32nd Annual Parade the Circle and Circle Village 2024

Blog Date
Julie Smith
Stuart O. Smith, Jr.

We pose with the Parade The Circle's rhinoceros with wings. A version of this rhino starts the parade every year!
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Presented by The Cleveland Museum of Art & University Circle Inc.
. . .
The 32nd Annual Parade the Circle and Circle Village is BACK to kick off summer in the Circle!
. . .
10:00AM - 4:00PM

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The Parade, which begins at Noon at the north entrance of the museum, fills Wade Oval with colorful costumes, puppets, masks, and more created by local individuals and groups. Returning this year is the addition of Lead Artist, Héctor Castellanos Lara. This year’s theme, “Visions of Harmony,” invites participants and spectators to explore the beauty of unity in diversity through imaginative costumes, towering puppets, floats, and intricately crafted masks.

Before, during, and after the Parade, Circle Village on Wade Oval will have tons of hands-on activities for all ages from local nonprofits and institutions, live music, and delectable food.

We attended the 32nd Annual Parade the Circle and Circle Village with our son, Michael, on Saturday, June 8, 2024, and wanted to share with you our photos and videos, and links to what others shared about the day. We attend this event almost every year (you can also see our 2018 blog post about the Parade the Circle 29th Year).

We recommend you click on the following image to open the Parade the Circle - Circle Village program book PDF file to read before you watch the videos in this blog post (the program PDF file will open in a new browser window). In this program book, you will see listed the participants in the eight sections of the parade, and the organizations represented at Circle Village. We want to take this opportunity to thank the sponsors and leaders listed in the program book that made this event happen. Thirty-two years -- very impressive!!

Open Parade the Circle - Circle Village program book PDF file in new browser window.
Open Parade the Circle - Circle Village program book
PDF file (2.1MB) in new browser window.



The 1515 Rhinoceros Woodcut Inspires Parade Rhino with Wings

Since its founding in 1990, The Parade the Circle has grown tremendously! One thing that has remained constant is that the parade starts with some version of a winged rhinoceros. The photo at the top of this blog post is of us posing with the rhinoceros after the parade. It is often painted with different colors. Before the parade started, we looked at The Rhinoceros web page on the Cleveland Museum of Art's website to learn about the woodcut that inspired the parade's rhino:

The Rhinoceros
Albrecht Dürer
(German, 1471–1528)
Germany, 16th century
Image: 23.8 x 30.1 cm (9 3/8 x 11 7/8 in.)
. . . Although he never saw the rhinoceros himself, Dürer based his woodcut of the animal on a description and a sketch that was sent to Nuremberg. . . .

From the Cleveland Museum of Art's collection: The Rhinoceros - 1515 - Woodcut
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32nd Annual Parade the Circle
Presented by The Cleveland Museum of Art

Parade the Circle, one of Cleveland’s most impactful cultural events, is an annual art parade that fills Wade Oval with lively sounds and colors, featuring innovative costumes, giant puppets, and handmade masks created by artists, families, schools, and community groups. Watching the parade is free for all.

Individuals, families, schools, and neighborhood and community groups are all invited to participate. Create your parade entry on your own or at the Cleveland Museum of Art’s public workshops.

2024 Parade Theme
Visions of Harmony

Nothing is more precious than being in tune with nature, especially when imagining and creating new projects in perfect harmony with the world—like the combination of harmonious musical notes, which can create a pleasing effect for our senses. The word harmony refers to a positive state of inner peace, calmness, and balance, as well as the feeling of being in sync with friends, family, partners, and neighbors.

Working on the parade as a community and seeing different visions come to life is not only beautiful but magical. This harmonious intersection is the key to a successful event that we can all celebrate!

Héctor Castellanos Lara, Lead Artist

Here is a map of the parade route in Cleveland's University Circle:

Parade route 2024
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Route Map

This blog post mirrors the way the parade was organized into sections marked with colored banners. (Interesting that they now use banners -- historically, it was organized by colored balloon arches.) We divided this blog post into these same color sections to make it easier to find pictures of people/organizations that may be of interest to you. Be sure to watch the videos in full screen mode so you don't miss anything!




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We recommend viewing videos in full screen mode.



Red & Orange

Red & Orange
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The Red section of the parade started off with:

A Tower of Giraffes in the Planet Joy Jungle
Debbie Apple-Presser Ensemble and Planet Joy Studio
Inspired by Planet Joy's studio, adult artists with developmental differences

We recommend learning more from CoolCleveland:

We wrote a blog post which included artist Debbie Apple-Presser and founder of the Big Fun store, Steve Presser, telling "stories about life, FUN and the power of #art" at the Friday, July 29, 2022, PechaKucha Night Cleveland in CWRU’s Toby’s Plaza.

We recommend viewing videos in full screen mode.



Yellow & Green

Yellow & Green
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We recommend viewing videos in full screen mode.




