After more than half a decade without fireworks, Duck Tape Festival Committee President Marty Noga said the popular pyrotechnic display will be returning to the Lorain County event.
“We’re going to do fireworks on Saturday night,” Noga said. “We did fireworks better than 10 years ago. The biggest reason we stopped doing it was because the park only has one entrance and where we were blowing the fireworks off, the Fire Department had to shut down the road.
“So traffic was as major hindrance. Now, we’re actually blowing them off on the adjacent property, Willoway Nurseries. So a big thank you to them. I think it’s going to be a nice way to end the weekend, weather permitting.”
The 16th annual Duck Tape Festival is Thursday through Saturday at Avon’s Veterans Memorial Park. Noga is hoping for fireworks of a different kind with Bad Company former lead singer Brian Howe performing classic rock hits Friday.
“Classic rock is even popular with the younger kids now,” Noga said. “We just felt all the Bad Company songs are a good fit that everybody knows. We definitely get bigger crowds for the national acts. We had Lita Ford, John Waite, The Outlaws and Gary Lewis and the Playboys previously.
“It is unfortunate because I love the local music scene, but once you bring in these national acts — and it’s a free show — you bring out a lot of people.”
Other entertainment includes (Thursday) Music by Morrison and McCarthy and Bronx Country, (Friday) DJ Flash Gordon and (Saturday) Music by the Rock Academy at Ron Zehel Guitar Center Avon Lake, as well as Mr. Breeze.
“Another new thing on Friday night is what they call a silent disco,” Noga said. “Supposedly it’s this new fad going on with kids. They get a set of headphones and dance around.
“Also, on (Thursday) we’re calling it Family Night with all of the carnival rides being free.”
While the event boasts a carnival-affair atmosphere, the reality is it’s a celebration of, well, construction adhesive tape. So why are people returning annually to the Duck Tape Festival?
“No. 1, every year we do a different theme — this year being ‘Sweet 16’ — and that piques people’s curiosity,” Noga said. “So a lot of people come out to see what’s new, what’s different. It’s just the wackiness of it.
“A Duck Tape Festival kind of makes people go, ‘What?’ And then they have to go see it just because. There are also the loyal Duck Tape fanatics out there who attend every single year.”
Invariably, the last decade and a half has included plenty of wackiness.
“What makes me laugh every year is the Duck Tape outfits people make,” Noga said “When you think you’ve seen it all, wait for next year. It’s just constant, every year you see something new and different.”
So what will Noga be wearing this year?
“I just might pull my vest out of the archives,” Noga laughed. “I wore it last year, too.”
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