If you’re from the area, you’ve heard it many times – we’re a melting pot. That melting pot included immigrants from many different countries who brought specific language and culture with them. To honor our ancestors and the gifts of cooking, music, dance and more that they passed down to us, we chose to have our opening theme be “Back to our Roots – Honoring Ancestry”. As you experience the day, look for the variety of foods, arts and music that reflects an even wider variety of lineages. Being a melting pot makes us rich in heritage and something we are all proud of and proud to share!
Artists and food vendors will open at noon. Shop and enjoy the tastes of our festival throughout the day and evening. From roast beef sandwiches to gyros, come visit the two WaterFire Food Courts, located in the parking lot on South Dock St., and new this year – a second food court! This will be locating in the Reyer’s parking lot. Indulge yourself in some delicious foods while waiting for the braziers to light at dusk.
More than sixty-five artisans and non-profit organizations will cover the downtown streets from the intersection of E. State and Dock St. through W. State Street and Main Street. We have craft vendors, fine artists, jewelry makers, and more–a little of something for everybody! Be sure to stop in every tent: you never know what you’ll find.
Native American Blessing by Leon Briggs
Keep an eye on the river for musical performances. The river festivities will begin at dusk with a Native American Blessing of the river by Leon Briggs. Leon Sam Briggs, is an enrolled Tonawanda Seneca whose native name is H oya’degay hus, “he helps always” hawk clan. In 2004, he was ordained as a spiritual leader of the American Metis Aboriginal Association. He works in traditional Arts of beading, quill and leather work. He speaks on his traditional teachings in herbology, (focused native uses of plants), and works as a cultural consultant. He has made annual trips to Little Eagle, South Dakota to meet with the community and government leaders as a cultural lea son, participate in events and ceremonies, such as Peace Place powwow to support local efforts to start building the Little Eagle Community Center.
Fire Performer Jimmy Pyro
Fire Performer, Jimmy Pyro, will perform several times throughout the evening. Watch for him on a boat on the river and the bridge abutment. Jimmy is a born thrill seeker, and a natural entertainer. He has always been drawn to the power and sound of fire, which he uses to captivate his audience with explosive and dramatic performances. Jimmy Pyro has been professionally performing for eight years and has entertained over 250,000 people. He will leave you talking for years to come and a memory you will never forget.
Aerialist Diane Zizka
You won’t want to miss these performances at the intersection of Shenango and E. State Street! Aerialist Diane Zizka is a solo performer from Cleveland, Oh., and has been entertaining crowds with her aerial skills since 2009. She has performed all over the country at various street events. Diane combines her dance and strength skills into a graceful, daring feat of human ability, climbing great heights and dancing in the air, dropping into the fabric… and building a truly jaw dropping experience for the spectator. Diane is also a fine artist and recent graduate of Cleveland State University with a BA in Studio Art.
Performance Times: 6:45 p.m., 9:30 p.m., 10 p.m. & 10:30 p.m.
Vocalists Dan Alan Hogan and Brianna Bojewski
Dan Alan Hogan and Brianna Bojewski will perform live from the boat for the July Honoring Ancestry WaterFire Sharon, PA. They will perform around 9:40 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. from a boat traveling the entire stretch of the river from Connelly Blvd to Silver St
Dan Alan Hogan teaches music at St. Michael School in Greenville, where he is also the choir director and founding band director. He has performed vocally for over 30 years, but kept to church settings until entering the Greenville Symphony Orchestra’s Rising Stars Vocal Competition in 2012.
Twenty-five year old Brianna Bojewski fell in love with singing when she got her first solo back in middle school. She gives all of the credit for her voice to the late Angela Arduini Fels, a close friend, as well as her vocal coach, for 7 years. Brianna has performed at several different venues on many occasions, including private parties, USO shows, local bars and restaurants, school musicals, national anthems and the Erie Playhouse Theatre.
Kayaks adorned with lit flags from around the world will also be on the water several times throughout the evening, if water levels permit.
We’re turning up the heat this year at WaterFire Sharon with TWO food courts! Between Mary’s Restaurant’s Gyros, Rollin Smoke BBQ, Suds & Sinkers Mini Donuts, and many more, for your lunch, dinner and dessert options, c’mon down to WaterFire Sharon to satisfy those taste buds!
Visit WaterFire Sharon’s “Starlight Garden”, located on the corner of South Water Avenue and Connelly Boulevard. Between 5 to 10 p.m., for $20, a donor will receive both a lit star with a ribbon, and a luminary with a blank card. The ribbon is used to write a wish or message on, and will be hung with the lit star in “Starlight Garden”. The card is also meant for the donor to write their wish or message on, and place it beneath the luminary. After the wishes are written, WaterFire Volunteers will be onsite to hang the star where the donor chooses within the garden. Not only is this a beautiful, magical looking spot of light along the river, it’s also a chance to personalize the experience of WaterFire even more. Writing a wish for the world, a loved one, even yourself, or sending a message to someone a far, it’s all up to the writer. After each event, the wishes are sealed, brought to the river operations and placed in a brazier at the following fire. A bow on that brazier designates for you where your wishes are. Enjoy how beautiful the blue glow of the stars looks paired along the orange glow of the braziers lit in the river. So what are you wishing for? From your friends at WaterFire, Sharon PA, “May all your wishes come true!”
