Community Service

Lakewood celebrates its cultural diversity with a jam-packed fest.

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The Lakewood Community Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary today. It’s come a long way, says chairwoman Marge Stopiak, who served potato pancakes and stuffed cabbage with a small group of church ladies at the very first outing. “We’re trying to hang on to the multicultural aspect of our community,” she says. “It’s really grown. Now there’s Vietnamese, Slovak, Polish . . . It translates in the food, crafts, games, and music.”

In addition to all the ethnic eats, the fest -- which takes place in the city’s historic Birdtown neighborhood -- features a vintage car show, concerts, and the popular Euclid Beach Rocket Car, which gives festivalgoers rides all day long. Meanwhile, kids can pet alpacas, set sail on Coasty the Safety Boat, and saddle up the ponies. Plus, there’s a 5K Kielbasa Run, with a sausage-shaped trophy going to the winner. “It’s great,” says Stopiak. “[This area] should remain alive for everyone.”
Sat., Sept. 8, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

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