Cleveland's Croatian community was well-represented at the 77th annual One World Day in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens on August 27, 2023. One World Day has been the official event of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation since 1946. Over 50,000 people visited the gardens on One World Day 2023.
The Croatian community participated in the Parade of Flags which had 1500 people from over 53 countries.
Croatian American Sports Hall of Fame inaugural induction ceremony and dinner
The inaugural class of the Croatian American Sports Hall of Fame on October 16, 2022 at the American Croatian Lodge in Eastlake, Ohio just east of Cleveland.
The first ten honorees are Fred Couples, Helen Crlenkovich, John Havlicek, Mickey Lolich, Roger Maris, Kevin McHale, George Mikan, Mark Pavelich, Joe Sakic, and Joe Stydahar. Long time sports broadcaster, Jerome Jurenovich served as the Master of Ceremonies for this inaugural CAS-HOF induction banquet and ceremony.
Cleveland Junior Tamburitzans at St Elizabeth Hungarian Church
The Cleveland Junior Tamburitzans are a non-profit cultural organization that works to preserve their Croatian heritage through music, song, and dance - taught by professional instructors. The Cleveland Junior Tamburitzans has been active for over 60 years. They performed at the 130th anniversary of St Elizabeth Hungarian Church in Cleveland Ohio.
The Cleveland Cultural Gardens are a chain of over 35 gardens in Cleveland's Rockefeller Park that focus on the heritage of the different groups. The Croatian Cultural Garden has an upper presence on East Blvd. and this lower level on MLK Blvd. Dan Hanson walks through the lower level and talks about the inspiring statue of the Immigrant Mother created by Joseph Turkaly. The Immigrant Mother statue is dedicated to all those women, regardless of nationality, who came her, often with children in tow, to start a new life in America. He also shows the beautiful waterfall cascading from the upper level to the lower.
Croatian Cultural Garden at One World Day 2021
Cleveland's Croatian community was well-represented at the 75th annual One World Day in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens. They marched in the Parade of Flags and attracted thousands of visitors to their 2-story Cultural Garden featuring the Immigrant Mother statue.
Immigrant Mother statue in Croatian Cultural Garden
Croatian Cultural Garden - Sealing Benches from the Island of Brac
Tom Turkaly, Branka Malinar, Katica Kuhar and Mila Mandic worked in the Croatian Cultural Garden on May 22, 2021 to spruce it up for Spring. In addition, they sealed the benches that came from the Croatian island of Brac.
Brac is an island in the Adriatic Sea within Croatia, with an area of 396 square kilometres (153 sq mi), making it the largest island in Dalmatia, and the third largest in the Adriatic.
The Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation hosted the 74th annual One World Day on August 25, 2019. Police estimates say that over 30,000 people visited the Gardens and attended One World Day. There was a lot of activity in the beautiful and historic Croatian Cultural Garden.
The Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation (CCGF) hosted the 73rd annual One World Day on September 16, 2018. A highlight is the Parade of Flags where people in costumes of their heritage carry the flags. The Croatian Garden was well-represented in the Parade.
American Zagreb Junior Tamburitza in the Cleveland Museum of Art
The American Zagreb Junior Tamburitza from the Croatian Heritage Museum & Library in Eastlake Ohio performed traditional Croatian music and dance in traditional Croatian costumes at the Cleveland Museum of Art's International Cleveland Community Day in the Atrium of the museum.
Žumbercani Tamburitzans Orchestra in the Croatian Cultural Garden
The Croatian Heritage Museum & Library hosted a concert of Croatian tamburitza music in the Croatian Cultural Garden on Sunday September 17, 2017. The Žumbercani Tamburitzans Orchestra performed a concert of traditional Croatian tamburitza music.
Žumbercani Tamburitzans Orchestra in Croatian Cultural Garden
The Croatian Heritage Museum & Library in Cleveland (Eastlake) Ohio is committed to the collection and preservation of Croatian history, culture, source materials, and artifacts. Their most recent exhibit is Croatian Folk Art: Lace & Embroidery which runs from March 10 – October 31, 2017.
A celebration of Croatian Tamburitza Music was held in the Croatian Cultural Garden in Cleveland. The Sounds of Croatian Tamburitza Music was sponsored by The American Croatian Lodge, "Kardinal A. Stepinac" featuring Zadnja Stanica.
