LORAIN — The Black River Landing was booming with excitement on the Fourth of July as thousands of people ventured into the city to participate in Independence Day festivities.
The annual Lorain Port Authority’s Port Fest featured live music, children’s activities, craft vendors, festival foods and of course, fireworks.
Before the fireworks exploded over Lake Erie, Lorain residents Robert Folmar, 5, and his younger brother, P.J. Folmar, 2, sat with their mother and grandmother listening to the music.
“We had a cookout and we did sparklers at home,” Robert said.
Their mom, Tiara Folmar, said she enjoys heading to the Black River Landing for the Independence Day celebration because she feels safe.
“My boys can enjoy themselves and there is no fighting because everyone is enjoying (the celebration),” she said.
And while the Folmar boys set off sparklers at home before the festival, others brought them along and set them off while waiting for the bigger show to start in the sky.
Crystal Miller, 12, and her cousin, Jarred Panter, 11, both of Elyria, were waving sparklers through the air.
Crystal’s mom, Connie Slanczka, said she enjoys seeing her daughter and nephew spend time together on the Fourth of July.
“The holiday is about seeing the fireworks and spending quality time together,” Slanczka said as she lit the last two sparklers.
As the sky grew dark over Lake Erie, more people gathered on the bridge and on the hillside near the Lorain Police Department to await the arrival of the fireworks.
By 10 p.m., Michael Clouse, 6, of Lorain, was growing restless. He sat with his parents, Jeremy and Luba Clouse, chatting about the fireworks they had seen earlier in the year at Coney Island.
“They are amazing,” Luba Clouse said of the Coney Island fireworks.
As the family continued to pass time, a single firework lit up the night sky.
Then, 15 minutes later, the entire sky lit up with color while the booms echoed through the atmosphere. Cheers and applause could be heard as the show continued.
“Whoa, it’s raining lava!” Michael said to his parents with a smile on his face.