Thousands attend sold out RoverFest - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Thousands attend sold out RoverFest

Thousands flood Lorain for the annual RoverFest. (Source: WOIO) Thousands flood Lorain for the annual RoverFest. (Source: WOIO)
Rain delays have pushed back the finale, extending the party well into the early morning hours. (Source: WOIO) Rain delays have pushed back the finale, extending the party well into the early morning hours. (Source: WOIO)
LORAIN, OH (WOIO) -

Thousands of people, as well as some big name musicians, descended on Lorain's Black River Landing for RoverFest on Saturday. The annual summer concert put on by the Cleveland-based radio show, "Rover's Morning Glory," sold out this year.

Organizers say the event sold out in about 11 minutes and expect around 13,000 in the crowd.

Activities started at 1 p.m. with performances by P.O.D., T-Pain, Trapt and Lil Jon. Things were scheduled to end around 11 p.m. with a fireworks display, but rain delays have pushed back the finale, extending the party well into the early morning hours. 

With Lorain's unemployment rate more than twice the national average, could RoverFest 2014 be exactly what Lorain needs? Vacant businesses have been a part of Lorain's depressed economy for too long. Some hope RoverFest can turn that around.

"Lorain has been down a long time. It's like a ghost town. Nobody wants to come here," said Bud Wooten.

Locals are split on the idea. Some appreciate the extra revenue and exposure for the city, while others dislike the traffic congestion, heavy crowds and dangers of alcohol-fueled attendees.

Jack Kanone, owner of Gene's Marine Sales and Service, hopes RoverFest is the start of something big for the city.

"I think it will open the door for bigger venues," Kanone said. 

Parking and traffic have been headaches, but entrepreneurs stood ready to turn a quick buck off of pop-up parking.

Police have an extra presence in the area to keep order in a city overflowing with 13,000 extra people ready to eat, drink and have fun. RoverFest also has its own security. Both authorities say they will not tolerate drunk and abusive behavior and will continue to monitor public safety concerns.

"Hopefully everything goes smoothly over there so we have a good reflection on Lorain," said Kanone.

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