For one July Saturday each summer, a transformation takes place in Downtown Lakewood. Detroit Avenue ceases to serve as a bustling main street, undergoing a conversion into an urban playground for families, friends, festival-goers, runners, beer enthusiasts and music lovers alike to celebrate a city’s vibrancy.
Lakewood Summer Meltdown 2018 – sponsored by Melt Bar and Grilled and presented by LakewoodAlive – attracted an estimated regional crowd of 12,000 to the heart of the city along Detroit Avenue from Marlowe to Mars on Saturday, July 14. Attendees at the ninth annual installment of Lakewood’s summer street fest were not disappointed, as they enjoyed everything from street vendors to road races to a beer garden with live music.
The Summer Meltdown got underway at 4 p.m. with the street festival component, featuring vendor displays from nearly 100 businesses and organizations, including Rally Health, which offered family-friendly games and healthy activities through its #RallyOnTheRoad tour. Meanwhile, the eastern end of the Summer Meltdown featured the skate park sponsored by West Side Skates and the ever-popular “Water Moose” sprinkler park.
Lakewood native Michael Gill constructed the initial version of his Water Moose sprinkler park eight years ago with assistance from Lakewood Hardware. This web of sprinklers connected to a fire hydrant has developed into a fan favorite at the Summer Meltdown, inducing shrieks of delight from wet, yet happy children.
The One Mile Kids Fun Run – sponsored by Lakewood Family YMCA – once again proved to be a highlight of the Summer Meltdown. Nearly 100 children (some accompanied by parents) participated in this out-and-back race up Belle Avenue, with some holding hands as they crossed the finish line.
The Meltdown 5K sponsored by Cleveland Clinic Lakewood Family Health Center saw nearly 400 runners take off along a fast course through the neighborhoods east of Lakewood Park. Runners braved the heat, caught glimpses of Lake Erie and, in some cases, set personal-best race times. Mark Grogan and Sarah Horbol placed first among male and female participants, respectively. For Sarah, winner of the 2018 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, it marks her fifth consecutive Meltdown 5K title. Sarah served as Master of Ceremony by passing our top-finisher awards at the Race Results Tent sponsored by The Exchange.
Back for its second year, the Summer Meltdown Bike Raffle resulted in two lucky contestants winning Cannondale Quick 5 Disc bicycles courtesy of Beat Cycles. The raffle winners were drawn on stage near the end of the festivities, culminating a raffle that began in mid-June through ticket sales online and at Beat Cycles.
Sponsored by First Federal Lakewood, the Gary K. Bish Memorial Beer Garden drew upwards of 2,000 attendees to enjoy craft beers like the Summer Meltdown Ale from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company. Beer enthusiasts complemented their beverages with cuisine from food vendors and local restaurants.
Crowd-pleasing band Front Porch Lights capped the evening with an energized performance on the Meltdown Stage sponsored by The Exchange, The Ferry Cap and Set Screw Company and Textbook Painting. Led by frontman Conor Standish, the band delighted the large crowd with a mix of rock, alternative, indie and cover songs. Following loud applause, Standish exclaimed to the crowd, “Thank you so much, Lakewood, we love this city!”
LakewoodAlive thanks its sponsors, its volunteers, the City of Lakewood, the Lakewood Police and Fire Departments and all participants and attendees for making Lakewood Summer Meltdown 2018 a tremendous success. A special thank you goes out to the 50 fraternity brothers representing Phi Kappa Tau who helped with event setup and beautification efforts in Downtown Lakewood.
“This community event would not be possible without the support of our city, our generous sponsors and our contingency of nearly 100 volunteers who helped us bring approximately 12,000 people to Downtown Lakewood,” said Ian Andrews, Executive Director of LakewoodAlive. “Each year our Summer Meltdown gets better and we’re proud of the role this event plays in upholding our mission to foster and sustain vibrant neighborhoods in Lakewood.”
For more information regarding Lakewood Summer Meltdown 2018, please visit LakewoodAlive.org/Meltdown.
The Lakewood Summer Meltdown is generously supported by the following sponsors:
Melt Bar and Grilled
Meltdown 5K Sponsor:
Cleveland Clinic Lakewood Family Health Center
1 Mile Kids Fun Run Sponsor:
Lakewood Family YMCA
Eric Lowrey, Berkshire Hathaway/Lucien Realty
Silver Medal Sponsors:
The Ferry Cap and Set Screw Company
Jen Hearn Photography
Lakewood City Schools Community Recreation & Education Department
State Farm, Stacey Caskey-Coblentz
West Side Skates