‘It’s disrespectful’: Man launches petition to stop annual fireworks display at cemetery in Wadsworth

WADSWORTH, Ohio -- Roy Boyes of Wadsworth Township is hoping to put an end to the fireworks at Woodlawn Cemetery in Wadsworth.

“It’s disrespectful.  It mainly affects the loved ones left behind.  You memorialize your loved ones and keep it nice and you want this area to be respected,” said Boyes.

He recently started a petition to stop the city from launching fireworks from an unused area a couple hundred yards from where his parents are buried.

“They want it there because it has a spectacular view downtown.  We don’t want to stop fireworks, we just don’t want it at the cemetery,” said Boyes.

According to Councilman-At-Large Tom Stugmyer, the cemetery is owned by both Wadsworth and Wadsworth Township.

“That area could never be a grave site.  It’s on an embankment, there is a creek behind it,” said Stugmyer.

It is managed by a three-person cemetery board.  Stugmyer is on the board.

“After every display, we walk the entire cemetery and make sure there is no debris around,” he explained.

So, who can ultimately make the decision?  The board or city council?

Stugmyer said that decision will be made before the city council meeting on Tuesday, April 2nd.

He added that there is no other location to shoot off fireworks in downtown Wadsworth.

“It’s been a cemetery for 200 years.  That’s all we want.  It’s a cemetery.  It’s what it should be,” said Boyes.

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