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Mike Polk Jr. previews Saturday's Cleveland Pickle Fest

Whether you have a mild pension for pickles or you're a passionate pickle person, your people await you this weekend at Cleveland Pickle Fest!

CLEVELAND — At the risk of briefly interrupting everyone's beloved-but-overplayed pumpkin spice season (basic!), the time has come once again to celebrate the pickle at Cleveland Pickle Fest, which is all happening Saturday at Mall B in Downtown Cleveland.

"We're relishing the opportunity to bring this party back to Downtown Cleveland," event coordinator Jon Kozesky said.

To help prepare you for the event, I chatted with some pickle party purveyors, who told me people flock from far and wide to the fest.

"It has the most avid fan bases," Kozesky added. "People come as far as Canada for the Cleveland Pickle Fest."

Fellow event coordinator Amber Toth told me they'll have pickle beer, 40-plus pickle vendors, and three different bands, not to mention a VIP tent and even a "little gherkins" kid tent. The best part is it all benefits a great cause. 

"This is a great opportunity for us to work with an incredible nonprofit," Kozesky explained. "All the proceeds go to Greater Cleveland Volunteers. You could say that this event is really our bread and butter."

I also procured some provocative pickle points everyone should know:

  • Americans consume about nine pounds of pickles per person every year
  • Drinking pickle juice can help relieve a cramp 37% faster than drinking water
  • Egyptian Queen Cleopatra ate pickles regularly, believing they helped keep her gorgeous
  • The namesake of our country, Italian Explorer Amerigo Vespucci, was primarily a pickle merchant
  • In some parts of the South, pickles soaked in Kool-Aid are a popular concession at fairs and delicatessens (for me, that's a pickle pass)
  • In America, dill pickles are twice as popular as the sweet variety

So whether you have a mild pension for pickles or you're a passionate pickle person, your people await you this weekend at Cleveland Pickle Fest this Saturday, Sept. 17, on Mall B from noon-7 p.m. Admission is only $5, which is a heck of a dill — I mean, deal!

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