Ashton Road Continues Fourth of July Block Party
The small Cleveland Heights street sandwiched between Fairmount Boulevard and East Monmouth Road has hosted an Independence Day celebration for more than 50 years.
Not many would argue that Ashton Road is one of the most patriotic streets in Cleveland Heights.
Passersby can see that many homes on the tiny road, which is sandwiched between Fairmount and East Monmouth, have American flags displayed on their porches.
Richard A. Hollis has displayed a giant U.S. flag in his front yard that hangs from a tree for the past few years.
And for more than 50 years, neighbors have organized a Fourth of July celebration that includes bike and dog parades, games like egg toss and sack racing and a potluck.
This year, the flower clown is expected to make an appearance and the Euclid Beach Rocket Car drivers will offer families a ride on Independence Day.
“I think it’s just nice to have that (sense of) community in your neighbors and have that environment for your kids to be a part of,” said Jenni Carney, 31, who has lived on the road for about five years. She has a four-year-old daughter and a two-year-old son. “We have a lot of families who have kids the same age.”
And it seems it’s always been that way.
Edwin Hill grew up on the street during the 1960s and 1970s, and he said there had to be about 70 kids living there at the time.
He remembers the Fourth of July festivities well.
“It was a big deal for the kids to decorate their bikes each year with crepe paper,” said Hill, who now lives in Indiana. “There’d be the parade and games and everyone would drag out their picnic tables to the street and have a potluck.”
Hill said there are some families who have lived on the street for decades, but he’s not sure how they’ve kept the tradition going.
His mother, Quinton Hill, said the Herman family used to be in charge. When it rained, they’d invite neighbors into their home. She said there used to be floats all the time.
But her favorite memory doesn’t include the float.
“The first year we lived here I made Edwin an Uncle Sam hat, and he rode his tricycle and I decorated it with crepe paper,” she said. “And it rained.”
She said although there’s not always a float, the kids are still “tickled pink” to participate in all of the activities.
Throughout the week, neighbors host other events like a tie-dye party and a movie night.
“It’s nice that kids have playmates the same age,” Carney said, “for your kids to be a part of the community and have friends they can visit.”
Look for a photo gallery from the Fourth of July event soon on Cleveland Heights Patch, and neighbors, please post your own photos, too.
In the meantime, share your own memories of the Ashton Road Fourth of July celebration below, and post photos from past events by clicking "Upload Photos and Videos."