October in Cleveland has something for everyone
by TOM ROWLAND, Cleveland Mayor
Sep 27, 2012 | 908 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The month of October is shaping up to be a busy one in Cleveland and Bradley County as the community gears up for some really great events.

There’s no excuse for anyone to get bored this October because we have events to appeal to young and old alike. There’s no better time than autumn to enjoy the outdoors and take part in some events planned for fun and entertainment.

The month begins with the annual Nillie Bipper Arts & Craft Festival in a two-day event at Tri State Exhibition Center. The event is a juried fine art and crafts show with entertainment, food booths and children’s activities, all sponsored by the Cleveland Creative Arts Guild. It honors an artistic genius in this community named Billie Nipper and is a tradition that spans over four decades. The two-day event is Oct. 6-7 at Tri State Exhibition Center.

The first Saturday of the month also features the annual Walk for Life for the New Hope Pregnancy Center. On Oct. 6, the walk begins at Cleveland High School and is designed as a 1.7-mile walk for all ages. Donations help New Hope in its mission to provide pregnancy tests, peer counseling, parenting classes, a 24-hour hotline for emergencies and much more.

Also on Oct. 6, a Chili Cook-Off features competition among area emergency services personnel. The event benefits Relay for Life and will be a competition whereby someone will take home the Chili Cook-Off Championship trophy. Someone will also claim the People’s Choice Award. It’s a good opportunity to taste-test chili and at the same time give money toward our annual Relay for Life to benefit the fight against the dread disease of cancer. Chili Cook-Off begins at 11 a.m. and will run until 3 p.m. at Bradley Square Mall. Ticket purchases enable the buyer to eat chili and cast a People’s Choice Vote for their favorite. Then it’s up to the judges to pick the championship recipe!

Just a few days later, on Oct. 19, the much anticipated hometown rivalry football game between Cleveland and Bradley Central will be held on the Bradley field.

It is a festive week of friendly competition and it generates a lot of conversation from the old timers, or should I say alumni? It’s always great when we see the Bears and Raiders run onto the field for this annual game night.

On the following day, Oct. 20, a weekend of fun and food takes place downtown for the 2012 Cleveland Apple Festival. This event has become a national event, bringing tourists into the city streets to buy apples and taste the treats that range from apple fritters and fried apple pies to caramel apples. And that’s only a few of the treats in store.

Also on this day, the 40 & 8 Society will inaugurate their first ever Pumpkin Run on the Cleveland/Bradley Greenway system. Rick Williams heads the event and it’s destined to become a fall tradition as well. Since this is the weekend of the big UT Vols vs. Alabama Crimson Tide football game, a special Big Orange and Crimson autumn event is also being staged at Spring Creek Town Center for Oct. 18, 19 and 20. The Center is located on 25th St./APD 40 in walking distance of downtown. This three-day event rounds out the weekend to offer a varied series of activities with something for everyone.

The final MainStreet Cruise-In of the season will be held on Oct. 27. Our city streets will be filled with vintage cars and enthusiasts from all over the country. Each and every cruise-in just keeps getting better. It has become an auto lovers’ weekend and the range of vehicles on display continues to grow with each season.

The month of October ends with the grand finale which is our annual MainStreet Halloween Block Party. This year is indeed special! It marks the 25th anniversary.

It doesn’t seem possible that this event has been going on for a quarter of a century. For those of us who were there for the very first, it is truly a remarkable feat.

It has come a long way since its beginning. What began as a simple gesture of handing out candy to youngsters has evolved into a full-blown production with games, prizes, food, costumes, music and more! It has literally put Cleveland on the map and brings people from miles around to visit our downtown and enjoy the family-oriented night of fun.

It’s a time when our historic Centenary Avenue rekindles the “Tall Betsy” folklore and her image appears on the street and towers above the city atop the historic Craigmiles Opera House.

She can also be seen at the Museum Center at Five Points which brings her story to life with annual storytelling.

Most of the events in October will take place in downtown Cleveland and many are planned and implemented through MainStreet Cleveland. Literally thousands of volunteers make all these events happen.

It’s great to show off our historic downtown with its well-kept streets and landscape, our preserved historical buildings and unique business district.

The long-awaited fall season is finally upon us. And October in Cleveland promises, as always, to be one of fun, food, fellowship, entertainment and excitement!

Mark your calendar now and plan to attend some of these festive fall events in this great City With Spirit!