WOODMERE — A crowd of 1,500 or more gathered on Sunday for the second annual Woodmere Music Festival, which featured games, activities for children, food and drink tastings, tech demonstrations and, of course, music. One performer after another entertained crowds both inside and outside of Eton Chagrin Boulevard shopping center on the warm, summer afternoon.
Musical acts ranging from rock to jazz to R&B entertained on the outdoor stage near Mitchell’s Fish Market, including AfroLouis, Nia Primm and the headliner of the event, Old Skool, which attracted a crowd of dancers. The stage found inside the mall entrance, known as the chill zone, featured other activities such as a dance performance by Daughters of Nia, Zumba and line dancing.
“I was just elated,” Mayor Ben Holbert said. “We had a significant turnout, people really enjoyed it and they’re looking forward to next year. There was entertainment for kids of all ages and it was a fantastic event.”
On the other side of Citizens Bank, families found Kids Village, which offered face painting earlier in the afternoon. Jamal West, 34, of Bedford brought his family to the festival for a day of fun for everyone. His wife, Tisha, 34, along with their two daughters, Jade, 6, and Sole, 13, said that the food trucks were their favorite part of the festival. Mr. West also said that the kids had fun in the video game truck. 2Fly Mobile Games brought a truck with video games inside, attracting many kids at the festival.
Kelly Foust of Beachwood brought her twin niece and nephew and her grandson to the festival to enjoy the beautiful weather and the bands.
“We like the live entertainment,” Ms. Foust said. Ashlyn and Ashton, both 13, of South Euclid played basketball at the festival with Ms. Foust’s grandson, Brandon, 7, of Lyndhurst. Other kids also slid down an inflatable slide in Kids Village. The village brought a fire truck, ambulance and police cruiser for kids to explore, as well.
Taza, the Lebanese restaurant at Eton, offered a food tasting and adult beverages during the festival. The Apple store sponsored a tutorial for the app GarageBand and taught the kids how to make beats, drum patterns and soundscapes.
“It was wonderful,” Vicki Dansby of Imagine That Entertainment and Event Management said. “People said that the festival was a great idea, it had good timing and it was good to have programs outside and inside.”
Various vendors had tables at the festival, including Calhoun Funeral Home, Bahama Breeze and SAFY of Cleveland, a youth organization in Shaker Heights. Food trucks lined the parking lots, and people munched on food from Kimmy’s Kitchen, Dave’s Place, CJ’s Famous Angus, Rose’s Braai and more.
Inside the mall, FLOH Vodka offered a cocktail to commemorate Woodmere’s 75th anniversary. Ms. Dansby said that the cocktail was named “A diamond in the rough” after the village. She added that the crowd was more diverse than last year and truly represented the residents of Woodmere. Officer Christopher Dotson and Revan, the K-9 officer, also came to visit the crowd.
Mayor Holbert said that he hopes the festival was successful for Woodmere’s businesses, noting that the food trucks ran out of food.
“We’re excited that we were able to make the cash registers ring for the vendors and those businesses inside of Eton,” he said. “We’re hoping people who weren’t aware of the businesses inside the mall are aware now and will make those businesses part of their buying habits.”
Council set aside $20,000 for the music festival and the total cost was near $24,000, according to Ms. Dansby. She found various sponsors for the event, including Corporate Vision League, Chagrin Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council. Some products and services were traded, for example, Beachwood Transportation was a sponsor and provided a shuttle to the festival. Ms. Dansby said that some money will be returned to Woodmere’s general fund but is not sure of the amount yet.