 1938 by Heights High Drama teacher Dr. Dina Rees Evans and Cleveland Heights Mayor Frank Cain as a performing venue for the Civic Theatre of Allied Arts, Cain Park has remained true to the vision of its founders. Situated on 22 acres of land the park offers trails for biking and jogging, a wading pool, basketball and tennis courts, skate park and picnic areas but the main summer attraction is its outdoor theater and concert venues.
Housed within Cain Park are two performing stages – the Alma Stage, which is covered, and the Evans Amphitheater. Both stages are used throughout the summer months for local and national performers, which have included Kenny Loggins, Spyro Gyra, The Pointer Sisters and the Glenn Miller Orchestra. Full-scale theatrical performances of Sweeny Todd, Pippin, The Wiz and Oliver have been staged using the talents of local actors keeping the dream of Dr. Evans and Mayor Cain alive. In addition to concerts and theater, Cain Park comes alive with family friendly acts such as the Peking Acrobats, Inlet Dance Theatre, North Coast Jazz Collective and The Singing Angels. Two-dollar Tuesdays help keep the kids entertained at a great price. One the best events on the Cain Park calendar is the Art Festival. The three-day festival features 150 professional artists, entertainment, children’s activities, gourmet food and concessions. Held in mid-July the arts festival has been visited annually by 20,000 patrons.
If there is a draw back to attending an event at Cain Park it’s the parking. When the park was designed in the mid 1930s traveling by car was still in the infancy stages. This, coupled with the fact the park is situated in the middle of a residential area, made the need for parking facilities unnecessary. However there is plenty of well-lit parking along the side streets and area surface lots. If you are planning to a visit to Cain Park it’s best to check their website www.cainpark.com for further details on parking, free events, calendar, prices and ticket purchases.