Croatian Cultural Group Kordun from the Croatian Heritage Museum
The Croatian Cultural Group Kordun from the Croatian Heritage Museum & Library in Eastlake Ohio performed traditional Croatian music and dance in traditional Croatian costumes at the Cleveland Museum of Art's International Cleveland Community Day in the Atrium of the museum.
The Cleveland Food Adventurers Passport event in June 2015 was at the Dubrovnik Garden Restaurant in the Croatian Lodge at 34900 Lakeshore Blvd, Eastlake, OH 44095. People who enjoy trying different foods and learning about different cultures participate in the Food Adventurer's group. The first 50 Passport holders who RSVP'd enjoyed a sumptuous Croatian meal and learned about the country, culture, customs and, of course, food of Croatia.
The Croatian community is deservedly proud of their Croatian Lodge and many members were on hand to talk about Croatia and their community.
The event covered Croatian food, history, language, customs and people.
Thomas Turkaly reports: "It was an other tremendous year for the Croatian Cultural garden. Phase II was almost completed by years end; the Viseslav Baptismal font & four more benches made from Brac stone were installed in spring and landscaping was in place by our dedication in August. The railing along the steps were erected in late fall thanks again to the generosity of the Lozic foundation. The last remaining element to phase II is a sign and flag pole on the upper level along East Blvd.
The dedication was well attended, with many of our folk groups providing entertainment. To date we have raised over $300,000 towards the garden, most of which went for infrastructure; steps, walkways, plazas, etc. (We are the largest garden to go into the Cultural gardens in many years!!).Thanks again goes to all our generous donors and benefactors without whom this would not have happened.
Plans will shortly be underway for phase III that will focus on paying tribute to our cultural figures and accomplishments. Stay tuned."
Dedication of Phase II Croatian Cultural Garden
The Baptismal Font of Prince Višeslav the first Croatian Prince who reined around 800 is an extremely important monument. This hexagonal stone vessel is witness to the time when Croats first accepted Christianity.
The American Zagreb Jr. Tamburitzans were founded in Cleveland Ohio in 1957. As their musical director explains the young people perform authentic dances and songs in authentic costumes and playing authentic instruments of Croatia. They performed at International Cleveland Community Day in the Atrium of the Cleveland Museum of Art.
The medieval city of Samobor to the west of Zagreb in Croatia is known for its crystal making. The Croatian Heritage Museum and Library just opened its newest exhibit titled Samobor Crystal and other Treasures from Old Samobor. The crystal displayed is from various collectors loaned to the museum for this exhibit.
The Cleveland Junior Tamburitzans was founded in 1959 and there are now 75 active dancers.
The goal of the CJT is to teach each child to dance and sing to traditional Croatian Music and to learn to play the traditional instruments of Croatia.
Tom Salopek is an expert tambura player and shares his knowledge and skills as Music Director of the CJT.
Katarina Lukacevic is a former member of IvanGoran Kovacic, a premier tambura dance ensemble from Croatia, and she uses her experience to choreograph dance sets, teach dance and instruct vocals at the Cardinal Stepinac Croatian Home Cultural Center.
Cleveland Junior Tamburitzans Performing at the Hungarian Festival of Freedom 10-21-06
Organizations and Resources for Croatians in Cleveland
Tell us about the music, food, holidays, traditions, costumes, language and other qualities that make Croatians so special.
The lands that today comprise Croatia were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the close of World War I. In 1918, the Croats, Serbs, and Slovenes formed a kingdom known after 1929 as Yugoslavia.
Following World War II, Yugoslavia became a federal independent Communist state under the strong hand of Marshal Tito. Although Croatia declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, it took four years of sporadic, but often bitter, fighting before occupying Serb armies were mostly cleared from Croatian lands.
Under UN supervision, the last Serb-held enclave in eastern Slavonia was returned to Croatia in 1998.
At the adventure to the Dubrovnik GardenBranka Malinar of Cleveland's Croatian community told how a Croatian man named Slavoljub Eduard Penkala invented the solid-ink fountain pen and that Croatian mercenaries in France wore kerchiefs which the French called - Crovats which evolved into cravat and the neck tie.