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5 things you didn't know about the Cleveland Kurentovanje Festival

Posted at 4:35 PM, Feb 21, 2017

Cleveland's historic St. Clair-Superior neighborhood has deep roots in Slovenian heritage and culture. The Kurentovanje festival started in Ptuj, Slovenia in 1950 and in 2013 a local group of Slovenian-Americans organized the first Cleveland Kurentovanje as a way to celebrate Slovenian heritage and the Mardi Gras season. 

1. The event is named after the most well-known carnival masks called “Kurent". Kurentovanje was transformed into an event of ethnographic significance, comprised of the unique carnival figures and habits from the Ptuj region and traditional Slovene masks.

2. Last year, the festival attracted over 7,000 people. Each Kurent costume costs up to $2,000 each. Traditionally, the costumes were only worn by unmarried men, but nowadays men, women, and children can wear the furry costume.

3. The parade is on Saturday, February 25 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. It will start at The Slovenian National Home with games for children and vendors for shopping. At 12 p.m. the parade kicks off at Sterle's County House/ Goldhorn Brewery and will proceed down E. 55th to St. Clair Avenue.

4. First Annual Kurentovanje Bocce Tournament at the Slovenian National Home will start at 9 a.m.

5. The Kurent Jump will take place on Friday, February 24 from 6-9 p.m. at the Goldhorn Brewery. It will be the first time the Kurents are seen out in public. Traditionally the Kurents dance around a fire ringing bells to ward off winter.

To check out more details of the four-day festival go to Kurentovanje Cleveland