AKRON, Ohio — While the “official” start of spring was way back on March 20, Northeast Ohioans know that date has little significance; spring begins when the snow ends, the sun comes out and the Miller Road Lions are unwrapped.
For those unfamiliar with the legend, the Miller Road Lions are two lion statues that adorn the end of the driveway of the home of the Salaheddine family on Miller Road. Statues were installed there decades ago, but after the family learned the harsh lesson of what kind of damage can be done by an Ohio winter, the family purchased a new pair and began wrapping them in plastic every winter to protect them from the cold, ice and salt kicked up during your average Northeast Ohio winter.
RELATED: Statued sign of spring: How the Miller Road lions in Akron have become a tradition like no other
For people in Akron, passing the wrapped statues in March, April or May means that it's not quite spring. Keep the snow brush in the backseat, don't put away the winter coat and certainly don't pull out the sandals just yet. But once you drive past the house on Miller Road and see the lions unwrapped in all of their glory—get ready for warmer weather and sunny skies to come.
While it's been a local tradition for decades, it took a new life during the pandemic when Hank from 330ToGO started posting "Lion Watch" updates to his page.
Since the lion unveiling went virtual, it has only become more popular, and Monday’s livestream of the unveiling of the lions was watched by thousands ready to welcome spring.
There was even a sweepstakes with one lucky viewer receiving a batch of Ohio-shaped cookies made by the Mars & Benny Cookie Company in Fairlawn.
The event has gotten so popular, the Salaheddines and 330ToGo are teaming up to sell t-shirts of the lions, with proceeds benefiting St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
This year's May unveiling was later than other years as Jimmy Salaheddine joked that the statues "told him" it wasn't time to be uncovered yet—and as those in Akron have come to learn, the lions are never wrong.
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