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May 1, 2014

Playhouse Square to dazzle district

By Hannah Corcoran

Playhouse Square is holding a lighting ceremony for its new outdoor chandelier on Friday, May 2 in an event called “Dazzle The District.”

The event, which is free of charge, starts at 5 p.m. with live music on U.S. Bank Plaza and food and beverage vendors on East 14th Street. Restaurants on the street will be open for happy hour as well. Musical group Hot Chelle Rae hits the University Hospitals Main Stage around 8:30 p.m. The lighting ceremony will take place at 9:30 p.m.

The 20-foot-high chandelier constructed by General Electric (GE) will be suspended from a 44-foot-high steel structure over East 14th Street and Euclid Avenue.

The fixture is embellished with 4,200 crystals and is the world’s largest outdoor chandelier, according to the event’s website.

The centerpiece was created to look like the chandeliers in Playhouse Square’s theaters and lobbies.

One-third of funding for the $16 million project came from the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. The other two-thirds came from private sponsorship, according to the event’s website.

Besides the giant chandelier, spectators will notice other new renovations, such as gateways installed over the theatre district; a 1920s based sign above the Cowell & Hubbard and Woolworth buildings by East 13th Street and Euclid Avenue; and an updated outdoor dining and entertainment area in the U.S. Bank Plaza.

The 44-foot-high “retro” sign pays tribute to the original sign first placed above the Keith Building when the Palace Theatre opened in 1922. It reads “Playhouse Square” with 9-foot-tall letters and 3-inch LED bulbs.

Besides GE, the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, other partners involved in the renovations at Playhouse Square include the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE), the Greater Cleveland Partnership, Medical Mutual, University Hospitals and U.S. Bank.