Saturday May 19th & Sunday May 20th, 2012 (noon until dusk)
The Hessler Street Fair History
The Hessler Neighborhood Association (HNA) was started in the 60′s to
raise funds for housing renovation and to promote activities enhancing
the social and architectural value of Hessler Road.
The Hessler Street Fair started as an annual block party and evolved in 1969 into a street festival. University Circle Inc.
(UCI), an umbrella organization supporting the cultural and educational
institutions in the area, wanted to bulldoze the Hessler Road houses to
build student dormitories and parking lots. It was through the efforts
of the Neighborhood Association, funded by the early Street Fairs, that
Hessler Road was dedicated as a Landmark District in November of 1975 by
the City of Cleveland.
In 1976 Hessler residents participated in rent strikes to force UCI to
make needed repairs on the homes it owned on the street.
Subsequently, the Hessler Housing Cooperative was formed when UCI
sold some of these properties. These events have helped to ensure the
survival of Hessler Road as a residential neighborhood.
the mid-Eighties many of the original founders of the Neighborhood
Association had moved on with their lives. Eventually there were too few
people who wanted to organize such a large public event, and the
Hessler Street Fairs ceased. The last of the original Fairs was held in
For the next decade, the Hessler Street Fair would be
fondly recalled by the people who had attended. They remembered the Fair
for its good art, good music, good food, and “good vibes”.
Thus in 1995, partly out of nostalgia and partly to
once again raise funds for the Neighborhood Association, a small group
of past and present Hessler residents got together to resurrect the
Fair. With a new crew of volunteers to help organize it, the rejuvenated
Hessler Street Fair attracts an estimated 10,000 people each year to
sample its offering of music arts, crafts and food. The Street Fair
strives to promote a spirit of togetherness, community awareness, and
Hessler Street Fair has once again become an annual spring tradition in
Cleveland. The Fair raises funds to preserve and maintain the
neighborhood and welcomes other local non-profits to participate and
raise funds for their causes. The Hessler Street Fair remains a live
event and festival of arts, crafts, food and music, welcoming thousands
of visitors every year from all over Ohio and beyond to our corner of
the world each spring.
The 2012 Hessler Street Fair will be held on Saturday and Sunday, May 19th and 20th, from noon until dusk.