MACEDONIA — Hundreds of vehicles filled parking lots and fields as area residents showed up in Longwood Park Saturday night for one of the few Independence Day fireworks shows in the area.
"Everything went awesome," said Brad Wisniewski, membership and marketing coordinator for the Macedonia Family Recreation Center. "Parking was great, we filled up all of our lots. Everyone really did maintain their social distancing."
Wisniewski said an estimated 615 vehicles filled all available parking on the south side of Route 82, with vehicles starting to arrive in the Rec Center parking lot as early as 6:45 p.m. Those arriving early enough got a special treat when the RE/MAX balloon took off from the park, an event arranged by Sagamore Hills resident Kristine Bissler, a realtor with RE/MAX Traditions and the firework show’s presenting sponsor.
Once the lot was filled, said Wisniewski, a grass field just to the east of the lot and a gravel lot by the ballfields to the south were filled. At around the time the estimated 20 to 25 minute show began from the soccer fields on the north side of Route 82 at around 9:45 p.m., said Wisniewski, the last available area, a field just east of Longwood Manor was filled and closed.
Wisniewski said that despite all the people and traffic, everything went smoothly.
"That’s why it was actually a huge success for us," he said. "Everyone really did pay attention, followed everything. We were guiding everyone into the park. Everyone listened. We didn’t run into any issues. Even as far as exiting at the end of the night. All the lots were cleared within about 25 to 30 minutes. Again, no issues."
Normally, the fireworks show would have been a part of the Spirit of Macedonia FunFest, but COVID-19 forced the festival’s cancellation this year. Mayor Nick Molnar, however, previously said that due to the city paying half the approximately $15,000 cost months ago, out of proceeds from last year’s FunFest, it was decided to proceed with the fireworks show under guidelines provided by the state and CDC.
Molnar said Bissler’s approximately $1,100 sponsorship pretty much paid for overtime by city employees working at the event.
Bissler has said that besides wanting to do something for residents in the area, she also wants to promote fundraising she is involved with through KB Group of RE/MAX Traditions to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ COVID-19 Relief Fund at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. It includes a drawing, the grand prize of which is an opportunity for the winner and a guest to learn about hot air ballooning as crew members for the day on the RE/MAX balloon. The deadline to enter is July 11 and the winners will be announced July 15.
There are several ways to enter the prize drawing:
? Liking the KB Group of RE/MAX Traditions Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/KBSellsOhioHomes
? Uploading a photo of the entrant’s best selfie or fireworks shot from the July 4 event to their Facebook page and tagging @KBSellsOhioHomes and three friends.
? Making a $5 Donation to the Children’s Miracle Network via the KB Group of RE/MAX Traditions fundraising page at https://childrensmiraclenetworkhospitals.org/fundraiser/1205/. Every $5 donation counts as one entry into the drawing.
Reporter Jeff Saunders can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @JeffSaunders_RP.