The city of Stow is going full steam ahead with the annual Summer Sunset Blast and is currently planning to make it the first “normal” community festival since the COVID-19 pandemic began in spring 2020.
“We’re delighted we weren’t there last year,” said Mayor John Pribonic. “We’re excited to do something really great, and the community has worked really hard to make it happen. People are ready to come out.”
This year’s event will take place September 4-5 at Silver Springs Park, 5238 Young Road, and features a variety of activities, performances, and dining from over 40 vendors.
The bouncy castles and rock wall, both popular community favorites, are returning and sanitized all weekend. The mobile video game truck is also returning this year.
“It’s not ideal to have a gaming truck at an outdoor event, but it’s very popular,” said Park and Leisure Director Linda Nahrstedt. “They open it up so kids can stand around and watch.”
This year there will be an ax thrower stand for the first time.
“That is currently the case and we expect it to be very popular,” said Nahrstedt.
There will also be an appearance by The Boy Band Night, a boy band cover band, on Saturday nights and an appearance by Old Skool Cleveland, a tribute group of the 80s and 90s, on Sunday nights.
As always, the event ends on Sunday evening with a 20-minute fireworks display for the grand finale.
“It is not the largest, most expensive or longest fireworks display that you will see, but you are so close that you can feel it in your chest,” said Nahrstedt. “I think that’s what attracts people.”
“There isn’t a bad seat in the house, but if people are more comfortable watching from their parked cars, that’s an option too,” added Pribonic.
A variety of dining options are available throughout the weekend, including Mexican, Japanese by Dr. Hibachi and Indonesian as well as standard dishes.
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There are also some local foods on offer, including craft beer from Headtrip Brewery and Bündchen from the new Nothing Bundt Cakes.
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Beer can be consumed anywhere in the fenced area of Summer Sunset Blast, which this year expanded to accommodate the number of vendors and allow for more social distancing.
There are no specific protocols for the event at this point, although that is subject to change, Narhrstedt said. Masks are currently optional and there will be disinfection stations throughout Silver Springs Park.
She added that while parking was never a problem for the event, people also have the option of walking to the park via the bike paths. Parks and Recreation will post hiking and park maps on their Fun in Stow Facebook page.
“This is going to be a great event,” said Pribonic. “So bring your kids and bring your appetite.”
Further information can be found at https://stowohio.org/stow-summer-sunset-blast/.
Reporter Krista S. Kano can be reached at 330-541-9416, [email protected], or on Twitter @KristaKanoABJ.