Cuyahoga Falls celebrating 200 years in 10 days
CUYAHOGA FALLS — The city of Cuyahoga Falls will celebrate its 200 years with 10 days of activities, from picnics and a parade to fireworks and concerts.
Cuyahoga Falls’ Bicentennial events will take place Aug. 3-12 throughout the city.
A committee of about 50 people has been involved in the effort, Mayor Don Robart said, after he established the date and length of the celebration about 18 months ago.
“One of the advantages of being old is I was around for the sesquicentennial in 1962,” Robart said. “In 1987, for the 175th anniversary, we had a three-day event. I thought the bicentennial had to be longer. We won’t do this again for another 100 years.”
The mayor said with events scheduled every day, there’s something for everyone. But he’s excited about the Olympic-style opening ceremony Aug. 3 at 5:30 p.m. at Falls River Square.
“We’ll be coming down the river with a flotilla of kayaks and canoes,” he said.
Once city officials exit the river, a lit torch will be carried through the crowd and used to light a 10-foot cauldron in the area of the clock tower at Falls River Square. The cauldron will remain lit throughout the 10 days, Robart said.
That night will also kick off the three-day Crooked River Summerfest, a festival with music, contests and food. Fireworks will conclude the first night around 10 p.m.
Musical highlights of the weekend include dance band LaFlavour Aug. 4 at 6:30 p.m., followed by national recording artist Donnie Iris and the Cruisers at 9 p.m.
Another highlight of the week will be the dedication of a new police memorial in the area between City Hall and the Natatorium Aug. 7 at 10 a.m. Also that day, a time capsule from 1962 will be opened at Falls River Square at 1 p.m.
The city also will fill a new time capsule that will be buried at a later date at the police memorial site, Robart said.
The Bicentennial Parade also will be a standout event, the mayor said. There will be at least 150 units in the Aug. 11 parade, which will travel east on Portage Trail and turn left onto Second Street and right onto Oakwood Drive and end at Front Street. The parade’s theme is “Cuyahoga Falls: The 200 Year Journey Along the Crooked River” and it begins at 10 a.m.
Robart added that about 30 floats are expected to be among the units.
In the Northampton area, Keyser Park will be the site of a rededication of the historic barn there Aug. 4 at 3 p.m. The barn, located on Bath Road, has been restored as a legacy project for the bicentennial, Robart said.
Commemorative items, such as T-shirts, hats, candles, cookbooks, wine glasses and flags, will be for sale throughout the bicentennial events. Robart said so far T-shirts have been the biggest seller.
The mayor added he hopes residents and others from the area come out to enjoy some of the events.
“It’s going to be fun,” he said. “I think back to 1962, which I just have a vague memory of, and it’s amazing how many people come forward and tell you what they kept or remember from that. I’m looking forward to every bit of it.”
Here’s the schedule of bicentennial events:
• Aug. 3: Opening ceremonies, 5:30 p.m.; Crooked River Summerfest, 7 p.m.; fireworks, 10 p.m., all at Falls River Square.
• Aug. 4: Historical house tours, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., $10 in advance, $15 day of tours, Cuyahoga Falls Historical Society; Rededication of barn and ice cream social at Keyser Park, 3 to 5 p.m.; Crooked River Summerfest, noon to midnight.
• Aug. 5: Crooked River Summerfest, 1 to 9 p.m.; Community ward picnics, 3 to 5 p.m.; Cuyahoga Falls Night at Blossom Music Center, 7 p.m. Free tickets available to Falls residents with proof of residency by supplying a current utility bill at the mayor’s office on the second floor off the Municipal Building, 2310 Second St. There is a limit of eight lawn tickets.
• Aug. 6: Bicentennial car show and concerts, 5 to 9 p.m., Falls River Square.
• Aug. 7: Police Memorial Ceremony, 10 a.m.; 1962 Time Capsule opening, 1 p.m., Falls River Square; Community Chorus and New Horizons Band, 6 to 8 p.m., Falls River Square.
• Aug. 8: Akron Big Band, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Falls River Square; Daylong celebration of 100 years of Cuyahoga Falls Library, with local author event 1 to 5 p.m.
• Aug. 9: Bicentennial Splash, 3 to 8 p.m., Water Works Family Aquatic Center; outdoor movie (“The Muppets”), 8 p.m., Water Works Park.
• Aug. 10: Riverfront Rhythm & Blues Review, 5 p.m. to midnight, Falls River Square; Cuyahoga Falls All Class Reunion, Falls River Square.
• Aug. 11: Bicentennial Parade, 10 a.m., Portage Trail; “Celebrate the City” display from time capsule, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Valley Savings Bank on Second Street; Riverfront Rhythm & Blues Review, 1 p.m. to midnight.
• Aug. 12: Interfaith service, 2 p.m., Falls River Square; Closing ceremonies with Western Reserve Community Band, 4 p.m., Falls River Square.
For more information on events, go to www.cityofcf.com or call 330-971-8205.
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