AKRON, Ohio — When Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan announced the city’s Rib, White and Blue Festival had been canceled this weekend, many were left wondering what that meant for the two additional July 4 fireworks shows scheduled at the Patterson Park Sports Complex and Akron Executive Airport near the former Rubber Bowl.
While city officials told 3News late last week that both of those fireworks displays were on as scheduled, those plans have changed and the events have now been called off.
The decision to cancel the fireworks came Monday morning when Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan announced a downtown curfew amid overnight damage that occurred during a protest in the police shooting death of Jayland Walker.
Here's the full statement from Mayor Horrigan regarding the curfew and cancellation of the fireworks:
Early yesterday, we had several peaceful protests in the downtown footprint related to the officer-involved shooting of Jayland Walker. These protests did not escalate to violence and destruction. I want to first thank them. As I stated yesterday, I fully support our residents’ right to peacefully assemble. What we have been calling for since the beginning, and what the Walker family and many community leaders and faith leaders have also urged, is peace. However, as night fell and others began to join, the protests became no longer peaceful. There was significant property damage done to downtown Akron. Small businesses up and down Main St. have had their windows broken. We cannot and will not tolerate the destruction of property or violence. In light of the damage that has occurred and in order to preserve peace in our community, I have declared a state of emergency, implemented a curfew and canceled the fireworks which were scheduled for tonight.
See a map of the impacted curfew area HERE.
Mayor Horrigan announced the city’s decision to cancel the Rib, White and Blue Festival last week in light of the Walker shooting.
“I completely understand that some residents and guests will be disappointed by the decision to cancel the festival this holiday weekend,” Mayor Horrigan said in a statement Thursday. “Independence Day is meant to be a celebration and a time of gathering with friends and family. Unfortunately, I feel strongly that this is not the time for a city-led celebration.”
Walker died last week after he was shot by police amid an overnight chase.
- RELATED: Updates: How Akron is responding to the shooting death of Jayland Walker involving police
- RELATED: Protesters in Akron call for justice in deadly police shooting of Jayland Walker
- RELATED: 3News Investigates: 8 Akron police officers fired 90-plus shots during confrontation with fleeing motorist
- RELATED: 3News Investigates: Exclusive interview with family of Jayland Walker, killed in a hail of gunfire from 8 Akron officers
Editors' note: Video in the player above was originally published in a previous story on June 30, 2022.