Festival Preview: Friday, September 2nd, 2022
The Fire It Up! Festival Preview at the Broadway Block Party on September 2nd in downtown Lorain will feature work from FireFish artists and preview art experiences from the festival. This smaller, more condensed party is from 4 – 11 pm in the alley by Speak of the Devil. Art installations and fiery encounters will spill out onto the sidewalk of 5th Street up to Broadway Ave and to the corner of 7th Street. In addition to the festival preview party, the community can use our map and follow the trail of FireFish Pollinator Sculpture Garden Pots to visit the galleries and exhibits at our artist’s businesses.
Festival Date: Saturday, September 17th, 2022
Downtown Lorain will be filled with activities, performances, vendors, and food trucks. Exhibits of work and shows featuring the FireFish Artist Advisory Board, community artists, and other invited local artists will be located in the auxiliary parking lot across from the police station. Festivalgoers can explore these unique spaces and creative art throughout the festival.
At 4 pm, the festival will officially launch with a performance by the Bread and Puppet Theatre at the corner of 2nd Street and Broadway. At 6:45 pm, the community along with performers, puppeteers, musicians, and drummers will line Broadway Ave and lead Festivalgoers along the annual Parade route to the James Levin FireFish Festival Finale Ceremony. The iconic finale performance will culminate in the “Burning of the Fire” at sunset. A celebration of music and dance will follow and continue until 11 pm.
Bread and Puppet Theatre
The circus is coming! The circus is coming! The 59-year-old, Vermont-based Bread and Puppet Theater is coming to the 2022 FireFish Festival with its iconic “Domestic Resurrection Circus.” Their performance at FireFish both celebrates the beauties while also lamenting the sorrows of our existence in a series of mask, music, and puppet vignettes that artistically connects to the theme of the James Levin FireFish Festival Finale Ceremony and “Burning of the Fire”: Fire, Rebirth, and our Connection to the Natural World.
Always influenced by current events, Bread and Puppet Theater fuses elements of art, music, and sculpture into the creation of a unique puppet theater that displays life in simple, ritualistic terms rather than trying to explain it or teach about it. Believing that theater is a necessity like bread, Bread and Puppet brings its theater out into the streets to those who may otherwise not go to the theater. Larger than life-size puppets, often on stilts, wear huge masks with expressive faces, singing, dancing, and playing music. Participation in this play includes 20 – 30 Bread and Puppet performers, puppets, and stilt walkers, as well as youth from the ACES program and others involved in FireFish Arts programing, performing against the backdrop of the famous Bread and Puppet traveling bus.
The Domestic Resurrection Circus starts at 4 pm in the parking lot of LCCC City Center on the day of the festival. It is a 1 – 1.5 hour-long show. Following the show, Bread and Puppet serves its famous sourdough rye bread with aioli and sells prints and other memorabilia.
The James Levin FireFish Festival Parade, Finale Ceremony, and Burning of the Fish
Large-scale puppets representing local flora and fauna created by artists, youth, and community members will be on view during the FireFish Festival, then parade to the iconic “Burning of the Fire” as part of the James Levin FireFish Festival Finale Ceremony.
While the FireFish itself has taken on many identities and personalities, this year’s monstrous FireFish will embody elements of grotesque sculpture, characterized by fanciful and fantastic human and animal forms intertwined with foliage. Accompanied by flora and fauna in a ceremony of procession and performance on its phoenix-like journey of rebirth through fire, the FireFish becomes a decorative, fanciful, and fantastic caricature that represents the personal things that we would like to symbolically burn and release while looking toward new growth and the future of Lorain.