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Third Annual Fire Fish Festival Lights Up Lorain

For the past few years, a flaming fish has lit up the Lorain night as it floats along the Black River for the annual Fire Fish Festival. 

It's the artistic brainchild of Lorain County Community College's Joan Perch and local arts impresario James Levin.

The past two festivals have sparked with a civic rebirth in Lorain with retail stores, dance studios and art galleries popping up throughout downtown. 

"When we decided that we wanted to do something to use the arts and technology to reinvent downtown Lorain and excite the region we invited [James Levin] and he brought his magic and it's really happening," Perch said.

The festival culminates each year with a ceremonial Fire Fish being lit on fire along the Black River in Lorain. 

The Fire Fish is created by students from the STEAM Academy located at Lorain County Community College who learn design techniques and utilize their creativity to make an artistic fish to be paraded through the streets before the big "lighting" ceremony.

One of the students is senior Daniel Hodge who was charged with bringing the Fire Fish to life.

"I decided to think outside the box and try to get the mout [to move] and the eyes to blink.  They say if you can do it on paper you can do it inside the shop.  So I figured it out," Hodge said.

The result is a 25-foot long STEAM Punk Fish that's become so popular they've decided to spare this year's fish from the flames.

"We don't only have one fish this year, we're having two because the first one was so darn good we decided to make a second," said Perch.

This second fish is now the sacrificial Fire Fish that will light up the night in Lorain this weekend.

The Fire Fish Festival takes place Friday, October 6 and Saturday, October 7 in downtown Lorain.

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