FireFish Arts
About the 2023 FireFish Festival

About the 2023 FireFish Festival

What is going to happen during the 2023 FireFish Festival this September?

The FREE FireFish Festival takes place every September around the time of the full moon, serving as the culmination and celebration of all FireFish Art’s programs. Each year, the event promises unique art installations, music, food, fun, fire – and the much anticipated and signature burning of the FireFish with its parade and performance. The festival takes place this year on September 16th, and we are excited that it is moving back to downtown Lorain, with the “Burning of the FireFish” returning to Black River Landing.  


How did the theme Fire in the Sky: Transcending Dark & Light come about?

This year, our team of artists began thinking about the 2024 total eclipse of the sun that will be visible here in Lorain, and the idea that the FireFish Festival and burning of the FireFish have always been about transformation and hope. What emerged was the theme for the 2023 FireFish Festival: “Fire in the Sky:  Transcending Dark and Light.” We are expecting that artists, youth, and community members will explore that idea and also the duality and yin/yang nature of darkness and light in many ways, including by making lanterns.


What is the new FireFish lantern parade this year? 

Each year a “Pied Piper-like” parade at dusk leads to the much-anticipated Burning of the FireFish. Looking to get more artists and community members involved in that wonderful procession (that takes place in the dark!) it became obvious that adding light and lanterns made sense. It also offers an opportunity for everyone to create their own “fire in the sky” and join the parade.

 So this year, for the first time, the FireFish Finale Parade will feature a parade of lanterns created not only by artists but by youth and community members. Everyone who makes a lantern can parade alongside fire performers, musicians, and drummers to the FireFish “burn circle” —  where everyone at the festival gathers around for the spectacular FireFish burn and pyrotechnics. 


Who will be making lanterns for the Parade?

Lanterns will be made by local artists as well as community youth and families, right in their neighborhoods. We are really excited about the many partnerships with other organizations that are truly making this a bigger community event. The Lorain Public Library is a key partner, hosting workshops for youth and adults in the Main Library Make Space, as well as an artist residency for FireFish artist Ryan Craycraft at the Little Library at Lakeview Park. Other partners include Art in the Park, Lorain County Community College, the ACES youth program, El Centro’s 231GO! program and the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer. A full schedule of opportunities to join in the fun is on the FireFish Festival website, including in the weeks leading up to the festival with artist Danny McNamara.


How can the community create art for the festival?

This is an exciting year for all of us at FireFish. Each year we look to expand the engagement of the entire local Lorain community, so everyone who wants to can help us create this festival, which is a festival for all of us. With more and more artists and performers living and working in Lorain, we have a great team to help us, and to work with the community in new ways – including through these varied lantern workshops and the opportunity to parade with us to the FireFish. We are so fortunate to be a part of this community and to work with so many others toward our shared vision of a vibrant and creative Lorain – with the arts accessible to everyone.