Cleveland Heights celebrates 50 years of block parties - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

July 4 festivities hopes to lift spirits in Cleveland Heights

July 4 celebration on Somerton Road. (Source: WOIO) July 4 celebration on Somerton Road. (Source: WOIO)
July 4 celebration on Somerton Road. (Source: WOIO) July 4 celebration on Somerton Road. (Source: WOIO)
July 4 celebration on Somerton Road. (Source: WOIO) July 4 celebration on Somerton Road. (Source: WOIO)
Jim Brennan  (Source: Cleveland Heights Observer) Jim Brennan (Source: Cleveland Heights Observer)
All four have been charged with aggravated murder and aggravated robbery. (Source: Cleveland Heights Police) All four have been charged with aggravated murder and aggravated robbery. (Source: Cleveland Heights Police)
CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) -

On July 4, the residents of Somerton Road in Cleveland Heights are celebrating 50 years of community block parties, highlighted by a parade from Wilton to Superior on Somerton Road.  

The parade featured children, musicians, friends and guests, as well as residents coming together for the community.  

The long tradition brings together the close-knit neighborhood, which has been devastated by the recent loss of bar and restaurant owner, Jim Brennan. Brennan was shot and killed at his business, Brennan's Colony, on Monday, June 30.

''It's hard to believe something like that could happen in Cleveland Heights," said resident Paul Kit, who is still in shock.

For one half century, a three-block section of Somerton has been the stage for the block party and parade. Traditionally, about 100 people take part, which seemed to be the crowd size this year. But all the smiles and waves only hid some of the sadness brought about by the killing.

At least 1,200 people attended Brennan's wake on Thursday and there was a similar turn out at a vigil just two days earlier.

At some point, the restaurant will reopen. Brennan is scheduled to be laid to rest Saturday morning. Funeral services will be held at Gesu Church in University Heights at 9 a.m.

Cleveland Heights Police have arrested and charged four men with aggravated murder and aggravated robbery. One of the suspects, Brandon Jones, was an employee of Brennan's.

19 Action News shot exclusive raw video of Jones at the scene of the crime, speaking with police as they worked to gather evidence.

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