CLEVELAND - With temperatures in the 90s on July 4, there's no doubt finding a spot in the shade will be in high demand across the Buckeye State, as people try to stay cool while spending time with their families to celebrate the holiday.
In Akron, the gates to the annual Rib, White and Blue Festival opened at 11 a.m. The downtown Akron fest, which is free, is expected to draw a huge crowd in front of Lock 3.
It won't be hard to find a slab of ribs that fit your taste buds, as eight rib vendors vie for the honor, some coming from as far away as Texas. Ribs aren't the only thing that will steal the show. At 9:45 p.m., you can watch a spectacular fireworks display from Lock 3.
On the Web: Rib, White & Blue Fest http://akronribfestival.org/
Over in Lorain County, the Grafton Parade was a huge hit. Hundreds of families turned out to see the vintage vehicles drive by, hear music playing and try to stay cool. Seeking shade was top of mind for those watching the event. The Grafton Food Mart said its number one top selling item was ice.
[You can see photos from Grafton's Parade, and other events around NE Ohio, by following this link: http://on.wews.com/N7sa26.]
People have packed Lakewood Park, enjoying family time, food and fun. They're also trying to get in good position for the fireworks show over Lake Erie at dusk. Pros continue to set up the display.
Moving along to Parma, where our photojournalist said the heat likely kept many families away from the July 4 parade. Those who braved the heat were seen holding umbrellas and trying to find any spot of shade they could. Politicians in the parade happily threw candy out to children in attendance. Despite the heat, kids seemed to enjoy the festivities.
You've heard it's been said it's better in Mentor. The kids enjoying the splash parks would probably agree. Instead of basking in the hot sun, children and their parents are cooling off in the fountains at Edward R. Walsh Park. Splish, splash!
Lolley the Trolley drove people around Berea for a historical look at the city. There was also an ice cream social held indoors at the Mahler Museum on E. Bridge Street, where people of all ages cooled down by eating the sweet treat. Author Patricia Mote was on hand to sign copies of her book, "Legendary Locals of Berea." Those in attendance said it was a pretty "cool" day.
Officials at the Cleveland Zoo tried to make a festive scene for the animals, as part of Red, White and Zoo event. Animals got festive treats from keepers and guests marked their routes through the zoo with a special list of red, white and blue animals to complete their own "Parade the Zoo for Red, White and Blue."
Leave us a comment below and tell us how you spent your Independence Day -- and what it meant to you!
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