11th Annual Cleveland Kurentovanje Returns in February

Annual event kicks off on February 5 and then culminates with a parade and festival

click to enlarge A past Kurentovanje celebration. - Ashley Taylor
Ashley Taylor
A past Kurentovanje celebration.
This year’s incarnation of Cleveland Kurentovanje (koo-rehn-toh-VAHN-yeh), a Slovenian-infused Mardi Gras carnival that takes place annually in the St. Clair-Superior neighborhood and online, kicks off on Feb. 5 with more than 10 unique virtual and in-person arts and culture events.

The event culminates, as usual, with a parade and festival at the Slovenian National Home on St. Clair that includes live performances, authentic food and beverages. That event will take place on Feb. 18.

“The festival is programmed with the goal of having something for everyone of all ages and interests,” says organizer Lauren Calevich in a press release.

Kurentovanje celebrates the changing of the seasons and features Kurenti – mythological creatures who are believed to chase away winter and usher in spring with their supernatural powers.

“We are always seeking new ways for festival participants to explore Slovenian culture, the St. Clair-Superior neighborhood and have a fun time — this has always been the mission of the festival. With all the support of our volunteers, partners and sponsors, we’ve been able to bring a lot of new ideas to light this year to further that mission,” adds organizer Nicole Kusold-Matheou.

One highlight of this year’s event will be the North American premiere of LGBT_SLO 1984 on Feb. 13. The event will include a director’s panel discussion about the film that documents how the 1984 Magnus Gay Culture Festival served as the launch pad for a greater social movement within the country.

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