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The Teal section started with:

Robot Parade
SpikeBot and Friends
The intersection of technology and art in Wade Oval

In our video of the Teal section, you will see The Fighting Unicorns robot (FIRST Robotics Competition Team 2399) followed by a tall, gold robot that seems to leave the parade to attack us.

The Fighting Unicorns is "the only all-girls FIRST Robotics Competition team in Northeast Ohio." We have enjoyed talking to their members often at IngenuityFest and at the Cleveland Public Library's Mini Maker Faire -- a search of past blog posts for "Fighting Unicorns" will show many results from the past nine years.

Operating the tall, gold robot is a good friend of ours, Spike Radway, who is the longtime program director of CDPUG (Cleveland Digital Publishing Users Group). You can learn more about the programs he developed for the organization, and the three presentations that Stuart has done for CDPUG members, in our "CDPUG" blog posts.

The Teal section ended with:

Djapo Cultural Arts Institute
Traditional West African dance and drumming

See our blog tag "Djapo Cultural Arts Institute" to read several blog posts we wrote in which they were featured.

We recommend viewing videos in full screen mode.



Blue & Purple

Blue & Purple
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We recommend viewing videos in full screen mode.



Circle Village 2024
Presented by University Circle Inc.

The day’s festivities begin at 10:00 a.m. with Circle Village, presented by University Circle Inc. and the fun continues until 4:00 p.m. in Wade Oval. Visitors are invited to immerse themselves in interactive activities offered by esteemed institutions such as the Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cleveland History Center, and Cleveland Botanical Garden. Attendees can also enjoy culinary delights from local vendors and groove to the beat of Latin City Soul Band live on stage.

Circle Village 2024 map showing the location of the 24 tents of the Activity Partners
Enlarge Circle Village 2024
Activity Partners Map

Here is a list of the Activity Partners that were featured in 24 tents at Circle Village 2024. The numbers correlate to the locations on the Circle Village 2024 Activity Partners map.

  1. Cleveland Public Library Book Box & Literacy Cooperative
  2. Cleveland Division of Water
    Cleveland Water Trivia
  3. Cleveland Public Power
    Design a Light Switch Plate
  4. Cleveland Water Pollution Control
    WPC Sewer Savvy Plinko Challenge
  5. Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District
  6. Spectrum News 1
  7. Cleveland Museum of Natural History
    Color your own Natural History coloring book page
  8. Case Western Reserve University
    think[box] Laser Cutting Activity and Case Community Resource Information
  9. Global Wellness Day
    Jump Rope Challenge; Make Your Own Jump Rope & Ask the Functional Medicine Doctor
  10. Cleveland History Center
    Craft-your-own Carousel
  11. Greater Cleveland Aquarium
    Shark Art
  12. University Circle
    UMC Postcards for Loved Ones
  13. Womens Council Cleveland Museum of Art
  14. Cleveland Museum of Art T-Shirts
  15. Holden Forests & Gardens
    Tree Ring Mandalas
  16. Hawken School
    Button Making Station
  17. Center for Dialysis Care / Cleveland MOTTEP
    Show Your Rhythm for Summertime Fun
  18. Poetry Free Cleveland
    Poetry For People
  19. Cleveland Institute of Art
    Design your own Tarot Card
  20. The Cleveland Orchestra
    Instrument Discovery
    The Music Settlement
    Instrument Discovery
  21. Heights Arts
    Poetry Tree
  22. Cuyahoga County Board of Health and Human Services
  23. UCI Community Engagement in partnership with Center for Arts-Inspired Learning
    Mandala Expressions
  24. The Centers Ohio

After the parade, we explored Circle Village, where we enjoyed seeing all these partner organizations -- they add great value to those of us living in Northeast Ohio. Many of these organizations are featured in our past blog posts (see information below in the "Related Blog Post" section of this post).

We recommend viewing videos in full screen mode.



What Others Say

We always like to list what others write about events we attend. For this blog post, we want to first start with how Stuart captured a photo of Cleveland Scene photographer Emanuel Wallace at work during the 2024 Parade the Circle. Emanuel shared a photo of us in his Cleveland Scene article about the parade.

Stuart captured a photo of Cleveland Scene photographer Emanuel Wallace at work during the 2024 Parade the Circle.
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Our photo was included in Cleveland Scene Photographer Emanual Wallace's “Photos: Visions of Harmony Were on Display for Parade the Circle 2024”
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Be sure to see all of Emanuel Wallace's photos from the event at:


Many others posted great information and photos/videos of the parade and Circle Village. We recommend taking a look at the following:


If you want to watch the entire parade, you are in luck! See the following article and video from WKYC:


Related Blog Posts

We always like to include a list of related blog posts that may be of interest to the readers of this blog post:

See more by reading some of our 57 "CMA (Cleveland Museum of Art)" blog posts, or 74 "University Circle" blog posts.

At last count, there are 91 other blog posts tagged "Art!"



Many of the Circle Village 2024 Activity Partners are featured in our past blog posts. Learn more at:


We were grateful to be able to attend the Annual Parade the Circle and Circle Village, and look forward to future years of this great arts event!