CINCINNATI, Ohio — It’s a tradition that dates back nearly 50 years — hundreds of thousands of people descending upon Cincinnati’s Riverfront for the annual WEBN fireworks celebration.
Joe Rozzi is in charge of setting off the annual display – which normally takes place during Riverfest. But unlike similar events across the state, this one isn’t being canceled. Instead, Rozzi and his team got creative to keep the holiday weekend tradition alive.
“We approached a number of people that we know and finally came up with a plan that worked,” he said.
Instead of being set off downtown, the fireworks have been moved to an undisclosed location and are just being broadcast on TV.
“We know that and there’s something about not being there personally,” said Rozzi. “Trust me, I know. I’m going to miss the ride up the river. I’ve done that for the past 30-something years, but it’s all about the fireworks and that’s what it started out as — a fireworks show.”
And while this year’s show has a different feel and sound, organizers are diving into their back of tricks to make it special in its own right.
“We always do something new and something different, and the show is always designed for television because there is an audience, and even though it’s not live, it’s much better, it’s much different,” he said. “You can’t smell the smoke. You can’t feel the thump in your chest, but it’s still done in a frame.”
And that frame is helping brighten the skies during an otherwise dark year.