Last Stop Willoughby



The Heart of Willoughby hosts the 7th Annual Last Stop Willoughby on Saturday, August 16.

“This year, we continue to showcase Downtown Willoughby both past and present,” said Kathi Cannon, President of the Heart of Willoughby.   “Each year we make changes to the event based on attendee, sponsor and vendor feedback.  For 2014, we have changed the event times to make the event more family friendly.  The event goes until 7 pm.”

Last Stop Willoughby begins at 8 a.m. at the Willoughby Outdoor Market, which features a variety of vendors from Northeast Ohio offering fruits, vegetables, breads, pastries and more.  At 10 am, downtown Willoughby’s retail merchants kick off their sidewalk sale.

“The Taste of Willoughby” is returning for its 4th year.  The participating Downtown Willoughby restaurants move to the sidewalk.  They will serve outside from Noon to 6 pm.  There are two contests running for restaurants to get “BEST OF” honors.  All those who attend the event will have an opportunity to vote for their favorites.  Pick up a ballot at each restaurant, complete it and return to the information table at Point Park.    These ballots determine the People’s Choice Best of Winner.  In addition, a “celebrity” judging panel that, after sampling items from each restaurant, chooses the Judges Best of Winner.   All returned ballots have a chance to win a Willoughby basket features items from the local businesses.

Entertainment in the gazebo will begin at noon and conclude at 6 pm.  For the kids, there are arts & crafts and games in the KidZone at Point Park with an island theme.   The annual parade steps off at 2 pm from Willoughby South High School and marches down Euclid Avenue and into Downtown Willoughby.  Our Grand Marshall this year will be Dreama Denver, wife of the late Bob Denver of Gilligan’s Island fame.  There is a costume contest with a Gilligan’s Island theme to win dinner with Dreama.

Trolley tours, which have been one of the most popular activities in past years, are returning with a little flair.  The Historic Lolly the Trolley tours run from noon – 6:00 pm.  Back by popular demand, the special Haunted Trolley tour, return with extended hours from 7 pm to 10 pm.

The movie normally shown at the end of the event has been moved August 19.  Heart of Willoughby is sponsoring the movie with the City of Willoughby.

Parking and driving restrictions for the event is as follows:

River Street Closed 8 am – 8 pm – Center Street to Erie Street

Erie Street storefront parking spaces closed from 8 am – 7 pm

Shankland Road closed from 12 pm – 2 pm for parade set-up

Euclid Avenue closed from 2 pm – 3:30 pm for the parade


The timetable for the event is as follows:

8 am—12 pm         Willoughby Outdoor Market

10 am—6 pm         Merchant Sidewalk Sales

10 am—4 pm         “A Stop at Willoughby” Twilight Zone episode— Lower Level of the Library

12 pm—6 pm         DJ Scottie in the Gazebo (break 2-4 for parades)

12 pm—6 pm         Taste of Willoughby

12 pm—6 pm         Historic Trolley Tours

12 pm—6 pm         KidZone—Point Park

2 pm                         Last Stop Willoughby Parade

Followed by Jeep Wave Willoughby Parade

Award Ceremony in Point Park after parades

4 pm—8 pm           Jeep Wave Willoughby Display—   Willoughby Brewing Company Parking Lot

7 pm—10 pm        Haunted Trolley Tours


Clang, clang, clang goes the trolley, Lolly the trolley!

Willoughby was once home to the CP&E Interurban trolley that ran from downtown Cleveland all the way to Ashtabula. Some of the tracks are still buried under Erie Street in Downtown Willoughby.

So take a free trolley ride with us starting at 12 pm while learning some of the stories/history of Willoughby and the Interurban trolleys.   See how they worked to stretch the big city into the little towns on the outskirts.

Our conductors will tell you the stories, you just come along for the ride and enjoy. For example: Did you know that the Willoughby Brewing Company was the repair shop for the whole CP&E system? The cranes used to lift the trolleys for repair still hang from the ceiling of this unique restaurant and microbrewery.

Hear too the story about Kleifelds diner, good coffee always, and how the original proprietor was not allowed to join the army during WWII because he was required to feed the three shifts of Ohio Rubber workers who were producing vital parts needed for the war effort.

Each of our conductors has their own stories and spin on how they remember days gone by, so come and ride more than once.

The last trolley leaves downtown about 6 pm.  Right before they change to haunted trolleys!!

From 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm, we have a special haunted trolley runs that shows the scarier parts of Willoughby from the perspective of the “other side.”

So come for some fun and “All aboard!”



While you are enjoying the Last Stop Willoughby event, be sure to make time to visit the movie room in the Lower Level Meeting Room of the Willoughby Public Library between 10AM and 4PM. There you will find a continuous showing of The Twilight Zone episode titled “A Stop at Willoughby” for which our event is named. The Twilight Zone, which debuted in 1959, was a popular, weekly television series combining science fiction, mystery, irony and dark adventure.  Each episode began with a chilling monologue delivered by Rod Serling, the creator of the show and ended with a warning or a lesson to be learned. Even now, more than fifty years later, fans are still watching and have elevated the show to near-cult status.

