CLEVELAND — As Northeast Ohio welcomes back Fourth of July celebrations free of COVID-19 restrictions, businesses are gearing up to welcome another wave of crowds over the weekend. Many of them were severely impacted by the shutdowns and missed out profits that come with city events.
“There’s a lot of built-up demand and momentum and we’re just riding the wave. We are really excited to see the energy back here in the core,” said Heather Holmes, VP Marketing and PD Downtown Cleveland Alliance. “We’ve had over 150 restaurants that are still open you know and over 21 new restaurants open during the pandemic so there’s lots of places for folks to come down after their barbecues or house parties.”
The Downtown Cleveland Alliance is gearing up to showcase its 92 cases of fireworks for its “Light Up the Lake” display.
“Our Fourth of July fireworks celebration is one of the longest shows, one of the largest firework celebrations in the city,” Holmes said.
“When there is activity in the core, right, when you get people coming down to the core it does trickle out to the neighborhoods.”
But what about neighborhoods and cities like Garfield Heights without any Fourth of July fireworks displays?
“The community needs something like that in Garfield Heights it really does,” said resident Sharon Ladavac.
The city’s mayor tells News 5 he’s trying to bring back its fireworks show to boost its economy, but he needs help from businesses.
“In a lot of the communities that surround us, there’s a lot of sponsorship from local businesses that are in their community. I would like to see that happen here in Garfield heights but it’s just we don’t have the connection with a lot of the businesses just yet,” said Mayor Matt Burke.
The city’s display was canceled more than a decade ago when the city fell into fiscal emergency trouble. Mayor Burke says though the city is now out of fiscal emergency, “but by no means are we in the clear to use additional funds. It wouldn’t be fair to our taxpayers here in Garfield Heights to utilize their funds in a manner that just doesn’t make sense to the city right now.”
While Burke works to get businesses on board to string together July Fourth fireworks show, residents are hoping it works out.
“Every city should put on a show,” said resident Erica King. “Everyone loves fireworks. You can’t have Fourth of July without fireworks.”