The Buckeye Shaker area is located on the East Side of Cleveland, Ohio. It encompasses the old Buckeye, Larchmere, Woodland Hills and Shaker Square neighborhoods. Anchored by an historic shopping district and an eponymous rapid transit station, located at the intersection of Shaker and Moreland Boulevards, on the light rail line that connects the city of Shaker Heights to downtown Cleveland. From the early- to mid-20th century, the Buckeye Road neighborhood was known as Little Hungary, serving as the historic heart of Cleveland’s Hungarian community, which at one time was the largest in the world outside of Budapest.
Buckeye Shaker is bordered by the neighborhoods of Woodland Hills on its west, Mount Pleasant to the south, University Circle to the north, and the suburb of Shaker Heights to the east.
Little Hungary, as it was one time known, began to develop as the heart of Cleveland’s Hungarian community in the late 19th century. By the 1920 U.S. Census, more than 42,000 residents in The City of Cleveland listed themselves as having been born in Hungary, with a large portion of these residing in the Buckeye Road neighborhood.
Working primarily in the heavy manufacturing sector, these immigrants settled their tightly-knit community here due to its close proximity to the steel mills and day-labor jobs where they worked. Between the end of World War II and 1970 the neighborhood represented one of the most powerful political blocs in Cleveland’s Democratic party.
The Soul of Buckeye is an annual festival held every summer along Buckeye road between East 116th and East 120th Streets. Featuring jazz ensembles, food, a biergarten, clothing and merchandise vendors, it is one of the most exciting festivals of every summer. The festival occurs annually the second weekend in July. Since 1996, the sounds of five jazz bands on Friday, and four to five Blues ensembles on Saturday, can be heard by people of all ages. There is a mid-day parade on Saturday, as well. Admission is free. Lawn chairs not included.
Porchfest is an annual event held in the Larchmere neighborhood late each summer. At least 30 different music groups perform on 30 neighborhood front porches each year on the third Saturday in June.
The Garlic Festival in Shaker Square brings people in from miles around on the first weekend of September. The Cleveland Garlic Festival is ground zero for “all things garlic” in the Midwest Great Lakes region. Attendees enjoy garlic-themed food prepared by local chefs, including everything from ice cream to oysters, an onsite celebrity chef grill-off, live music, cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, taste and grow tents for children, and many more events and activities.