Kurent Jump -- Cleveland, OH

We attended the 2018 Kurent Jump after learning about the event last year during the 2017 Kurentovanje at the Slovenian National Home. In addition to the Kurent Jump, there are events all week long leading up to Kurentovanje. The Cleveland Kurentovanje Facebook page is the best place to stay up to date on the information for each event. While Kurentovanje itself is always hosted at the Slovenian National Home on St. Clair Avenue, the Kurent Jump is hosted at a different local business each year. This year the event was hosted in collaboration with Skidmark Garage and Ingenuity Fest.

The Kurent Jump is the debut of the Kurents and takes place on Friday night directly before the festivities kick off on Saturday. Essentially, the Kurent jump is a party centering around the Kurents. Kurentovanje originated in Ptuj, Slovenia about 55 years ago. The event always takes place before Mardi Gras and in Slovenia Kurentovanje draws 100,000 people yearly with 800 Kurents marching in the procession.

The Kurents wear sheepskin garments and have a chain of huge bells hanging around their waist. The clanging of the bells helps chase away winter. The Kurents also have a furry hat with ribbons, and a long red tongue. Completing the ensemble is a club carried in the Kurent's left hand.

We had been encouraging friends to attend Kurentovanje ever since we attended in February 2017, when we realized that we couldn't actually attend Kurentovanje we encouraged people to join us for the Kurent Jump. At $25 a ticket it seemed like a hard sell, but we all had a blast. We received an email with parking instructions, which was helpful, because there was nothing going on in that area of Cleveland.

Our $25 got us a wine ticket each, a beer ticket each, and unlimited food. Traditional Laško and Karlovačko pivo (beer) was available along with Kurent Kolsch from Hansa Brewery. As a non-beer drinker, I was pleasantly surprised by the Kurent Kolsch and would have easily been able to enjoy a glass.
Kurent Kolsch.

Marie's Restaurant provided all of the savory catering and Tavcar's Catering provided all of the dessert.

The Rob Deblander Band was on hand providing music.

During Kurentovanje last year we missed out on slivo shots, we made sure to take part this time. Slivovitz or slivo for short is plum brandy and it packs a punch. Despite mixed reviews, this was not the first round of slivo shots that we ordered.

After an announcement, we were ready for the Kurents to jump. Photos don't do this justice, it's really something that you need to experience in person.

At long last! 

A Kurent jump sneak peak (the video is best with sound, but seriously, check it out next year).

After the introduction of the Kurents everyone headed back inside for more slivo, food, and fun. 

Mark Adams Pictures had a photo booth set-up in the back, our group found a Kurent for a photo opportunity. 

We all had a blast at the Kurent Jump and we're hoping to attend both the Kurent Jump and Kurentovanje next year. Everyone at the Kurent Jump was so kind, just like we experienced at Kurentovanje last year, having no background of the event and not being Slovenian was not a problem at all.

Ohio Wanderlust Rating for the Cleveland Kurent Jump 2018.


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