What makes Akron unique?
It's a question that's been asked this week ahead of the Signal Tree Fest at Lock 3 and Lock 4 in Akron this weekend, celebrating what makes the city of Akron unique.
Is it Lawson's Chip Dip (only found at Circle K), Luigi's, or the music scene that's home to The Black Keys, Devo and Chrissie Hynde?
Of course, we have to mention it's the home of LeBron James. But it's also the home to countless others who hold the city close to their hearts.
We asked you to help us list some of the that make Akron special. Among the favorites:
- The Devil Strip (the strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street)
- JoJo's (fried potato wedges)
"I think Akron is really easy to throw your arms around," said Chris Horne, the founder of The Devil Strip, an arts and culture publication in Akron.
Besides the hint of a southern accent, you wouldn’t know Horne isn't from the area. He moved to Akron from Macon, Georgia and instantly fell in love. It's one of the reasons behind the Signal Tree Fest, a celebration of what makes Akron unique.
"It’s easy to say JoJo’s, sauerkraut balls, and the blimp, but there are people who made these things happen. The blimp is an emblem of innovation."
The number one response to what makes this city different? People.
"It's the spirit of cooperation, but also D.I.Y. 'I'm going to do it myself and the people jump on board to help.'"
Akronites have called the city "supportive" and invested in encouraging creativity. The Knight Foundation in Akron has supported a number of new ideas in the city, including tranforming an underused highway into a temporary forest.
So for those who remain skeptical about Akron’s “coolness” --- while many we talked would like to put it into words --- it’s more about experiencing the city for yourself.