It wasn’t too long ago that the Collinwood neighborhood was considered a good place to become the victim of a strong-arm robbery. The streets were largely deserted after sundown. Beyond the lights of the Beachland Ballroom, nightlife was nil. But an enterprising group of artists, musicians and entrepreneurs saw potential in the rough-looking neighborhood. Soon new shops, galleries, restaurants and bars began springing up, mostly around the Beachland and specifically along Waterloo Road. The Collinwood neighborhood became a magnet for those looking for a place to claim their own, away from the hipsters, drunks and drunk hipsters of the Tremont and Lakewood neighborhoods. As the newborn art scene began to emerge, so did Arts Collinwood, a arts and community center. In addition to gallery exhibitions, film screenings and after-school programs, Arts Collinwood also hosts a yearly arts festival on Waterloo Road. This year marks the ninth for the Arts Collinwood festival, which will be held Saturday, June 25, from noon to 7 p.m. Arts Collinwood is expecting more than 10,000 people to attend this year’s festival, themed around the number nine. “Right now we have some local artists vying for who will be the designer for the number nine that will be featured on the T-shirt,” said Cheryl Carter, executive director of Arts Collinwood. Proceeds from T-shirt sales will go to Arts Collinwood to support their community outreach programs. The number is also the centerpiece of a themed scavenger hunt at the festival. Scattered throughout the festival area will be 15 number nines. Participants will snap cell-phone pictures of the numbers, and the first person or group to return with photos of each will receive a prize. Participants can pick up a card that will show what the nines will look like, along with other clues. The real focus, however, is the art, and the festival will have over 30 vendors displaying works in varied media, from jewelry to fine art and photography to local fashion design. One stop will be a hands-on public-art installation by Cleveland Museum of Art artist Debbie Apple-Presser, located in front of Arts Collinwood on the corner of East 156th Street and Waterloo. It will join the present installation by artist Robin Van Lear. Zaller Gallery will be exhibiting the photographs of journalist Anastasia Pantsios, who has been photographing the Cleveland music scene since 1971. Currently a staff writer for “Scene,” she has photographed rock icons such as Joan Jett and Tina Turner. Of course, the Beachland Ballroom is in the mix, with a handful of live bands on three outdoor stages and music events planned inside the Beachland as well. The festival has been very selective on the performers. A preliminary list contained about 30 bands, but will eventually be cut down to around ten or 15, according to Carter. “We don’t take cover bands for the festival,” Carter said. “The bands performing will all be eclectic and original music by some of Cleveland’s and the surrounding areas’ best bands in the indie scene. We also have DJs of the same ilk.” Along with hosting live music, the Beachland will also have a rock ‘n’ roll flea market. Past flea markets have featured over 30 vendors selling records, CDs, vintage clothes, antiques, collectables and art. Plenty of vendors selling food will line Waterloo as well. “There will be everything from a farmers market to sausages and frozen treats,” Carter said. Representing the Eastern European population of the area, R&D Sausages and the Slovenian Workmen’s Home will be selling Slovenian and other ethnic foods. Zydeco Bistro, one of Cleveland’s gourmet food trucks, will also be on hand serving up Cajun-inspired dishes, and the Café at Arts Collinwood will also be open, with a full-service bar and long list of craft brews. Beer aside, though, the event is a family-friendly one, with a designated zone just for the kids that includes puppet shows, stilt walkers, magic shows and spin-art. The zone also features a “chalk car” — a real car painted with chalkboard paint for kids to decorate. While parking will be prohibited on Waterloo itself, there should be ample parking in local lots and on surrounding streets. Volunteers will be on hand to help direct traffic to participating lots.