Discover Slovenia in Cleveland
If you saw numerous groups wandering and exploring Cleveland and its neighboring cities on Father’s Day weekend, wearing Slovenian clothing, with Slovenian flags, posters and other props, we hope you weren’t alarmed! It was not an invasion of Slovenian tourists in Cleveland, but a competition/project, named "Discover Slovenia in Cleveland.” This competition was a photo hunt, in which teams were provided 22 clues, with the goal to discover landmarks, businesses and organizations which have ties to Slovenia and were established by Slovenian immigrants in Cleveland and surrounding areas.
The competition was meant to be educational, fun and participation was free of charge. Participants were provided clues. After they determined the location of the clues, they were asked to photograph the entire team in front of the predetermined location. Teams were awarded points for completing each clue and the team with the most points won.
The locations, businesses/organizations that were included in the photo hunt, revealed historical places and imprints left by Slovenians in Cleveland in many areas - political, cultural, musical, culinary. It was also educational in nature, as it acquainted the younger generations of Americans with the history of their ancestors, their way of life, and achievements.
The response and enthusiasm of this pilot project was astounding! Within a few days, 14 teams with over 50 participants registered for the competition. The participants ranged in age from 80+, to as young as 3 years of age. The top three winning teams were awarded prizes of Slovenian products/gifts, which were provided by the organizers and numerous generous sponsors.
Prizes aside, one of the participants in the competition told the organizers that he doesn't remember a more memorable day, spent with his granddaughter. He was able to share memories, sights, and locations from his past that were established here in Cleveland by Slovenian predecessors. Statements such as that, warmed our hearts so much, that we forgot about all the countless hours that went into preparing this demanding project.
The project is part of the activities of the Consulate General of Slovenia in Cleveland, which is also preparing a virtual celebration with a cultural program, which you can watch on June 25 on the Facebook page or YouTube tube.
You can see more about the project and photo snapshots of our teams on the FB pages "Discover Slovenia in Cleveland" and #discoverslocle. You're welcome.