The first thing that comes to my mind are the walking and running events, such as numerous 5-kilometer and 10K races that have raised thousands of dollars for good causes. While these events could happen without our Greenway, the linear park has served as an easy and safe venue for such events as the Heart Walk, Girls on the Run, Walk for Life, Rotary 10K, the Color Run and many others.
There have also been “non-moving” events that have located their events on the Greenway because it is a natural staging area. There is the Great Cleveland Duck Race that took place earlier this year and has become one of the largest summer events in town. While this year the race was a bit “faster” because of the high waters of Mouse Creek, in past years hundreds of people huddled along the Greenway watching the rubber ducks lazily float along between Cooke’s Plaza and the Greenway playground. This year the winners were announced from the brand new pavilion, the first event to be held there when it was completed in mid-June.
For the last two years, the Greenway Public Arts Committee has sponsored “Chalk the Walk,” a communitywide artistic display of chalk art on the Greenway by kids and adults of all ages. For four hours the space between Raider Drive and the playground is packed with would-be artists seeking to “chalk” their way to some prize money. The event raises funds to support art projects on the Greenway.
On Sunday, Sept. 14, from 2 to 4 p.m., GPAC is sponsoring one of the most unique events to come to Cleveland in years. “Waggin’ on the Way” is a dog show and canine circus intended to showcase the skills and talents of local canines and their handlers. It will take place at Raider Drive Park on the Greenway. The pavilion will serve as the registration venue and local dog owners are invited to pay a small $10 fee to enter their dogs in one or more categories, including best costume, best behaved, agility and grooming. There will be an agility course demonstration, as well as a professional nose demonstration. (I have no idea what that is, but I’m eager to find out!)
The point of this column is not necessarily to advertise for events (although you can learn more about the dog show by visiting www.cbcgreenway.com), but to demonstrate the fact that the Greenway does more than provide an exercise venue for walkers, runners and bikers.
On a personal level, there are probably more friendships that have been cultivated because of a safe, worry-free venue for leisurely walks or bike rides. It has inspired creative thinking in fundraisers and community events. It has brought families closer together as they have celebrated birthdays and spent quality time at such sites along the Greenway as the playgrounds and pavilions at Raider Drive and Tinsley parks.
As the Greenway continues to grow and improve, there will be more opportunities for events, gatherings and activities. Everyone’s continued support and participation makes the Greenway — and our community — an even better place to live.