So this weekend I had the pleasure of attending, my first, but The 2nd Annual Fresh Fest. Here are my Top 5 Reasons for why I loved it and why everyone in Cleveland should go next year!
- THE LOCATION: Seriously, who knew in the middle of Cleveland on Kinsman, was 3 acres of land reclaimed for growing fruits and vegetables, farming fish, creating soil from what others throw away and more! The event is hosted on one of the largest and most popular urban farms in Cleveland, Rid-All Farm and Otter Park occupy 26.5 acres of previously vacant and re-purposed land in Cleveland’s Kinsman neighborhood. I had never been and had no idea it was even here. Just coming to the location was a treat! Not to mention, Lolly the Trolly provided rides from various parking lots to the actual farm. While the kids loovvvvved the windowless ride, it was such a fun experience for everyone.
- THE FOOD: In my Cardi B voice… FRESH, FRESH, FRESH, FRESH, FRESH ! From the farm to the table as they say. Not only were there local food trucks and vendors, but there were healthy food tastings and demonstrations. I had to pleasure of eating food from Erich Hooper, who was named one of Cleveland’s Most Interesting People of 2019. He is one of Cleveland’s original urban farmers, using his nearly 1-acre farm in Tremont to grow delicious crops and teach visitors the life skills they need to succeed. I also I had the chance to try MoBites Vegan food truck and I can’t wait to support them again! I had the vegan chicken over rice and it was simply amazing – I honestly could not tell it was vegan. It changed my mentality of what “vegan tastes like” I should’ve known, the line was long the entire day until they sold out!
- THE ACTIVITIES AND ART: There was sooo much for the kids to do! I brought my son Bryce (age 3) and my friend Jazmine and her two sons (Caleb 6 and Jaxon 2). I didn’t know this, but there was a basketball tournament in the morning, something my oldest boys would’ve enjoyed, the afternoon was was planned by by Recess Cleveland. This was my first time hearing about this company but they aim to increase public participation, stimulate emotional growth, and promote physical activity by throwing pop up recess events in areas lacking positive environments for recreation. On the court they organized roller skating, dodgeball and more, on the playground was hopscotch, jump rope, hula hoops and tons of other games kids usually play at recess. It was enough to keep the kids busy for hours and they were engaged and having a good time. Not too far away was face painting where Caleb had his face painted into a ninja! Another cool thing that I loved for the kids was the ART! There was art every where! I mean there was even live paintings and multiple installations for the kids to take pictures with. See the picture above for my favorite above with them in the boombox!
- THE LIVE MUSIC: There was live music all day! If you know me, you know I LOVEEEE live music! So lucky me, I was able to hear whoever was performing no matter where I was on the farm or playground. It was the perfect backdrop for our day of exploration. Did I mention there were tons of local talent and the infamous Carlos Jones and The P.L.U.S. band performed! I literally found myself stopping and singing multiple times. Did I mention I got to meet the legendary Biz Markie during the VIP Meet & Greet? and he closed the event performing on stage! Needless to say, the music was great!
- EVERYTHING LOCAL: I loved this event because there were so many opportunities to support local entrepreneurs! There were soooo many local businesses selling jewelry, clothing, art and more! Not to mention local beer from Platform and wine from Chateau Hough! I felt at every corner, no matter what I received/purchased – I was supporting a local entrepreneur and that was a great.
What I’m sad I missed: The Farmer’s Market, everything by the Tee Pee (yes there was a real tee pee) and all of the health and wellness programs. When you have kids with you, you’re pretty limited how long you can sit or stand in one place so that was the only downside for me. I couldn’t enjoy the Meditation or Sound Healing that was taking place, nor did I make it to the presentations about Holistic Healthy, Medical Marijuana, or Veganism. There was so much being taught and so much to learn, I regret I was able to take it all in! I also missed the hand massages and yoga! Both of which looked to be a good time.
At the end of the day, this was a wonderful community event and I hope more people attend next year. It’s literally fun and education for the entire family.
*In exchange for promoting this event, I received free VIP passes to the Meet and Greet with Biz Markie.