Henry Ekker Autograph Collection
Enjoy sports? Admire athletes and their accomplishments? Then you won’t want to miss this one of a kind collection. Inside the library you’ll find a large, autographed, and unique sports memorabilia collection on display from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is no charge to visit this collection that you’ll find on the library’s first floor. Also, located at the Community Library is The Literary Garden. Members of Random Acts of Artists (RAA) installed this garden to help bring awareness to the importance of literature and the arts in our community. Each of the over 40 posts are painted to represent a book or piece of literature theme of the artist’s choice. Be sure to visit this inspirational garden.
As you stroll through downtown Sharon this 2017 WaterFire Sharon season, be sure to look for the many art spaces that are growing along the river! Here are some art points of interest to seek out.
- The vibrant mural on the Community Action building, was the first large scale mural work in Sharon by Leslie Michaels and friends.
- There is also a fun Sharon, Pa. mural near the Laskey’s building on N. Water Ave, facing State Street.
- And of course, admire beautiful downtown Sharon’s newest large scale art addition to downtown Sharon! Located W. State St. Reyer’s building- Mural by Joel Bergner, students from HOPE C.A.T and local artists contributors.
- Look to the corner of S. Water Ave & State St.- “It’s a Wonderful World” Sculpture art of trumpet player- George Junior Republic and Sharon HS students.
- The “Can Opener,” or “Angel” is the oldest sculpture art installation in Sharon at S. Water Ave & Connelly Blvd. It is made on Cor-ten Steel that when it rusts forms a protective coating, the same steel that was used on the Oakland Viaduct. It weighs 10 tons and actually is in need of some repair. The artist intended the structure to rust into a bed of slag. The slag has since been removed for flowers. It is located in George Warren Memorial Park/Garden on Water Ave.
- River Gardens Park- “Garden Gallery” colorful art installation – RAA artists
- River Gardens Park- “Willow Way” living willow archway- Carol Novosel & RAA artists
- Community Library of the Shenango Valley- “Literary Garden” colorful art installation with literary theme- RAA artists
- And new for this season – check out the alley across from Vine St.( between Michael Anthony’s and the Uniform Shop)- “Random Interface” 26 large portraits line the alley- RAA artists
- Corner of S. Water Ave & State St.- “Indian Drum” Improvised mixed media drum assemblage- Stella Shine & RAA artists
- Corner of S. Water Ave & State St.- “Dueling Piano’s” Improvised mixed media and wind chime assemblage- Terry Polonsky & RAA artists
- Cravings Cafe & Creamery, 76 Shenango Ave. Random Acts of Artists’ “Artist of the Month” – The paintings by 20 RAA artists which were used as props in the Black Sheep Player’s production of “Love, Loss and the Clothes I Wore”. All 20 of these paintings will be auctioned off on August 12th as a fund raising event to benefit the local Autism organization. All proceeds go towards Autism.
- Never Enough Yarn, E. State St – RAA Gallery at NEY- Linda Brink will be the featured artist at the RAA Gallery at NEY ( Never Enough Yarn) for all 3 Waterfire events this season.
- Columbia Theater Park- Various art contributed by RAA artists.
- Various locations around Sharon, “Painted Trash Barrels”- RAA artists
- RAA WATERFIRE EVE EVENT– Friday, July 14 from 7-10 p.m.- Alley across from Vine St. between Michael Anthony’s and the Uniform Shop- Public Presentation and Thank you party for all artists involved with the “Random Interface” art installation project. Music, taco bar, and more.
Look for art hidden on the streets: All artist vendors and various RAA artists will be participating in the “Abandoned Art” project. Look for plastic bags with a note saying “You found me now I’m yours.” The art inside of the bag is yours for free.
Impromtu Art & Music: There will also be several artists set up in the streets demonstrating their artistic talents for the public. These will range from raku pottery to drumming. Some planned, some popups – keep looking as you don’t know what you’ll see and where!
Calling All Kids
The Children’s area of WaterFire Sharon will have lots to do, from 1 pm –7 pm! There will be interactive chalk art, yoga, exercise, bubbles, an obstacle course, a scavenger hunt, ornament making, chalk board painting, arts & crafts by Home Depot, and that’s just to name a few! Add-in friend making, lots of laughs and loads of fun! Don’t forget the petting zoo that is located in Riverside Park. The animals would welcome a visit from you!
We think you’re going to find a very interesting tree in the Children’s Area this Saturday. The tree is a project put together by Marybeth, Hannah and Lily George. It’s an ancestry tree. Students from area schools contributed leaves to the tree. The leaves have their ancestors hopes and dreams on the front and their own hopes and dreams on the back. The trunk has area businesses that helped the valley to grow. There will be the ability at the children’s tent for visitors to place their own leaves and their own thoughts of businesses on the tree. The roots have countries on them and Saturdays guests can put countries they are from as well.