Kurentovanje Parade East 60's - Lausche and St Clair February 23, 2013
Cleveland's first annual version of the most popular carnival in Slovenia - Kurentovanje - began with a parade. The units assembled near St. Vitus Church on Lausche Ave.
They marched down Lausche to East 60th and then up to the Slovenian National Home on St. Clair.
Before the parade, Consul General of the Republic of Slovenia Jure Zmauc told about the special relationship between Slovenia and Cleveland.
Kurentovanje is a cultural event which connects ethnology, culture, arts, and people from all over Europe. It has been celebrated in Slovenia for the past 50 years. The central figure of the carnival, the Kurent, is believed to chase away winter and usher in spring with its supernatural powers.
Kurenti at Cleveland's Kurentovanje
Kurent with Councilman Joe Cimperman and daughter
As the parade units lined up, a band played Slovenian music and even got the Consul General to sing along.
The horses from the Cleveland Mounted Police Department were understandably skittish around the Kurenti, so they began the parade far in advance of the creatures.
The Kurenti were followed by young ladies in traditional Slovenian costumes passing out candy to the crowds.
Kurentovanje has a Mardi Gras feel so many participants wore masks to help scare away winter.
The rhythm of the parade was provided by the Drum Line and Pop Pom units of St. Martin de Porres school.
Drum Line of St. Martin de Porres school
Marching unit from St. Martin de Porres school
Pom Pom unit from St. Martin de Porres school
The main float of the parade included the band playing Slovenian favorites as well Nika, Princess of Kurentovanje.
Nika, Princess of Kurentovanje
Councilman Joe Cimperman danced on the float
Kurentovanje Parade watchers
The end of the parade included more Kurenti as well as a devil. Hopefully they scared away Winter and Spring will come soon.
Enjoy this video of highlights from the Kurentovanje Parade in Cleveland.
When the parade arrived at the Slovenian National Home on St. Clair, there was dancing in the street before the crowds moved inside for more entertainment, vendors and food and drink.