A vacant lot became a bustling winter wonderland on Leap Night, February 29, 2008 from 6-11 p.m. The free event open to the public was held at 1100 Old River Road (between Main Avenue and Front Street) on the site of Scott Wolstein's future development, the East Bank in the Flats.
Leap Night was the first large scale event in the new "Pop Up City" initiative for Cleveland. Pop Up City is a program that brings empty places to life through magical, ephemeral experiences that demonstrate how vacancy can be an opportunity and an adventure, not just a liability.
"The East Bank is an ideal spot for a pop up event," said Terry Schwarz, Senior Planner, Kent State University's Urban Design Collaborative. "Underutilized space and breathtaking views make this a perfect location for a community gathering celebrating the area's revival."
Leap Night transformed the vacant space into a lively urban environment featuring snow and ice installation, a winter forest complete with costume bears, music, bonfires, performances by SAFMOD (Cleveland's multi-media performance ensemble) and Mal Adjusted. There was also an ice skating rink, snowboard ramp and rail jam competition, outdoor Rock Band TM video game competition, snowsuit fashion show, and food and drink vendors. The site offered ample free parking and convenient access via the RTA Waterfront Line, East Bank Station.
Leap Night is part of Pop Up City, a temporary use initiative that is supported by the Cleveland Foundation's Civic Innovation Lab and operated through Kent State University's Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative.