CLEVELAND — Labor Day weekend doesn’t just mean the end of summer. It’s also the start of fall festival season. This year’s fall won’t look like any other we’ve experienced, but several venues have come up with creative ways to keep the festive spirit alive, and safe. Here’s a look at some fall fun, and lots of flavor, heading our way:
St. Rocco Festival, 3205 Fulton Road, 216-961-8331: The largest Italian fest on the west side is going drive-thru this year. The 106th Feast of St. Rocco will take place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. September 4 - 7. They will be serving their famous sausage sandwiches, meatballs, cannoli, lasagna, spaghetti, limoncello cake — and, of course, their beloved zeppoli (fried dough balls covered in powdered sugar.
Polish Fest, St. Mary Polish National Catholic Church, 4375 Broadview Road, Parma, 216-661-9246: Drive through for some Polish treats from 4 - 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4 and Saturday, Sept. 5. Options include golubki platters, pierogi platters and kielbasa sandwiches.
Sausage and Cavatelli Fest, Southwest Italian-American Club, 7510 Snow Road, 216-401-1245; Don’t work in the kitchen this Labor Day weekend. Drive through the fest at this west side club, where they’ll be serving, you guessed it, sausage and cavatelli from 4 - 8 p.m. Friday - Sunday and 2 - 6 p.m. Monday.
Tricks and Treats Fall Fest, Cedar Point, https://www.cedarpoint.com/play/events/tricks-and-treats-fall-fest: Family-friendly event with food, entertainment, trick-or-treating and other activities. Replaces Halloweekends for 2020. Kids are also encouraged to wear costumes. Saturdays and Sundays, Sept. 12 - Nov. 1.
Sparx in the City, www.sparxcle.com: The annual Sparx in the City all-city arts festival has been re-imagined for the COVID-19 era. The 18th annual Sparx will be held Friday, Sept. 11 and Saturday, Sept. 12 this year, with mostly virtual and a few socially distant experiences. Events include virtual gallery tours, unplugged musical and spoken word performances, interactive maker sessions, self-guided tours and more. For a full list see: SparxCLE.com.
Mapleside Farms, 294 Pearl Road, Brunswick, https://mapleside.com/fall: The bucolic Brunswick apple farm will host its annual multi-weekend fall festival with various themes: September 19 and 20 with a Princess and Pirates Weekend (September 19 and 20); the 47th annual Johnny Appleseed Festival (September 26 and 27); Hometown Heroes (October 3 and 4), the Great Pumpkin (October 10 and 11), Superheroes (October 16 - 18), Wild West (October 24 and 25) and Spooky Days (October 31 and November 1). Space limited and timed tickets required; reserve in advance https://mapleside.com/fall
Patterson Fruit Farm, 11414 Caves Rd., Chesterland, https://pattersonfarm.com/: Pick your own apples, visit the pumpkin patch, pick up some fresh bakery and more. Apple picking began late August. See https://pattersonfarm.com/ for details on varieties and locations of picking.
St. Gregory of Narek Armenian Church Festival, 678 Richmond Road, Richmond Heights, www.clevelandarmenianfestival.com: Order up some boerag (puff pastry with cheese) or dolma (stuffed grape leaves) and get a taste of one the world’s oldest cultures. The St. Gregory of Narek Armenian Church Festival has gone drive-thru this year. September 18 - 20. See website for more details and ordering info.
Szalay’s Farm and Market, 4563 Riverview Rd., Peninsula, https://szalaysfarm.com: Check out the twisty, three-acre corn maze, shop for pumpkins, gourds, corn stalks, straw bales and more, all while sipping fresh pressed cider. Maze open September 19 - October 31; market currently open.
29th Annual Festival, St. Stanislaus, 3649 East 65th Street, Cleveland, https://www.facebook.com/events/2589916734656686/ : “Saint Stanislaus is innovating for our 29th Annual Polish Festival! COVID-19 may keep us from gathering as we would like this year, it will not keep us from sharing our favorite Polish delicacies and tapping our toes to some polka,” says the website of this historic Slavic Village church. The event on Saturday, Oct. 3 and Sunday, Oct. 4 will include an extensive drive-thru menu — kielbasa, pierogi, golubki, beet salad, poppyseed rolls, cucumber salads and more — and a Saturday night streaming Polka Party with music from Rewind Polka Band. Pre-order at https://stanislaus2020.square.site
National Pierogi Day Drive-Thru, Rudy’s Strudel, 5580 Ridge Road, rudysstrudel.com; Celebrate this Very Important Holiday on Thursday, Oct. 8, at Cleveland’s beloved pierogi shop. Warm prepared pierogi for sale in the parking lot, live music, raffles and a socially distanced pierogi eating contest. 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.