The FireFish Festival returns September 17 to downtown Lorain – Morning Journal

The FireFish Festival is back this year with a new location and with a twist, according to a press release.

This year’s highly anticipated event will take place from 2-11 p.m. on September 17.

Moving from the downtown streetscape of Broadway to the undeveloped former “pellet terminal” area north of Black River Lane, this new site reveals both the beauty and potential of the shores of Lake Erie and Lorain’s Black River, providing a stunning natural backdrop for this year’s festivities, according to the release.

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The FireFish Festival returns September 17 to downtown Lorain. (photo sent)

As always, the event promises one-of-a-kind art installations, food, fun, fire — and the much-anticipated and signature fire of the FireFish with its parade and performance, according to the release.

“With Broadway Avenue fully activated with so many exciting businesses, it only makes sense that FireFish Arts would highlight the next downtown ripe and ready for redevelopment, while connecting with and showcasing these businesses as part of of the festival,” said Candice Pettigrew. , director of operations and marketing for FireFish Arts.

Always free, the 2022 FireFish Festival will feature food trucks, a vendor’s market, art installations and interactive art opportunities for visitors.

Visitors are encouraged to explore the many new bars, restaurants, shops and FireFish artist sites in downtown Lorain.

On the site of the FireFish Festival itself, visitors can expect screenings under the Charles Berry Bascule bridge, sculptures of pollinators near the new giant welcome sign to Lorain and the Marie Bonaminio pollinator garden, and all kinds of fun, artistic and entertainment activities around the theme. of the 2022 FireFish Festival, which is “Fire, Rebirth and Our Connection to the Natural World”.

Event headliner

The FireFish Festival returns September 17 to downtown Lorain. (photo sent)

Headlining the event is the 59-year-old Vermont-based Bread and Puppet Theater, which performs its iconic “Domestic Resurrection Circus” at 4 p.m.

Believing that theater is a necessity like bread, Bread and Puppet takes its performances to the streets for those who otherwise couldn’t go to the theater, according to the statement.

Larger-than-life puppets, often on stilts, wear huge masks with expressive faces, sing, dance and play music, according to the statement.

Attendance for this play includes 20-30 performers from Bread and Puppet, puppets and stilt walkers, as well as youth from the ACES program and others involved in FireFish Arts programming, all performing against the backdrop of the famous traveling bus Bread and Puppet and Lorain’s beautiful waterfront. .

“An exciting part of this year’s FireFish Festival is the increased opportunity for the community to participate in the creation and planning of nearly every piece of the festival,” said Ryan Craycraft, Director of Community Art at FireFish Arts. . “We are proud that this year’s event was developed with feedback from the community, the FireFish Festival Board and the FireFish Board, and that the build of the entire festival continues to grow. ‘involve the community in a broader and deeper way.’

The Bread and Puppet performance is followed by an interaction with troupe members who will be handing out homemade bread that day, as well as the sale of their artwork, posters and books, according to the statement.

The FireFish Festival returns September 17 to downtown Lorain.  (photo sent)
The FireFish Festival returns September 17 to downtown Lorain. (photo sent)

Live bands, including Avon Lake native Ann E. DeChant, round out the festival lineup, which also features glassblowing demonstrations and other hands-on activities.

At dusk, a “Pied Piper” parade leads community members as well as artists, puppeteers, musicians, firefighters and drummers to the highly anticipated and iconic annual James Levin FireFish procession and the burning of the FireFish at the sunset.

This year’s monstrous FireFish, built on site during the week leading up to the FireFish Festival, will embody elements of grotesque sculpture, characterized by whimsical and fantastical human and animal forms intertwined with foliage, according to the release.

Accompanied by flora and fauna in a processional and performance ceremony on its journey of rebirth like a phoenix through fire, the FireFish becomes a decorative, whimsical and fantastical caricature that represents personal things which organizers would like to symbolically burn and release while looking toward further growth and the future of Lorain, the statement said.

The FireFish Festival returns September 17 to downtown Lorain.  (photo sent)
The FireFish Festival returns September 17 to downtown Lorain. (photo sent)

The event also includes the launch of numerous potted pollinators, vegetable gardens and sculpture pots created by FireFish Artist Board member Joshua Biber.

These mini-sculpture garden pots will serve as location markers for Broadway sites of FireFish Arts programming, community art, and member companies of the FireFish Artist Board.

Upcoming “pop-up” community art creation sites will be posted on FireFish social media and the FireFish Festival website.

FireFish Preview September 2

Community members can also look forward to seeing the FireFish Festival and FireFish itself come to life during the week leading up to the FireFish Festival and are invited to participate in workshops to help create the festival, the statement said.

A “preview” of the FireFish Festival will take place on September 2 as part of Main Street Lorain’s First Friday party.

Visitors can experience the “mini” FireFish Festival facilities and activities from Fifth Street Alley adjacent to the Speak of the Devil Cocktail Lounge and along Broadway Avenue from Fifth to Seventh Streets.

The FireFish Festival returns September 17 to downtown Lorain.  (photo sent)
The FireFish Festival returns September 17 to downtown Lorain. (photo sent)

The FireFish Festival is supported by grants, sponsorships and the generous support of community members, businesses and partners, the statement said.

These include the National Endowment for the Arts, Arts Midwest Gig Fund, Ohio Arts Council, Fowler Family Foundation, Nord Family Foundation, Nordson Corporation Foundation, City of Lorain, Lorain County Visitors Bureau, Campana Family Foundation, Lorain County Community College, Jack Bradley Family, Norton Family, Lorain Rotary, Lorain Public Library System, United Property Management and Buckeye Community Bank.

For more information, visit the FireFish Festival website at or contact Candice Pettigrew at [email protected]

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