Wow… Wednesday. Unofficially known as Hump day. The day that holds you hostage in-between the moans of Monday and your personal TGIF. You watch the clock praying for the days end yet time never moves fast enough. Finally, your reprieve comes and the business day is over nevertheless, your mind races to the long traffic patterns ahead and the leftover casserole you dread to eat. Suddenly, you see a group of your coworkers seemingly upbeat like its already the weekend. Curiously you eavesdrop.
“OMG the food. I can smell it now,” says one.
“Our group line danced,” says another.
“My children love the raffles and the Cavaliers Scream team.”
“I like the spoken word and they have raffles.”
“I really love the music. One night it’s Motown and R&B, another it’s Disco & Funk, not to mention the Latin & Salsa, Rock & Roll, Blues, Jazz, Classic Rock with horns… there is just something for everyone. I cannot wait. “
“I have to stop home and get may chair so I can save my space.”
In your mind you think of the opening of a new club, maybe the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, or perhaps a private gathering. Nope. In the past 15 years it has been in the same place at the same time welcome to Wade Oval Wednesdays.
In 1872 Jeptha Wade purchased 63 acres of land with the intent of development while envisioning a museum. Ten years later, Wade donated the parcels to the city and the area has never stopped giving. Today, the land is rich with its cache of the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Botanical Garden, Cleveland Natural Museum of History, Wade Park Fine Arts Garden, Wade Lagoon, and multiple neighboring resources. And they there is the summer!
From June 12 through August 21 every Wednesday at 6pm the atmosphere completely combines to create the signature event, Wade Oval Wednesdays (WOW) which, is proudly sponsored by PNC, “Leading the Way.”
According, according to former University Circle Inc. (UCI) President Terry Hamilton Brown, the multicultural juncture, “Grew out of two communal needs: 1) To renovate Wade Oval and 2) To design a venue that would bring the workforce, area residents, college students, and people from all walks life together for a time of fellowship.” Although UCI, held past events such as Fall for the Circle, and the Summer Concert Series have ever matched the spirit of WOW.
Initially, the organizers wanted to have classical music as unifying agent for the community but as Brown continued, “We wanted to have music that was inclusive to all. WOW is a way of making life that makes for a very good expression.” Terri Hamilton Brown also expresses how she remains pleased with UCI and its current leadership and the continuity of continuing what is now the WOW tradition. So, how does WOW look today? On any given Wednesday to can see men playing chess and dominoes, bike riders, teenagers, family members, representatives of fraternities and sororities, politicians, clergypersons, a kaleidoscope of races, men, women, LGBTQ, and others, brought together under the auspice of the universal language of music without conflict. Most of all its staple attractions are free and open to the public. Wow!
For a list of current upcoming WOW and other works from UCI please connect to University Circle WOW