One World Day Cleveland Cultural Gardens August 27, 2023
The 77th annual One World Day broke records for attendance and participation. Cleveland Police estimated that over 50,000 people attended at some point during the day. One World Day has been the official event of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation since 1946.
The Naturalization Ceremony where 25 new citizens (from about 20 countries) were sworn in brought many to tears. New citizens were so proud and happy and shared their joy with family members.
The Parade of Flags was also a record breaker. Over 1500 marchers from 53 heritages marched in colorful costumes carrying flags. In a sign of unity, the MCs for the Parade were from the 4 major TV stations in Cleveland: Danielle Wiggins from WKYC. Kelly Dobeck from WOIO. Nadeen Abusada from WEWS and Tino Bovenzi from Fox 8 TV.
Parade of Flags MCs
Danielle Wiggins, Nadeen Abusada Kelly Dobeck and Tino Bovenzi
Media coverage was local, regional, national and even international with Middle East News, TV Asia and more on site.
Dr. Wael Khoury being interviewed by Nadeen Abusada in the Syrian Cultural Garden
The Cleveland Police Color Guard led off the parade followed by students from the CMSD John F Kennedy High School ROTC carrying the One World Day banner.
Cleveland Police Color Guard
Students carrying the One World Day banner
The Grand Marshall was Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne who walked with Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation President Dr. Wael Khoury.
Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne with Cultural Gardens Federation President Dr. Wael Khoury
This is the order of the units in the Parade: Native American, British, Pakistani, Dominican, Estonian, Irish, Finnish, Greek, Mexican, Croatian, Czech, Italian, Slovenian, Ukrainian, Lebanese, Uzbek, Colombian, French, Albanian, Brazilian, Hebrew, Vietnamese, Swiss, Turkish, Serbian, Moroccan, Syrian, Korean, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Azerbaijani, Iranian, African-American, Filipino, Ethiopian, Bangladeshi, German, Indian, Scottish, Latvian, Chinese, Hungarian, Peruvian, Lithuanian, Armenian, Haitian, Slovak, Carpatho-Rusyn, Kazakh, Puerto Rican and Palestinian.
Watch the video of the 2023 Parade of Flags
After the Parade, a brief welcoming ceremony took place with the singing of the antion anthem and remarks from Garden and Civic leaders.
National Anthem at One World Day
Dr. Wael Khoury
Efforts were made to attract visitors to some of the new gardens (French, Uzbek, Colombian Ethiopian, Egyptian, etc.) toward the south end of MLK with the placement of the popular Children's Village located there. Adults relaxed at 3 beer gardens spread out in the German, Irish and Serbian gardens. Many gardens had their own food, beverages and desserts available and there were lots of food trucks. Ethnic shopping was available in three market places.
Kids of all ages visited the 40 gardens that participated in the Passport program and learned about the country or completed a task before getting their passports stamped and turning them in for prizes.
Thousands watched ethnic and cultural performances on the main stage at the Centennial Peace Plaza but also in most of the Gardens.
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