Home Days brings four days of family fun

by Dan Holland

Broadview Heights Home Days provided visitors with four days of family fun, food, live music, rides, attractions, live entertainment, fireworks shows and more July 8-11 on the grounds of the city campus.

Thor Platter performs at the city’s amphitheater as part of the Friday entertainment lineup. Photo by D. Holland

An estimated 6,000 visitors attended the festivities, including 3,000 alone on Saturday.

The event had support from more than 15 local sponsors and a number of local businesses and organizations that set up booths to connect with area residents.

Connor Hudak, of Parma, attempts to win a prize throwing darts along the midway. Photo by J. Kananian

Fireworks shows were presented on the first three nights of the festival, with the largest display occurring on Saturday.

Youngsters thrilled to events such as a petting zoo, Bubble-Palooza, children’s rides and attractions and prize-winning games and contests for kids hosted Sunday afternoon by DJ Jim Rio.

Nadia and Jim Clifford, of Hudson, enjoy the music at Home Days. Photo by J. Kananian

One of the biggest draws was a large tent that hosted Pick-a-Prize and a silent auction. Visitors could buy raffle tickets to place in buckets representing a wide variety of items found in 64 baskets. A number of city officials manned the tent on Friday night.

Live music in the community amphitheater included acts such as Recess Band, Victor Samalot, Thor Platter, Blue Matter, Becky Boyd & The Groove Train and the GeezeCats.

Heather Imboden, of Broadview Heights, and her son, Tyler, were all smiles at the Home Days petting zoo. Photo by D. Holland

Saturday featured the most events including Its Artsee Live, a live interactive art display that visitors could contribute to, as well as a live yarn-spinning demonstration, Spotlights Rock, magician Rick Smith Jr., a live blacksmith demonstration, the Dr. UR Awesome Bubble-Palooza and a police dog demonstration featuring Broadview Heights Police Department K- 9 officers Hercules and Chase.

Brooke and Lyla Jividen, of Broadivew Heights, enjoy a funnel cake. Photo by J. Kananian

Sunday’s events kicked off with Mayor Sam Alai’s 5K & 1 Mile walk/run, which featured hundreds of participants, a DJ and many giveaways.

Alai, who finished first in his age group in the 5K, said the event was a success despite some rainy weather that morning. The race/walk was followed by a pancake breakfast held in the recreation center’s auxiliary gym.

John Urvay, of Parma, and his daughter, Carmella, sample some of their favorite festival foods. Photo by D. Holland

“It was by far the busiest Home Days we’ve ever had,” Alai said. “I’m sure post-COVID that everyone wanted to get out and do things, and that probably played a part in it. Friday and Saturday were incredible; the weather was just perfect. We had a number of great local music artists who played each day. It was just a good gathering of people.”

Broadview Heights resident Kim Holland adds to a “bucket list” chalkboard courtesy of One Way Ministries and the church’s youth pastor, Andrey Lozovsky. Photo by D. Holland

Jen Siegel of Seven Hills attended the event on Saturday with her husband Aron and their two children, Laurel and Oliver.

“We love the community atmosphere, and when you’re walking past the different booths, you get to learn about some of the different local businesses and other opportunities in our community,” Jen Siegel Jen, who grew up in Brecksville, said. “And there’s always a lot of amazing live entertainment every year. We’re here for the shows, the rides and the petting zoo. It’s just a good family-friendly time. And it’s all free – you can’t beat that.”

Broadview Heights City Councilmember Brian Wolf and his wife, Karen, work one of the festival’s most popular attractions, the Pick-a-Prize tent. Photo by D. Holland

John Urvay of Parma, who attended the event with his daughter, Carmella, said he comes to Home Days every year for “the food, the fireworks, the games, the live music and all the friendly people.”

Gretchen Luciano places her ticket in for the drawing. Photo by J. Kananian

“It’s great when you have a good plan and good people in place to put it all together,” said Alai. “It’s a large undertaking that requires a lot of planning and preparation, and it all went off perfectly.” ∞

Fireworks light up the night sky over Broadview Heights Home Days July 9. Photo by D. Holland