Heights merchants celebrate season with Holiday Stroll

Lolly the Trolley will run between the three districts from 4 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 12. [photo by Gabe Schaffer]

The holiday season is upon us, and three Cleveland Heights shopping districts are planning a celebration. On Saturday, Dec. 12, the Coventry Village, Cedar Lee and Cedar Fairmount business districts will all take part in the second-annual Holiday Stroll.

The stroll will run from noon to 8 p.m., and from 4 to 8 p.m. shoppers can hop on Lolly the Trolley, at designated stops, to travel between the three districts and partake of the activities. All of the neighborhoods will offer shopping deals, plus music, movies and other entertainment. Some bars and restaurants will offer music later in the evening.

In addition, the City of Cleveland Heights will offer free parking at all city parking meters on Dec. 12.

The old Centrum Theater in Coventry Village will show the movie “Elf,” starring Will Ferrell, Bob Newhart, Ed Asner and Zooey Deschanel, at 2 p.m., and the Gateway Heights Church will provide free drinks, popcorn and other snacks during the free movie showing.

“The Santa Clause,” which stars Tim Allen, will be shown at 1 p.m. (free showing) at the Alcazar in the Cedar Fairmount district, and the Cedar Lee Theatre will screen “A Christmas Story” at 10 a.m. ($1 admission). The BottleHouse Brewery on Lee Road will present “The Nightmare Before Christmas” at 8 p.m.

Several of the restaurants and businesses in the Cedar Lee neighborhood will feature live music throughout the day, including the Social Room, Parnell’s Pub and Heights Arts.

A deejay will perform at the BottleHouse Brewery at 9:30 p.m., and the Wine Spot will offer live music after 8 p.m. Classical Revolution Cleveland will perform at the Grog Shop on Coventry, 5:30–6:30 p.m. The group will play music from the Disney movie “Frozen” and from “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

Coventry Village will offer community caroling. “Everyone can participate,” said Angela Hetrick, executive director of the Coventry Village Special Improvement District. “They’re going to be going door-to-door along all of the shops and restaurants on Coventry.” In the Cedar Fairmount district, Cleveland Heights Church Carolers will perform, starting at 2 p.m.

Two of the neighborhoods are featuring “ugly sweater” parties, for those 21 and older. Cedar Lee’s will take place at the BottleHouse Brewery starting at 9:30 p.m., with a prize going to the ugliest sweater with an 1980s theme. Coventry Village will host an “ugly holiday sweater” bar crawl starting at 8 p.m., and most of the bars along the street will offer drink specials.

Some famous and familiar holiday characters will also be coming to town on Dec. 12. Mr. Jingeling—who’s been keeper of the keys to Santa’s workshop since 1956, and is currently portrayed by Cleveland Heights resident Greg Benedetto—will be in the Cedar Lee neighborhood from 5 to 7 p.m. Coventry Claus, the hippie Santa who wears a beret and has a peace sign on his suit, will be in Coventry Village for much of the day.

The Coventry Village district will feature something new this year—a “Coventry cash” machine, 12–4 p.m. Shoppers spin a wheel, which tells them how much time they have to step into the machine and grab as much “cash” as they can. They can use the “cash”—that day only—at any of the participating locations in Coventry Village.

“We’re really excited,” Hetrick said. “This is always a great day in the neighborhood. It’s our way of giving back to the people who love Coventry, and we’re excited to spend another day with all of these families.” Hetrick noted that all of the stores in Coventry Village will have special deals throughout the day, and many will offer treats for the customers.

Kaye Lowe, executive director of the Cedar Fairmount Special Improvement District, said that many of the restaurants and stores in her neighborhood will offer refreshments, coffee and cookies throughout the day. “I think it’s wonderful that there is a collaboration between the three districts that allows visitors to experience the diversity of each district in a holiday atmosphere,” Lowe said. “The collaboration is fantastic.” Lowe added that all of Cedar Fairmount’s stores will be open until 8 p.m. on Dec. 12.

Both the Coventry Village and Cedar Fairmount districts will offer free gift wrapping for shoppers. The Coventry gift-wrapping location had not been determined at press time, but signs will be posted along the street on Dec. 12, informing shoppers where to go. In Cedar Fairmount, members of the Roxboro PTA, who will be accepting donations, will wrap gifts from noon to 4 p.m., at 12433 Cedar Road (the space formerly occupied by Four and Twenty Mercantile). 

Kelley Robinson, executive director of the Cedar Lee Special Improvement District, said she loves the event. “It promotes good cheer in our community,” she said. “People can gather with their friends and family and explore the unique vibe in each of our business districts.”

Many Holiday Stroll details and events were still to come, at press time. For updates, visit the websites of the three participating business districts: www.cedarfairmount.org, www.cedarlee.org and www.coventryvillage.org.

James Henke

James Henke, a Cleveland Heights resident, was a writer and editor at Rolling Stone magazine for 15 years. He is also the author of several books, including biographies of Jim Morrison, John Lennon and Bob Marley. He is on the board of FutureHeights, and is co-chair of the Heights Observer Advisory Committee.

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Volume 8, Issue 12, Posted 9:30 AM, 12.01.2015