Their event is rooted in the infamous 1969 incident when the Cuyahoga River caught fire, but Burning River Fest 2004's organizers have more pressing concerns. "One-fifth of the world's fresh water is right here in our own backyard," explains Pat Conway, who maintains that it's our responsibility to keep it healthy. "This is a consciousness-raising event."
The six-day festival, taking place at Great Lakes Brewing Company, gathers local musicians and eco groups. The former -- like Anne E. DeChant, Hillbilly Idol, and Joe Rohan (pictured) -- perform onstage, while the latter -- including Friends of the Crooked River, Sierra Club, and Earth Day Coalition -- set up tables and discuss the environment.
And unlike last year's outing, which was tied into the Dragon Boat Race on the Cuyahoga, River Fest 2004 happens solely at the brewery. "There was a lot of marketing confusion [last year]," Conway says. "We really need to move down to the water. When you say Burning River Fest, you think of a water-based event, not something going on in Ohio City." Burning River Fest happens 7 to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, June 19, at Great Lakes Brewing Company, 2516 Market Avenue. Admission is free; call 216-771-4404. -- Michael Gallucci
Toying With Reality
Quacks invade MOCA.
Jason Lee isn't about to get all stuffy and serious just because he's unveiling his first museum show. In the past, Lee's used action figures in his work. In MOCA's Curve Exhibition Series, he scattered backlit boxes filled with water across the floor. One hundred rubber ducks are divided among four ponds and mounted on the wall. "[It's] an industrial representation of a natural thing," he says. "It's kinda like in the suburbs, where you artificially create a natural environment." And while the underlying theme touches on the concept of landscape as commodity, "On the surface, it seems humorous and whimsical," offers Lee. The show opens Friday and runs through August 8 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 8501 Carnegie Avenue. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is $4; call 216-421-8671. -- Nadia Michel
Circle of Life
Parade fest pumps up the performances.
Mud wrestling, tattoos, and tavern triangles may sound risqué, but these activities and other good, clean (okay, maybe the muck-grappling is a tad dirty) fun are actually slated for Saturday's family-friendly Parade the Circle Celebration. Returning to the annual arts fest is the popular Inlet Dance Theatre. "Our goal is to use dance to further people, as opposed to using people to further dance," explains artistic director Bill Wade. More than 25 local organizations contribute live music, dance demonstrations, and craft-making sessions to the fete. It happens from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at University Circle. Admission is free; call 216-707-5033. -- Lucy McKernan
In addition to all the speakers and bands who will tell you how cool pot is, the Cleveland Marijuana March will also host a "funny-cigarette-rolling" competition. "We bring lots of herbs [for it]," explains Molly Hartman of the Ohio Cannabis Society. And don't forget the kids! Because it's a nonsmoking "family event," Hartman says. It runs from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Northwest Quadrant of Public Square. Admission is free; call 216-521-9333. -- Cris Glaser