Party in the Park in Painesville started out as a barbecue with a petting zoo and a clown. Today it has become Ohio’s largest free music festival.
Party in the Park, which runs July 15-17 in the Painesville Square, has been around since 1979, according to Pam Morse, co-chair of Party in the Park and president of the Painesville Community Improvement Corporation (PCIC).
PCIC, established in 1976 as a non-profit community organization, sponsors the festival.
“From what I understand, at first it was a bunch of guys with barbecues on the gazebo, which is different now. It’s a new one,” Morse said, pointing to the new gazebo “It was very small and community driven. Then it slowly evolved into the music festival and then into a three-day music festival. The very first event, when they raised funds, they l used to beautify downtown Painesville by buying flowers, which we continue to do today after the event.
This year, Morse expected between 70,000 and 100,000 spectators. On the first day of the festival, between 15,000 and 20,000 people attended, she said.
“At night it was packed,” Morse said. “You couldn’t even move.”
The festival’s VIP area is sponsored by Soul Shake and the Eastside Horns, a band that will close on Sunday night. The VIP ticket also included food by The Shop and Mr. Lee’s. Also, this is the first year that the PCIC has been responsible for adult beverages at the PCIC bar.
“It’s been great,” Morse said. “I was in the ticket sales area yesterday. A guy was here with his wife and another couple. They will stay here all weekend. He bought 38 tickets, so they plan to have a blast. I think the music lineup is amazing. We have a phenomenal family entertainment area, which has been sponsored by Signature Health, Mr. Hero in Painesville Township and Mr. Hero in Painesville along with many other local businesses. We have big sponsors, but even our small companies sponsor. The involvement of the community for the sponsorship is incredible.
Morse thanks what she calls the “Blue Shirt Group,” key people who work tirelessly throughout the year to organize, fundraise and run the event.
“Without them, this wouldn’t happen,” Morse said. “I want to thank our volunteers, who are the people who pour beer, pick up trash and clean the VIP table, Painesville and all of their employees and officers. Without them, we wouldn’t be here. »