Fourth of July Celebration Moves to Weiss Field, ArtsFest Scrapped
Fireworks will be held July 3
After several years of holding a Fourth of July celebration at Miller Road Park in conjunction with ArtsFest, Mayor Greg Zilka said this year’s celebration will be moved to the landlocked Weiss Field.
Zilka said the event, which will be held July 3, will be more traditional and include music before the fireworks--but no ArtsFest as in years before.
He made the announcement at the Feb. 13 City Council meeting.
“That’s not part of the plan,” Zilka said. “The cost of the event (with ArtsFest) was quite high including overtime. The hours put into it where quite a bit. This would be more affordable.”
He called the plan “more streamlined and more manageable” adding that having fireworks at the lakefront Miller Road Park meant keeping a police boat in the harbor during the fireworks.
The plan has not yet been finalized and Zilka is putting together a committee to work on it.
“The speculation is the event will be much shorter in length,” the mayor said. “The idea would be it would open at 6 p.m., there would be musical entertainment, possibly a second musical group and then fireworks at dark.”
Previously, ArtsFest started around mid-day and went through dark and included art-themed vendors and musical performances throughout the day.
The mayor listed several reasons for the move including more bathrooms (three) at Weiss Field as well as a new concession stand, a reduced need for portable toilets and less overtime for city workers.
“Miller Road Park only has one bathroom,” Zilka said, adding Weiss Field also allows access from four directions.
The field also provides more visibility of fireworks from people’s homes, as opposed to Miller Road Park, which sits on the lake and provides limited view to those not at the park.
“There’s also the safety factor of the wind,” Zilka said of winds coming off of Lake Erie affecting the fireworks. “I talked with firefighters and they were concerned about the wind.”