Home Days brings four festive days of food, fun, fireworks and more

by Dan Holland

An estimated record crowd of 15,000 visitors flooded onto the grounds of the Broadview Heights city campus for Home Days July 7-10. The event offered food, fun, rides and attractions, live entertainment, fireworks and more.

The annual event included 15 food booths and a beer garden, 29 area business booths and 13 amusement rides provided by Big O Entertainment.

Fireworks shows were presented on Thursday night and Saturday night. The main show on Saturday night lasted nearly a half hour and featured a 10-minute-long grand finale.

Youngsters had numerous events to choose from throughout the extended weekend, including a caricature artist, magician/illusionist Elie Haoui, a petting zoo and the UR Awesome foam party. Family events included Mayor Alai’s 5K & 1 Mile Walk, Dances of India, spinning wheel and blacksmith demonstrations and a police dog demonstration provided by the Broadview Heights Police Department.

One of the more popular attractions held in a large, centrally-located tent was the Pick-a-Prize game and silent auction, which was manned by city employees and officials. Visitors could buy raffle tickets to place in buckets representing a wide variety of items found in more than 60 baskets.

Live music was presented each day in the Jani-King Amphitheater and included Young, Dobeck & DiCosimo, Joe Bell and The Swing Lizards, Alex Bevan, The Shootouts, Dennis Chandler and The Stratophonics and Blue Lunch.

Mayor Sam Alai, who ran in the 5K race, said it was great to see the community turn out in full force.

“Everyone wants to be back out and come together with friends and family – I think the whole community is here on Saturday night along with most of Brecksville and half of North Royalton,” he said during the event. “It’s a great night, and we get to see a lot of great people and a lot of friends and family that maybe haven’t been out for a while. It’s just wonderful to see all the people coming together on a beautiful night like this.”

Broadview Heights residents Eric and Elana Grinnell attended the event with their three young daughters Emmeline, Evelyn and Eleanor.

“We really enjoy all the fun activities to do for our kids,” said Elana. “We could be here all day and all weekend, really. The bubble party is really cool; we love the food, all the events for the adults, the music, the rides – it’s all good. There’s something fun to do here every day.”

Arnie and Lisa Chura, of Parma, liked the open spaces and numerous attractions.

“This is a really nice event,” said Lisa. “It’s very spaced out, not overcrowded, and there are no long lines. The rides are really fun, and the food is great too.”

Steve Szczygiel, of Broadview Heights, took in the festivities with young sons Matthew and Andrew.

“We love the family nature of it,” he said. “We love that it’s a good time for the kids and we get to get outdoors and enjoy it all together.”

North Royalton residents Chris and Zaneza Kubinski said they enjoy the family atmosphere of the event.

“The family events and the food are all really good,” said Zaneza. “The whole family atmosphere is just wonderful. We love coming here.”

Broadview Heights resident Michelle Julian said she appreciates how the festival “just brings out all the people in the neighborhood.”

“It’s family, friends, food and fun; all of that makes it a great event year after year,” she said.

Youngster Rory Bell, who attended Home Days with parents Josh Bell and Christine Gruber, of Broadview Heights, told the Broadview Journal that she “likes the cotton candy and Icees the best.” ∞