Cleveland Excited for NFL Draft, Less So For Surprise Midnight NFL Draft Fireworks That Could Be Heard in Suburbs


The draft is here, and it's hard not to notice - ERIK DROST/FLICKRCC
  • Erik Drost/FlickrCC
  • The draft is here, and it's hard not to notice

Tens of thousands of people descended on downtown Cleveland yesterday for day one of the 2021 NFL Draft, packing the lakefront venue, sidewalks, bars and restaurants with numbers and energy that made the city feel very much alive for the first time in a year.

The marquee NFL event brought with it all the glitz and excitement you'd imagine despite attendance slimmed down by Covid safety guidelines and some late afternoon/early evening fog and rain.

VIPs were in town, an international audience was watching Cleveland sparkle, Northeast Ohioans took advantage of what could be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to take in the festivities in their hometown, visitors gushed about the city, and even if you didn't give a hoot about what team picked which player, or even knew the name of a single draftee, it was, for lack of a more elegant description, very cool.

Until about midnight, when a barrage of fireworks fit for the Fourth of July welcomed the end of day one long after most Clevelanders had dreams of a Super Bowl parade filling their heads.

As far as inconveniences go, it was, of course, a minor one.

But it wasn't just the timing, it was the sheer size and volume of the display that took Clevelanders โ€” and suburbanites โ€” by surprise.

Rest up, Cleveland. Friday's a good day for a nap.

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