Sharon WaterFire fest gives local shops a chance to shine

SHARON, Ohio (WYTV) – Around 15,000 people are expected to be in downtown Sharon Saturday for WaterFire. This is the 5th year for the arts and music festival — and it’s also a way for shops in Sharon to gain exposure.

FireBean Expresso — which just opened downtown on July 7 — will be a part of WaterFire for the first time. Owner Kim Conger says she doesn’t know what to expect, but she’s hoping it brings in a lot of customers.

“I can’t even imagine what 10, 20, 30-thousand people looks like,” she said.

Conger says FireBean serves homemade coffee and smoothie recipes. The coffee they use is from the West Coast.

She’s hoping the drinks leave a last impression impression this weekend.

“Hopefully when they come through the doors and they leave, they see how amazing it is and they come back the following week,” Conger said. “But we can’t wait for WaterFire.”

Leaders with WaterFire say the event shows people what Sharon businesses have to offer, but it’s also a way to get customers to come back to the city.

George Joseph, who owns The Penn-Ohio Cigar Company, says the festival does just that.

“I imagine there’s a lot,” he said. “Because people that didn’t know we were here stop in when they’re in town now.”

Joseph opened his cigar shop 21 years ago, so he’s been around for the four previous WaterFire’s. He knows the doors have to stay open a little later.

“For us, we have a steady crowd on Saturday’s anyways,” Joseph said. “So what ends up happening is we probably double or triple our revenue — new people that are coming through.”

Saturday is the first of three WaterFire events this year. Music and children’s events start at 1 p.m.