For 2019, Cleveland Kurentovanje presents six days of cultural and celebratory events — our longest celebration to date! Here’s a quick summary of events. Scroll down to see more detailed descriptions.

  • Monday, February 25th: Cleveland Kurentovanje presents a multi-course dinner featuring chefs from Slovenia & Cleveland at the Slovenian National Home. The event begins at 7pm and tickets are available for purchase on Eventbrite.

  • Tuesday, February 26th:  The Slovenian Museum and Archives will open an interactive exhibit featuring France Prešeren, who is acknowledged as the greatest Slovene classical poet. The exhibit will focus on the songs and music that were written to utilize Prešeren’s poetry in their lyrics, or otherwise inspired by the famed poet. The exhibit runs from 6:30-9:30pm, and will begin with a short lecture introducing the exhibit. Admission is free and open to the public.

  • Wednesday, February 27th: Celebrate a tradition of Slovenian craft-making, by making your own custom cutting board at Soulcraft CLE, followed by wine and cheese at Skidmark Garage. The event begins at 7pm and tickets are available for purchase on Eventbrite.

  • Thursday, February 28th: Join Slovenian Consul General Mr. Andrej Rode at Slovenian Museum and Archives for an evening of information regarding Slovenian dual citizenship — a living connection to your Slovenian heritage. The presentation will begin at 7pm and admission is free to the public.

  • Friday, March 1st:  The “Kurent Jump” will kick off the weekend festivities in the historic Hermit Club at Hofbräuhaus Cleveland. As the Kurents emerge and start their mission of scaring away winter while revelers will enjoy food, drinks and music. The event begins at 6pm and tickets are available for purchase on Eventbrite.

  • Saturday, March 2nd: The Cleveland Kurentovanje parade and festival will kickoff with a 5k Race at 10am. The day will followed by a parade at Noon, and many musical and cultural performances, authentic food and drink, ice carving demonstrations, kids crafts, face painting, a bocce tournament, and much more! Admission is free and open to the public.

Details of these events are as follows:

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2019, 7PM:
Kurentovanje Multi-Course Dinner

Join us as we kick off a week of Cleveland Kurentovanje celebrations with a special Kurentovanje-inspired dinner presented by chefs from Slovenia and Cleveland. The event will take place at The Slovenian National Home (6417 St. Clair Ave. Cleveland), and will feature a multi-course menu accompanied by two glasses of wine or beer for each ticket-holder.  

Attendees will be seated at communal tables and chefs will present each course with a narration of inspiration and detail. The chefs presenting dishes this night include a trans-Atlantic team comprised of: 

  • Kristjan Erman, Srečko Kunst and Nejc Kunst  - Gostilna Šempeter located in the Štajerska region of Slovenia. Chef Erman and owners Kunst will be coming to Cleveland from the restaurant Gostilna Šempeter whcih features traditional Slovenian food with a modern twist. Gostilna Šempeter is known for it's specialization in "Kopun" - also known as Capon - which are specially raised roosters which are appreciated for their soft white meat. Kopun is a traditional dish with a long history within the Kozjansko area, where Gostilna Šempeter is located.

  • David Kocab - Chef de Cuisine at The Black Pig in Ohio City, Cleveland. Born-and-raised in Cleveland, Chef Kocab attended culinary school in Portland, OR, followed by work in Los Angeles. In Cleveland, David is proud to say has worked for Karen Small at the Flying Fig and Jonathon Sawyer at both The Greenhouse Tavern as well as the former Trentina where he was the CDC. Chef Kocab was named one of StarChef's Rising Star Chefs in 2016 and is a co-host of a food-related talk show called TasteBuds.

Enormous and sincere gratitude to the following organizations which have made this evening possible: SABASPIRIT, OZS, Office for Slovenes Abroad, and The Slovenian Museum and Archives.

Proceeds from this event benefit Cleveland Kurentovanje, and will be used to help offset the cost of this year's festival which spans six consecutive days of programming.

