Music and Geekery Start the Falls Festival Season
Bart Sullivan, 07-23-2018

Provided by the Festival Organizers
Roxxymoron closed out the night out at the River City Pop Culture Festival on Falls River Square to the Animals’ “We Gotta Get out of This Place.” This was fitting, considering the festival was meant to end nearly an hour earlier. Despite this, the public kept enjoying the music and celebrating the start of the festival season.

The past year has brought many changes for downtown Cuyahoga Falls, notably the opening of Front Street to vehicular traffic on February 3rd. Since the renovation, businesses like Yum Yum Sweet Shop and Crave Cantina have moved in to the new Riverfront Mall, bringing new customers to the formerly depressed shopping center. New traffic didn’t stop celebrations, however, as the River City Pop Culture Fest kicked off the festival season on June 2nd, a co-production of Altered Realms Radio and Oddmall.

The event featured a celebration of all things pop culture, marking new territory for Falls festival events. “What we hope is to bring the pop culture event we always wanted to run to the people and fans in the Falls, and just provide a fun and family-friendly celebration of Pop Culture,” Altered Realms’ Dan Gorman said. “We hope to grow this event into a destination spot and a premiere event for the area.”

The festival began at 10 am with a parade, featuring a variety of local politicians, performers, cosplayers, and vehicles celebrating the Cuyahoga Falls community. Following the parade, the festival presented food trucks as well as arts, craft, and collectible vendors, plus two stages of entertainment, including Roxxymoron’s closing performance, among others. Additionally, the usual Oddmall costume contest took place, hosted by Rubber City Cosplay. “It’s a great opportunity to bring the whole family out and have great time together,” remarked Rubber City cosplayer, Sydney Dyke.

Oddmall organizer Andy Hopp hopes to introduce residents of Cuyahoga Falls to the world of “geek culture.” “Oddmall is part art fair, part craft show, part comic con, part gaming festival, part cosplay extravaganza, part toy show, part antique show, part vintage fashion show, part geeksplosion, part music fest, part magic show, and part various undefinable othernesses,” he said.

The River City Pop Culture Festival was also a great way to reintroduce residents to the newly improved downtown area. “It was promising to see so many people at the Riverfront festival, which was reminiscent of last year’s Better Block,” Akron resident Chris Miller observed. “This should definitely be a regular event, and I’d love to see more local art featured at future installments. Anything that brings people away from their computer and mobile screens and out into the community is a benefit for all of us.”

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