Art in the Square and the Highland Square Porch Rokr Festival join forces in a combined event this Saturday, Oct. 12, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Organized by the Highland Square Neighborhood Association, this free event celebrates the music, art, and neighborhood charm of Highland Square in Akron.
The event includes 120 music and performance acts, which will appear on more than 50 porches, setting a record for the most musical acts at a free festival in Akron. From folk and blues to reggae, rock, R&B, funk, classical, jazz, Americana, and more, visitors will be treated to an incredible diversity of music in the heart of one of Akron's most eclectic neighborhoods.
More than 140 artists and exhibitors will appear in lots and yards along West Market Street and South Portage Path. Food trucks and vendors will be spread throughout the event for easy access to some of the area's best eats, including Swenson's, Mustard Seed Market, Pierogies of Cleveland and Gyro Bob's Street Sensations, among others.
Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic and Mustard Seed Market family owners Phillip Nabors, Margaret Nabors, Abraham Nabors and Gabriel Nabors, shoveled dirt to mark the start of the construction of the Mustard Seed Market at Highland Square. The new grocery destination will be a two-story, 23,000 square-foot grocery store, with a second floor terrace and restaurant, and is expected to be completed by Fall, 2014.
The Mustard Seed Market was first opened on April 1, 1981, at 1392 N. Portage Path, in "the valley." Currently, there are two other Mustard Seed Market grocery stores in Northeast Ohio, both owned by Nabors. One is located in Montrose, the other in Solon. The stores are known for their high-quality food, including fresh, whole natural foods.
"Our whole family really cares about the well-being of our community," noted patriarch Phillip Nabors. "Being able to bring our distinctive grocery store to the Highland Square neighborhood not only brings us joy, but furthers our commitment and dedication to the community. Our hope is to hire locally for the many positions that will be available in the near future."
Highland Square is known for its energetic arts and culture vibe, and now with the city of Akron's support, the annual Square Fest event will secure its place in the neighborhood.
"We know the festival is going to be part of this community every year," Brian Feltner, an organizer of the annual event, said of the city's ramped up support.
Presented by Mustard Seed and the city of Akron, Square Fest takes place this Saturday, Aug. 31, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and showcases the diverse Highland Square neighborhood, from artists and musicians to food and children's activities. The free event will take place in the heart of Highland Square on West Market Street between Portage Path and Casterton Avenue. Parking is available nearby and free lots are provided.
The West Hill Neighborhood Organization (WHNO) and Akron Digital Media Center (ADMC) announce their second annual free outdoor movie night on Saturday, Sept. 14, in the historic Glendale Cemetery near downtown Akron. The event is made possible by the generous support of PNC Bank and WHNO. In kind support is provided by the city of Akron, ADMC and Glendale Cemetery.
The selected film will be the highly quotable fairy tale comedy "The Princess Bride," preceded by audience storytelling around the theme "Real Life Heroes." Visitors are encouraged to picnic on the Great Meadow and are welcome to bring their own low chairs, blankets and flashlights, along with a story about real life heroes to share with audience members. Popcorn, snacks and soft drinks will be sold with proceeds to benefit WHNO.
Parking will be available outside the main gate in the new city parking lot on Glendale Avenue and across the street from the West entrance at January Paint & Wallpaper, 394 W. Exchange St. Gates will open at 7 p.m. and trolleys provided by the city of Akron will run on a loop between the main gate and the meadow until 8:30 p.m. and then resume following the movie. The Civil War Memorial Chapel will be open for visitors prior to the film.
When the Valor Home program for homeless veterans began receiving a surplus of clothing donations, Therapeutic Director David Peacock decided to convert the excess into other resources for these veterans. The nonprofit has opened a thrift store in Highland Square, with the help of American Legion Post 19, and the proceeds will go toward purchasing homes for veterans facing homelessness.
The store -- located at 741 West Market St., in the lower level behind Two Turtles Pet Center -- is open every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will sell clothing, along with featuring veterans' artwork and information about the organization and how community members may contribute.
"This is a great resource," said Peacock. "If I could sell these clothes and turn them into money, we can purchase homes in Akron and in effect create a veterans' village, not just for these guys but for female veterans and their children, because they're the largest population (of homeless veterans in need)." The American Legion Post 19 has put up the seed money and will operate the store, which Peacock said will serve as a thrift store, art gallery and resource center for the program, which delivers an array of services for veterans in need.
A group of concerned Highland Square residents protesting a new development have used their power of organizing to reach the attention of city officials and the developers.
The owners of the property just off West Market Street have agreed to revisit their site plans in order to possibly incorporate an old growth ash tree into the development, according to a group that's banded together to save the tree and express its concern over the building plans. The residents set up camp next to the ash tree a little more than a week ago after other trees on the development site were cut down. Along with saving the tree, the residents also are concerned about noise, safety and the close proximity of the proposed bars to neighboring houses.
After a local outpouring last Friday, City Council has decided to revisit the plans, according to the group, also known as "Save Our Big Ash Tree." A mockup of the development plans with the ash tree and two trees at the south of the building preserved are posted on the group's Facebook page.
Since last weekend, Highland Square residents have gathered around an historic ash tree to stop it from being removed, but the issue has become about much more than a tree.
Hundreds of community members have come out to stay with the tree -- some up in the branches, others around its perimeter -- taking rotating shifts day and night, said Julie Farris, one of the residents at the forefront of this effort.
She said when concerned residents first came out to protect the tree, they realized there were larger issues at play. "We just wanted to come out and save this old tree, then we learned that the place involved putting in an alleyway, putting in a large building that will include three bars, and a back patio where the sound is going to carry into the neighborhood."
The seed was planted a few years ago by a long-time Highland Square resident, Sharon Lorentzen, who was taken with a musical event in Larchmere, a neighborhood near Cleveland's Shaker Square.
Now, thanks to the Highland Square Neighborhood Association and countless volunteers, this vision will play out in the Square's first-ever Porch Rokr Festival.
Rokr will roll out eight hours of free music to locals and beyond on Saturday, June 8, from noon to 8 p.m. — rain or shine. Musical groups, soloists, choirs and ensembles will offer an incredibly eclectic range of music including gospel, jazz and hip-hop to reggae, blue and classical.
Local News from Ohio.com
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