Parma, with an estimated 85,655 (2005) residents, is the largest suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. During the 19th century, Parma remained largely agricultural. However, in the recent past, Parma's commercial sector grew due to its commitment to fostering the growth of many small businesses and has been an operating hub for world-famous companies like General Motors, Union Carbide Research Center, and Cox Cable Television.
The city is bounded by Cleveland and Brooklyn on the north, Brooklyn Heights and Seven Hillson on the east, North Royalton and Broadview Heights on the south, and Brook Park, Middleburg Heights, and Parma Heights on the west. Parma, throughout the 1960s and 1970s, became the butt of jokes by local movie show hosts Ghoulardi, Hoolihan, Big Chuck, and The Ghoul, due to its mostly Polish and Eastern European population. Ghoulardi made a famous series of shorts called "Parma Place" that dealt with Parmans' alleged love of white socks, pink flamingos, chrome balls, kielbasa and pierogis.
Sites of interest in the area include Parmatown Mall and the larger South Park Mall, located south of Parma in Strongsville. Area arts and history are supported by the Parma Area Fine Arts Council and the Parma Area Historical Society. Annual events include the Parma Rib n Rock Cook Off as well as various festival at the historical site of Stearn's Homestead which hosts an old-fashioned ice cream social and a Christmas event, among others.