A Stop at Willoughby,” Episode 30 of Season One, first aired on May 6, 1960, and tells the story of a New York advertising executive who is beginning to crack under the strain of his high-pressure job and his shrewish, demanding wife.  As he rides the commuter train each day, he dreams of getting off the train in a place like Willoughby, “where a man can slow down to a walk and live his life full measure.”  As his daily stress builds and threatens to boil over, his desperation leads him to seek refuge in the welcoming town of Willoughby. The fateful ending will take you by surprise!  Rod Serling, who also wrote this episode, cited it as his favorite from the first season. Come, watch the show and see why Rod Serling ponders, “Willoughby… maybe it’s the last stop in the vast design of things.”



The Jeep Parade returns to Willoughby!

Jeep Owners! Join us for Jeepalooza Cleveland Willoughby on August 16, 2014. We’ll be joining the parade and festivities of our community during Last Stop Willoughby, including the Outdoor Market, KidZone, Trolley Tours, and more!

Line up begins at Adventure Chrysler Jeep Dodge for registration from 11am – 1pm, where we’ll have lunch provided. We’ll join up with the Last Stop Willoughby parade at 2pm and travel through historic Downtown Willoughby, passing out candy to the crowd and, of course, giving the Jeep Wave!

After the parade, Willoughby Brewing Company will be hosting Jeep Only Parking, along with music and great discounts on food and beverages for registered Jeepalooza participants.

Want a sandwich named after you? Of course! Cannon Deli will be choosing one sandwich idea from your submissions – exclusive to Jeepalooza participants – and adding the winner to their menu!

There is no registration fee this year – instead we ask that you bring a food item that will go to the United Way’s Feed Lake County program.

Register your Jeep at or for questions call Dusty at Adventure at (440) 946-5700. See you there!


4TH Annual HEART Award

In 2011, the Heart of Willoughby initiated the 1st annual “Heart” award, to be given to a person or a group who gives from the heart to make the city of Willoughby a better place to live.  Each year, the members of the Board of Directors for the Heart of Willoughby select a recipient of the “Heart” award.  The winner is given a place of honor in Willoughby’s annual parade and also receives a commemorative plaque with their name on it and a monetary donation to the charity of their choice.

The first honorees in 2011 were Tom and Sue Roseum, who were chosen because of their dedication to the students of Willoughby South High School.  In 2012, we chose to honor a group known as the Frontier’s Day Committee which is the group of volunteers that organizes and operates the wildly popular “Car Cruise-In” that takes place in June each year.  In 2013, the Board chose to honor the group of individuals who were the founders of their organization.  These seven individuals came up with the idea of the Outdoor Market, to be held on Saturday mornings in downtown Willoughby through the summer months.  The Outdoor Market is still thriving today and is celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2014.

The recipient of the “Heart” award for 2014 is the American Legion, Palmer-Roberts Post #214.  This organization is dedicated to serving military veterans and active duty military men and women through support in many ways.  They are non-partisan and non-profit, using funds they raise to help veterans and their families.  The American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veteran’s organization.  95 years later, they are still focused on service to veterans, service members and communities.  In addition, they are instrumental in fostering patriotism and love of country to the students in our schools.  The long-standing commitment to the military by the members of this organization is a great asset to our community.  The Heart of Willoughby salutes the American Legion Post #214 as a winner of the “Heart” award for 2014.


Last Stop Willoughby Parade

This year is the 7th annual Last Stop Willoughby parade and it’s going to be bigger and better than ever! Don’t miss out on all the fun! Whether you’re participating in the parade or just watching, you won’t want to miss all the excitement! Beginning at 2:00 pm, parade participants will march from South High School into Downtown Willoughby. Awards will be announced at Point Park, there are multiple divisions including “Best of the Parade”.  Judging is done by the All-American Parade Judges Association Inc. and prizes are awarded for 1st and 2nd place. Drill teams, bands, classic cars, floats, Boy/Girl scouts, sports leagues, clowns and more are all welcome to march. The South High School marching band is a crowd favorite year after year. Returning for another year, the Jeep Wave, featuring 100 customized Jeeps!  Also in the parade will be the recipients of the Heart of Willoughby “Heart” Award. This award is given to an individual or group who has made a significant contribution to the Willoughby community.  In addition to a wide range of groups, the parade will also include a Grand Marshall. You won’t want to miss this year’s very special honoree!  For your application, click here.

