The Festival

Downtown Lorain once again became the stage for sizzling fire and arts performances and installations  at the second annual FireFish Festival held on Saturday, September 17 from 2:00 – 11:00 P.M.

The free event presented music, dance, theatre and art both on stages and in the hidden alleys, empty storefronts, balconies and fire escapes on Broadway Avenue, Black River Landing Lane, and at the Lorain Port Authority’s Black River Landing. Highlights included the Sammy De Leon Orchestra, sound artist Jeremy Bible’s audio installation in the Palace Theatre, aerial artists Jasmine Dragons, video artist Kevin Jackson and Grammy winning pianist Angelin Chang in a unique collaboration, and the Great Lakes Light Operas, and the FireFish Finale Burn – an inspired lighting during a break in the rain by the light of the full moon.

FireFish Processional and Finale
The creation and “transformation” of the FireFish traces a journey that reflects much of the power and sense of collaboration that has infused our Festival. The Fish was designed by master puppeteer Dan McNamara who also served as the resident artist at FireFish’s STEAM youth Academy. The Academy teen apprentices, under the direction of Monica Idom, built and paraded the fish with support from artists Ian Petroni and Sky Davison. They were also accompanied in the procession by teens from the PACE Foundation, drummer Baba Jabal, and dancer Brittany Drost.
From the Parade on Black River Lane, where it did not completely dodge the rain, the Fish was transported by Mihalic Maintenance, expert transporters and logistic experts, to Grumpy’s Bait Shop (the launch area on the Black River where our barge had been graciously stored for several days) allowing the delivery to King Fishery. Under the deft naval savvy of Captain Ken, our FireFish was escorted from there to the Black River Landing through the rain, where it met the Loco ‘Yaks who were themselves awaiting the flame.  Through a herculean effort led by the kayakers  and Ohio Burn Unit’s Schuyler White,  the ultimate fiery “transformation” of the FireFish was accomplished, just as the clouds broke and the full moon emerged.
With significant assistance from the Lorain Fire Department, the Lorain Port Authority and the United States Coast Guard, this fire will  hopefully engage and inspire the transformation of the once great City of Lorain into a new era of art and creativity.
Creators of the FIREFISH FESTIVAL Koi Centerpiece were:  The FireFish STEAM Academy –  Myesha Arnold, Christian Billings, Briana Boggs, Chakyia Chaney, Jacintaya Cuellar, Aaron McHenry, Shanija Mourer, Mia McNemar, Jos’Lyn Nobel, Allison Otero, Destiny Ramos, Brian Suarez-Herrera, Ryan Williams; Master Builders: Daniel McNamara, Ian Petroni; Koi Fish Artistic Design: John (Sky) Davison; Artistic Development Strategist: Monica D. Idom; Soniqua Morries: STEAM Academy administrative coordinator: Volunteers: Arthur Schwandt, Jessica Songer. 



We truly appreciate the support of our sponsors, partners, volunteers, and friends — and all of you who are helped make the 2016 FireFish Festival a blazing success. THANK YOU!

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