LAKEWOOD, Ohio — Detroit Avenue in downtown Lakewood was a hive of activity Saturday, July 16 as the Lakewood Summer Meltdown returned for its 14th year. The weather was perfect for the popular summer event.
Sponsored by Melt Bar and Grilled and presented by LakewoodAlive, Meltdown celebrates summer with a street fair, live music, beer garden, food trucks, Moose Head Sprinkler Park, 1-mile family run and the signature 5K Meltdown Run.
About 10,000 people drove through the area while Detroit was closed to vehicular traffic. Lakewood police used snow plows, garbage trucks and other city vehicles to block northbound and southbound Warren Road in Detroit. City vehicles also blocked off the west end of the festival area on Arthur Avenue and the east end on Marlowe Avenue.
Hungry crowds lined a stretch of St. Charles Avenue just south of Detroit as they waited patiently to patronize food trucks such as Cedar Grill with its Middle Eastern fare; Uncle Mike’s Sweet Treats with flavored popcorn and frozen treats; Parilya, which offered a taste of the Philippines; The Dawg Bowl, with burgers, sandwiches, dirty rice, shrimp and grits; and the Manna Truck, with braised beef brisket, burgers, Hawaiian jerk pulled pork, chicken tenders and more.
Restaurants in the festival area were also busy, with patio seating at places like Sauced Taproom and Forage Public House in short supply.
The Gary K. Bish Memorial Beer Garden, sponsored by First Federal Lakewood, was booming as volunteers checked IDs of those entering the fenced-in area at the heart of the festival.
Visitors could buy a cold beer, enjoy a chat and live music from Front Porch Lights, an alternative rock band, on the Meltdown Stage at the corner of Detroit and Warren.
The dog-friendly event attracted visitors of all ages, from babies in strollers to the elderly. Many youngsters have taken advantage of the Moose Head Sprinkler Park to get in and out of the water under the watchful eyes of parents or other adults.
In the street festival area, which stretched west from Warren to Arthur, visitors could stop by stalls manned by volunteers from nonprofits, businesses and other entities local.
They could buy snacks, wear makeup, play games and take home gifts, including “superhero capes” donated by Internet Crimes Against Children, also known as ICAC, and the office Cuyahoga County District Attorney Michael O’Malley.
The 1-mile fun run, sponsored by the Lakewood City Schools Community Recreation and Education Department, began at 6 p.m. in Belle and Detroit, followed by the 5k at 7 p.m. The timed run was sponsored by the Cleveland Clinic Center for LGBTQ+ Care and Lakewood Family Health Center.
Hundreds of riders warmed up before lining up at Belle and Detroit’s inflatable starting grid. When the signal sounded, they took off north on Belle, meandering through neighborhoods and back to Detroit, where they crossed the finish line just west of the Lakewood Family Health Center.
The male and female winners were Mark Grogan and Hayley Turner. For more race information, including full results, visit runsignup.com/Race/OH/Lakewood/SummerMeltdown5K.
Although the street fair closed at 8 p.m., the Meltdown festivities continued until 10 p.m.
LakewoodAlive is a community-focused non-profit organization that seeks to foster and sustain vibrant neighborhoods in Lakewood. The organization administers a housing awareness program, organizes large-scale community events including the Summer Meltdown, weekly concerts on the porch of the Lakewood Public Library, the Knowing Your Home educational series, Spooky Pooch Parade, Lakewood Chocolate Walk and Light Up Lakewood.
It also pursues community development initiatives and runs a small business support program.
The organization evolved from a 2008 merger with Lakewood Community Progress Inc., a non-profit organization founded by the city, and the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce. LakewoodAlive was a resident-based organization founded to promote citizen engagement in economic issues.
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