Tickets and Details on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cleveland-kurentovanje-2019-multi-course-dinner-with-chefs-from-cleveland-and-slovenia-tickets-55947182529

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2019, 6:30-9:30PM:
Slovenian Museum & Archives Presents an Exhibit on France Prešeren - Slovenia's Greatest Poet

France Prešeren, widely recognized as the greatest Slovene classical poet, has authored numerous poetic works which are tremendously popular in Slovenian literature, and also wrote the lyrics in the Slovenian National Anthem. The Slovenian Museum and Archives (6407 St. Clair Ave., Cleveland) will open an interactive exhibit featuring music and songs that utilizes France Prešeren’s lyrics, on loan from the Prešeren House (museum) in Kranj, Slovenia. The “Prešeren Room” at the adjoining Slovenian National Home will also be open, and will feature recently discovered manuscripts of Prešeren’s work. The exhibit runs from 6:30-9:30pm, and will begin with a short lecture introducing the exhibit. Light refreshments will be provided and admission is free and open to the public.

The Slovenian Museum and Archives is a non-profit (501c3) organization whose mission is to preserve and share Slovenian ethnic identity and its various migration experiences in a sophisticated, multi-functional and interactive dwelling. SMA provides an educational, cultural and literary resource for families that includes archives, library and museum.

This event is free and open to the public. If you intend to attend, please obtain a free ticket so organizers can prepare the space for the appropriate number of attendees. Attendees without tickets will also be able to gain admission to the event.

Free Tickets & Additional Details on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cleveland-kurentovanje-2019-preseren-slovenias-greatest-poet-an-exhbit-tickets-55161012072

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2019, 7-10PM:
Craft Night: Make Your Own Cutting Board

Join Cleveland Kurentovanje at Soulcraft CLE and Skidmark Garage for a night of woodworking and fun as you create your own unique cutting board. Materials and hands-on instruction will be provided in Soulcraft's woodshop as you construct an individualized, custom cut and sanded board. Afterwards, you'll take new handiwork down to Skidmark Garage's lounge, where you can fill your new board with cheeses, charcuterie, and fruits, and enjoy it with various wines. A great time to mingle, share in your hand crafted creations, and get ready for the Kurent's arrival! 

Soulcraft CLE and Skidmark Garage, are a part of the Hamilton Collaborative that also includes Ingenuity Cleveland, Rust Belt Riders, and other maker-based businesses housed in the historic Osborn Factory.

Tickets & Additional Details on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cleveland-kurentovanje-2019-make-your-own-cutting-board-class-tickets-55031834699

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2019, 7-9PM:
Becoming a Dual Citizen of Slovenia: Connecting your Heritage to Citizenship

Please join Slovenian Consul General Mr. Andrej Rode for an evening of information regarding Slovenian dual citizenship. Slovenian citizenship offers you a living connection to your heritage, and in this presentation, you will learn about eligibility for Slovenian citizenship, the benefits of Slovenian citizenship, and the process of obtaining citizenship. The presentation will be provided in English. Light refreshments will be provided and admission is free and open to the public.

This event is free and open to the public. If you intend to attend, please obtain a free ticket so organizers can prepare the space for the appropriate number of attendees. Attendees without tickets will also be able to gain admission to the event.

Free Tickets & Additional Details on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cleveland-kurentovanje-2019-becoming-a-dual-citizen-of-slovenia-connecting-your-heritage-to-tickets-55082667742

FRIDAY, MARCH 1, 2019, 6-9PM:
Kurent Jump in the historic Hermit Club at Hofbräuhaus Cleveland

The Kurent Jump, on Friday, March 1, 2019 from 6pm – 9pm, will kick off the Cleveland Kurentovanje weekend. Held in the historic Hermit Club at Hofbräuhaus Cleveland (1550 Chester Ave. Cleveland 44114) and hosted by Hofbräuhaus Cleveland, this beautiful Bavarian setting will serve as the perfect location for the Kurent’s arrival.

