The Cleveland Cultural gardens were established in 1925 as a place where the diverse ethnic communities of Cleveland can present “cultural tributes to their poets, educators, philosophers, scientists and musicians as well as religious and political leaders”. The intent was to promote good will and fellowship among men and women, to weld harmony among Clevelanders of diverse origins and to foster good citizenship.
The Cleveland Hungarian Cultural Garden
To show pride in their Hungarian roots, culture and heritage, the Cleveland Hungarian community developed a beautiful upper and lower level garden honoring the more than 100 years that a distinct and vibrant Hungarian community has existed in Cleveland. The Cleveland Hungarian Cultural Garden celebrates that at one time Cleveland had the second largest Hungarian population outside of Hungary. Today there are more than 113,000 individuals of Hungarian birth or descent in the Cleveland area.
The Cleveland Hungarian Cultural Garden (CHCG) is a legacy gift from every Hungarian in the Cleveland area to future generations, who will celebrate the pride of being Hungarian and the Hungarian culture. The CHCG is one of the largest gardens (more than 4 acres) and is alive and bustling with activity. Every week the CHCG hosts weddings, anniversary celebrations, concerts, recitals, family get-togethers and church events. While the CHCG is beautiful, it is not just a place to look at, it is a place of celebration of the Hungarian heritage.
The Cleveland Hungarian Cultural Garden is a not for profit 501(c)3 organization. In addition to donations, the CHCG has several events to raise funds for maintaining and improving the upper and lower gardens. These events include the annual Wine Tasting, Gulyas Cook-Off and Golf Outing.
On Saturday, July 20th, 2013, the CHCG will celebrate it’s 75th anniversary. The event will be free and open to the public. Guests will be welcomed to the party by the Regos Dancers from the Hungarian Scout Organization and music from a traditional Hungarian Bohak cimbalom played by Endre Cseh. The event will include light refreshments and entertainment.
New Legacy Wall
The highlight of the event will be the dedication of the new Legacy Wall and restoration of the Lower Garden. The Legacy Wall is a 25 foot curved stone wall with a granite top. The granite top will be inscribed with depictions of Hungarian history and culture, and renowned Hungarian scientists, musicians, composers, artists, and poets. Bar codes on the Wall will enable smart phone users to access inscribed material on the web. The Legacy Wall dedication & ribbon cutting ceremony will begin with opening remarks from Carolyn Balogh, President of Cleveland Hungarian Cultural Garden and the singing of the Hungarian National Anthem, Star Spangled Banner and America the BeautIful by the Kis Magyar Korus of the West Side Hungarian Evangelical Lutheran Church and Ted Horvath.
Guests will also enjoy music from Vera Holczer and her musicians, poetry readings by Istvan Hargitai, and traditional Hungarian dancing by the St. Elizabeth Dance Group. The original St. Elizabeth Dance Group performed at the opening of the Garden in 1938.
The following is a brief History of the Cleveland Hungarian Cultural Garden:
1925 – The Cleveland Cultural Gardens were created.
March 30, 1934 – Authorization was granted to create a Hungarian Cultural Garden
March 30, 1934 – The Cleveland Hungarian Cultural Garden was established
September 24, 1934 – The Cultural Garden Committee of the United Hungarian Societies of Cleveland was formed
October 21, 1934 – The Cleveland Hungarian Cultural Garden was dedicated on the 123rd anniversary of the birth of composer Ferenc Liszt; a plaque of the composer was installed in the Garden
July 10, 1938 – The Cleveland Hungarian Cultural Garden was formally dedicated with a parade of more than 22,000 led by a parade of 5,000 Hungarians
Cleveland Hungarian Cultural Garden: Upper level
September 7,1941 – A flagpole and American flag were added to the Garden
July 23, 1950 – The Cleveland Hungarian Cultural Garden celebrates it’s 25th Anniversary; a bronze statue of the philosophical dramatist and author, Imre Madach, was added to the Garden
May 23, 1954 – A statue of the poet, Endre Ady, was added to the Garden
August 24, 2008 – The Cleveland Hungarian Cultural Garden celebrates it’s 70th Anniversary
July 20, 2013 – The Cleveland Hungarian Cultural Garden celebrates it’s 75th Anniversary; a new 25′ semi-circle Legacy wall is being added to the Lower Garden
For more information on the Cleveland Hungarian Cultural Garden or their 75th Anniversary, visit their website at www.hungarianculturalgarden.org.