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5 Northeast Ohio Arts And Culture Events Around Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving turkey and pumpkin on table

Thanksgiving Day is just around the corner. Here is a sampling of things happening around Northeast Ohio for celebrating this time of year.


 [Stuart Pearl Photography 2018/Cleveland Metroparks]

First People Day

Cleveland Metroparks Rocky River Reservation

Rocky River Nature Center

24000 Valley Parkway, North Olmstead

November 16, 10:00 a.m-4:00 p.m.

During First People Day Cleveland Metroparks staff, local scholars and members of the Lake Erie Native American Council will lead hikes, give demonstrations and talk about the history of Native Americans in Northeast Ohio.  Activities will include a river blessing, flute carving, Native dance performances and more. There will also be a children’s story time and a discussion about Native American visibility and representation in science and technology.

Chef Eric Wells [Eric Wells]

Cooking a Southern Thanksgiving with Chef Eric Wells

Cornucopia Place

7201 Kinsman Rd., Suite 1003, Cleveland

November 22, 7:30 p.m.

While turkey is at the center of most Thanksgiving tables, methods of preparation and what is served alongside the bird varies from region to region. Award-winning chef Eric Wells shares culinary techniques and methods as he prepares a Southern-style Thanksgiving, which will include deep fried turkey, pork tenderloin with Dijon cream sauce, cornbread dressing and more.

The Arts of Thanksgiving

B’Nai Jeshurun Congregation

27501 Fairmount Blvd., Pepper Pike

November 25, 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

The Arts of Thanksgiving is a free event bringing together visual and performing artists from various faiths and cultural backgrounds who celebrate the rich diversity of our region through their art. Among the artists scheduled to appear are American Indian Movement of Ohio, Dance Israeli, Communion of Saints Seraphim Children’s Choir and Yin Tang.

Accordion jam sessions are a special feature of the annual Thanksgiving Polka Weekend [National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame]

Thanksgiving Polka Party Weekend

Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Tower

1360 West Mall Dr., Cleveland

November 28-30

When dinner is over, it’s time to dance the calories away.  The National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum presents the 56th Annual Thanksgiving Polka Party Weekend. Starting Thanksgiving evening and running through Saturday, November 30, bands from the United States and Canada will play Cleveland-Style and Slovenian-Style polkas. A Friday evening button-box jam session will feature 50 accordions on the main stage. Saturday will include the Polka Hall of Fame Music Awards Show. There will also be a tribute to the late Tony Petkovsek, who hosted the festival since 1963. 

[Aerial Agents/Downtown Cleveland Alliance]

Winterfest Tree Lighting and Holiday Festival

Downtown Cleveland (including Public Square, Playhouse Square and Cleveland Public Library)

Saturday November 30, 1:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

As the Thanksgiving holiday weekend winds down, look ahead to celebrating all winter has to offer with Winterfest. The day-long event takes place at various locations throughout downtown Cleveland. There will be a skating rink in Public Square. The Cleveland Playhouse Festival of Trees features dozens of trees on view in Playhouse Square’s Allen Theatre Complex. The Ritz-Carlton in The Arcade will have a Gingerbread House. The Winterfest Workshop Wonderland offers craft projects for all ages in Tower City Center. Winterfest culminates with the Tree Lighting Ceremony on Public’s Square’s Main Stage at 6:00 p.m.