Kurent Jump is traditionally the first time that the Kurents appear in public, with their bells loudly ringing as they dance around a bonfire, initiating the Kurents' mission of chasing winter to make way for spring. The Kurent Jump is a phenomenon that has emerged in recent times in Slovenia, and this is the fourth year we will hold this event in Cleveland.

In addition to the spectacle of the Kurent Jump, attendees will enjoy:

  • A complimentary beer or glass of wine (cash/ credit card bar all night)

  • Heavy appetizers

  • Live music

Kurent Jump Tickets:

  • Presale Tickets (Exclusively Through Eventbrite - closes at 2/28 at 11:59pm): $27

  • Tickets at the Door - cash only: $30

Thanks to the generosity of Hofbräuhaus Cleveland, proceeds will benefit Cleveland Kurentovanje and help offset the costs of the festival and our expanded event schedule.

Tickets & Additional Details on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cleveland-kurentovanje-2019-kurent-jump-sponsored-by-hofbrauhaus-cleveland-tickets-54878619428

FRIDAY, MARCH 1, 2018 AND SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2019:
Bocce Tournament

Cleveland Kurentovanje in partnership with the Cleveland Bocce Club will be holding the Third Annual Kurentovanje Bocce Tournament at the Slovenian National Home held during the annual Kurentovanje Festival. Bocce teams can sign-up online at https://www.clevelandbocce.com/#tournaments-section or by emailing ClevelandBocceClub@gmail.com.  The Tournament starts on Friday, March 1st at 6pm, and will continue on Saturday, March 2nd, 2019 at 9am. The tournament will be held at the indoor bocce courts in the Slovenian National Home (6409 St Clair Ave, Cleveland, OH 44103).

More details at http://www.clevelandkurentovanje.com/bocce-tournament/

SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2019, 9am-6pm:
Cleveland Kurentovanje 5K Race, Parade & Festival

Get ready to celebrate Kurentovanje with a full day of festivities including a 5k race, parade, musical and cultural performances, lots of food, kids activities, and much more! The event is headquartered at The Slovenian National Home Home (6417 St. Clair Ave. Cleveland) and is free and open to the public. The schedule for the day is as follows:

9am: First Annual Kurent Dash 5K Race registration and packet pickup begins. Register for the race today: https://www.hermescleveland.com/roadracing/events/kurentdash.asp

10am: The First Annual Kurent Dash 5K Race begins!

10am: Doors open at The Slovenian National Home for kids crafting and face-painting in anticipation of the parade, as well as the continuation of Friday night’s Bocce tournament. Food, drinks and shopping will also be available. The children’s craft this year are large paper flowers; children that create their crafts before Noon, can join the parade and march together as a field of spring flowers!

12pm: Parade kicks off traditional Kurentovanje, which will stretch through the neighborhood, departing from Saint Martin de Porres High School gym (E62nd and Lauche Ave), proceeding down St. Clair Ave, and ultimately ending at the Slovenian National Home. The procession will include Kurents, polka and marching bands, dance troupes, and other parading groups. Community organizations and groups of friends/family are encouraged to participate in the parade by signing up at www.ClevelandKurentovanje.com. All visitors are encouraged to dress in costume of any kind to celebrate in the Mardi Gras tradition.

Until 6pm: Party time! Full programming on multiple stages at the Slovenian National Home will be sure to entertain you! Enjoy ethnic food and drinks, free face-painting and crafts for kids, ice carving demonstrations, and multiple stages of musical acts and cultural performances.   Local craftspeople will also be selling homemade edibles and handmade goods.

All attendees are encouraged to dress in costume for this Mardi-Gras masquerade event!

Cleveland Kurentovanje is run by a volunteer steering committee and is supported by in-kind donations and sponsorships from businesses and organizations. Donations of all kinds are accepted through the Slovenian Museum and Archive, the festival’s non-profit fiscal agent.