Midnight fireworks to usher in Easter

WARREN – As the clock ticks past midnight tonight, city residents near the downtown area may hear sudden bursts and see colorful flashes of a fireworks display celebrating Easter Sunday.

St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 429 High St. N.E., will hold the display, which is set to begin at 12:01 a.m. and last approximately 10 to 12 minutes. The congregation has invited the community to attend the celebration.

Some people living in the area expressed concern on Friday night. Christina Pingley lives along nearby Washington Street with her young child.

“It does bother me a little bit,” Pingley said. “I didn’t know about it.”

Others, like Porter Street resident Barb Beardslee, said, “It’s not an issue for me. We’ve got kids here, but they don’t like to go to bed until 1.”

According to a release by the church, the display represents the cultural importance of the Easter or “Pascha” holiday. The midnight celebration in the Greek Orthodox Church is referred to as the Anastasi service.

“Through this display, the Greek Orthodox Christian community of St. Demetrios hopes to convey to our beloved community of Warren what is sung on that night: ‘Today are all things filled with light, Heaven and Earth and the places under the earth,'” a news release states.

A church spokesman could not be reached for comment Friday night.

Warren Safety-service Director Enzo Cantalamessa said the church applied for and received a fireworks permit, which is reviewed by the police and fire chiefs, Mayor Doug Franklin and Cantalamessa.

“The permit gives the church and the event a variance over any noise ordinance,” Cantalamessa said.

He said the fireworks did not happen last year due to a conflict with an Ohio State Highway Patrol saturation campaign being held on the same night, but St. Demetrios has held the event in previous years without a problem.

“If there were complaints (about the time of the fireworks), I don’t have any specific recollection of them,” Cantalamessa said. “What makes this event less problematic than it otherwise might be is there is usually really sufficient notice.”