For additional information contact:
Maureen Gregory   email
Julie Yonek               email


Grand Marshal – Dreama Denver

Actress, writer, radio station owner and personality Dreama Denver will forever been known as “Gilligan’s Wife”. Dreama met her husband of almost 30 years, television icon Bob Denver (Gilligan of Gilligan’s Island, Maynard G. Krebs of Dobie Gillis), when she was cast as his love interest in the Woody Allen play, “Play It Again, Sam”. After marrying the popular television personality, Dreama continued her acting career, appearing in a Gilligan’s Island reunion movie with Bob, co-starring with him in a TV pilot titled “Scamps” and touring the U.S. and Canada successfully and happily with her husband for over a decade.

The birth of the Denver’s son Colin, diagnosed with severe autism, changed everything for Bob and Dreama, who retired from show business and moved back to West Virginia to devote the next two decades to Colin’s full time care. During this time, the pair also founded The Denver Foundation, which honors their son and is dedicated to assisting special needs children and their families.

“The Denver Foundation and Little Buddy Radio, a nonprofit radio station owned and operated by the Foundation, were Bob’s last and most important legacies,” Dreama says, “and carrying on in his place, making these two entities as successful as possible became my mission after Bob passed away. His desire to give back to West Virginia was huge. He loved this area, considered himself an adopted West Virginian and was a tireless ambassador for the state. Regardless of how important and far reaching his television legacy was, and is, his love for our son and his desire to help other families like ours trumped even that.”

In the last year, the Denver Foundation has expanded to include Always Free Honor Flight, a nonprofit organization that honors our WV veterans by taking them, at no cost to the veteran, to our nation’s capitol to see the memorials built to honor their sacrifices for this country.

Dreama’s recently published memoir, “Gilligan’s Dreams’, recounting her almost 30 year marriage to Bob, which took them from the Hollywood Hills to the hills of West Virginia, is her most personal gift to Bob, detailing their journey through autism with their son and Bob’s courage the last 6 months of his life.

“Bob would be proud,” Dreama says. “I honestly didn’t think I could live without him, but I came to understand that the best way to honor his memory was to live a full and happy life, carrying on the work he started with a heart as big as his.”


2014 Last Stop Willoughby Entertainment

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fun filled afternoon. That started from this tropic port inside this tiny park. The DJ will be spinning tunes. Cookie decorating and six crafting tables set up that day for a six hour tour, a six hour tour.

The Kidzone will be open from 12-6. Come enjoy our Gilligan’s Island themed crafts and contests. There will be face painting, cookie decorating, and plenty of games to keep the kiddos busy. In the “Club Minnow” gazebo, DJ Scotty will be playing your favorite music and holding several fun contests.

There will also be a Gilligan’s Island cast member costume contest. All ages are welcome to participate. Prizes will be given for the most original costume of each cast member. The prize for the best overall costume winner is a gift basket from Creations Unlimited that includes a gift certificate for dinner that evening at Willoughby Brewing Company with Dreama Denver. To sign up for any contests, please look for the yellow tent in the park near Club Minnow.

The audience and DJ Scotty will be picking the winner for the costume contest at 4 pm at Club Minnow.


Taste of Willoughby

The 4th Annual Taste of Willoughby will be serving up the best of what DTW’s restaurants offer.  That means People’s Choice and Judge’s Choice for “Best of”.  People’s Choice ballots are available at locations during the event.  Grab one, complete, & return to the information table by the City Hall clock. While casting a vote for your Best of restaurant, you are entered to win a basket of Willoughby prizes.

As a twist of fun, the restaurants received a challenge for this year – one ingredient of each dish must be available at the Willoughby Outdoor Market.  This should make things interesting.

Here are the judges all returning from 2013:

Sara Donnersbach – Sara is a good judge for the event because of her background & experience.  Although an attorney, she spent a great deal of time with local chefs & restaurants as chair for the Cleveland March of Dimes Signature Chefs’ event.  She has won several awards for various chili cook off competitions.

Kevin Gregory – Kevin has been involved in restaurant operation and the food industry, locally as well as in Pennsylvania and Michigan, for the past 17 years.  He currently lives in Willoughby with his wife Rose and their daughter Eve Marie.

Barbara Snow – Adjunct faculty at Tri-C in Hospitality Management Department and culinary instructor for the last 15 years.  Frequent guest chef on Fox 8 Morning Show and past reviewer for the News Herald.

Scott Zele – Downtown Willoughby attorney & City of Wickliffe Prosecutor.  More importantly, former student in the chef certification program at the Loretta Paganini School of Cooking.  This avid traveler has sampled cuisine from several countries abroad and regional cuisine at home.

Liz (Elizabeth) Lundblad – This Cleveland native grew up eating cherry tomatoes & cucumbers right from her grandfather’s garden in Willoughby Hills.  Since 2009, her successes and failures in the kitchen are chronicled in her blog – The Crusty Bits.   Liz also covers Western Lake County for the News Herald.

Zach Zele –Zach is also a Willoughby attorney and novice/amateur cook with a special fondness for Southern Low Country, French, Spanish and Asian cuisines.  While he has eaten at every restaurant in Downtown Willoughby as well as restaurants on four continents, his guilty pleasure is the drive thru at Taco Bell.