Cited as the latest example of “art as a catalyst for civic rebirth” by the Cleveland Plain Dealer editorial board, the first Festival, held in September 2015, drew 10,000 attendees. The excitement of this unique event with its performances in unexpected places and percussion parade culminating in the burning of the ceremonial fish has been built upon each year. Extended hours, additional venues, a wider array of exciting performances, inventive visual art installations, fire performers, and more transform Lorain’s downtown urban landscape into a fiery and dynamic artistic experience that engaged all of the senses.
According to Executive Director James Levin, “With FireFish Festival, we dare to reimagine what downtown Lorain could be, and now in its fourth year, the fruits of our labor are evident with stores, dance and yoga studios, recording studios and bars springing up along Broadway Avenue. Similar to what Cleveland Public Theatre brought to Gordon Square and what the Ingenuity Festival brought to East 4th Street, this festival is the impetus for the reinvention of Lorain as a dynamic, artistic mecca. By bringing together local and regional visual, performing, and installation artists, some experimenting with the forms of fire in their art and presented in places that you may not expect, we have created an unforgettable one-of-a-kind arts festival.