The Iconic Grand Finale is in Jeopardy and You Can Help!
The Iconic Grand Finale is in Jeopardy and You Can Help!

The Iconic Grand Finale is in Jeopardy and You Can Help!


What has changed?

As you know, this summer has been marked by air quality concerns as smoke from the wildfires in Canada settled over Northeast Ohio, pushing the air quality in the area to unhealthy levels. This prompted FireFish Arts to seek guidance from the EPA on how to safely proceed with this year’s burn. Based on this, we decided to pivot our plans for the construction of the FireFish into a permanent steel sculpture and convert it to propane-based pyrotechnics.

The steel structure of the new “Illuminator” FireFish is designed by Ryan Corrigan who works at the LCCC Fab Lab. FireFish Finale Artistic Director Danny McNamara and Schuyler White, from the Ohio Burn Unit, are working with Lorain business owner Dave Milhalick to construct and weld the steel frame of the FireFish. Welding apprenticeship opportunities are available for participating students from Lorain High School.

Why is burning the FireFish important?

Every year we build and burn the FireFish to affirm our joy and celebration through this exciting and fiery finale to the last days of summer. Both celebratory and symbolic, the ceremony affirms that we have the power to make the world anew from any and all ashes which may consume it.

The people, families, and friends new and old, of Lorain and the surrounding northeast Ohio communities have annually made their way to the FireFish Festival to view this one-of-a-kind pageantry, which includes the FireFish burn circle, performances, fire dancing, and art. Ultimately, the message of FireFish is on our ability to transform memory into hope.

Donate now to help us build an improved and long-lasting FireFish!

This year we are seeking $15,000 in additional funds as we transform the centerpiece sculpture for the culminating event — the burning of the FireFish.

Donations will be used to fund the construction of the new steel FireFish, which is a one-time cost estimated at $10,000. An additional cost estimated at $5,000 annually will be used to supply pyrotechnics used to “burn” the FireFish.

We are asking both our long-time supporters and community members at large to increase their gifts to help us continue to provide this iconic tradition in a new way, as our art continues to reflect the ways our community evolves over time.

Long after the FireFish Festival is over, our city will continue to benefit for years by having the physical FireFish metal sculpture on display year-round for visitors to enjoy at its “home base” in downtown Lorain — and in subsequent FireFish Festivals.

Contact us if you have questions or would like to donate at (567) 219-0185 or