by Terry Duffy
Excitement is back in Youngstown.
The sleepy little village at the mouth of the Niagara, following a somewhat low-key summer, has seen new bar and restaurant destinations open over past weeks, and plans are in place for the all-new Youngstown Arts and Music Festival taking place next weekend.
The Mug and Musket Tavern (formerly known as Brennan's), 418 Main St., is now open and features a variety of dinner and pub fare offerings as well as all-new entertainment.
The welcome news of the Mug and Musket opening comes off the resurrection of another - a familiar gathering spot now called Somewhere ... (formerly known as the Portage House) and located at the corner of Blairville Road and East Avenue and co-owned by resident Pat Stack.
Youngstown resident Claudia Andres, who runs the Mug and Musket with fellow village resident Nick Ricciuti, reports the tavern's varied entertainment fare kicked off last night with open mic. That continues tonight with karaoke from 8 to 11 p.m. and different offerings are on tap for a number of evenings over the coming month.
The schedule includes: Oct. 3 - the Water Street Quartet from 6 to 9 p.m.; Oct. 4 - folk jam, 8 to 11 p.m.; Oct. 10 - open mic, 8 to 11 p.m.; Oct. 11 - The Casual Mondays, 8 to 11 p.m.; Oct. 16 - trivia night, 7 to 9 p.m.; Oct. 17 - open mic, 8 to 11 p.m.; Oct. 18 - The Blue Hawk Band, 8 to 11 p.m.; Oct. 23 - Step in Time, 7 to 10 p.m.; Oct. 24 - open mic, 8 to 11 p.m.; Oct. 25 - "Sweeney Todd Night" with NU cast, 9 to 11 p.m.; Oct. 30 - Joe Webber, 7 to 10 p.m.; and Oct. 31 - Halloween party with DJ Mike Smith, 8 to 11 p.m.
For more on the Mug and Musket, stop by or visit its new page on Facebook.
Village businesses are also gearing up for the Youngstown Arts and Music Festival, set for 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, at Falkner Park in Youngstown.
It kicks off at 11 a.m. with the Youngstown Bed Races, which will start from the Ontario House (Stone Jug) at Main and Lockport streets and end at Falkner Park. Registration is $20 with proceeds going to benefit the Ransomville Food Pantry.
According to "Miss Jane" of The Dory Trading Post, who is among those assisting on organizing the Bed Race, this venture is open to individuals as well as teams, with no age limit. All - be they individuals, groups, families, even companies - are welcome to participate. Theme or costume attire is strongly encouraged. Riders/participants are expected to maintain control of their own bed and not interfere with others.
This year also will see the presentation of awards, including the "Golden Spirit Award" for best bed design, "Most Outrageous Bed" and the "Broken Spring Award", also known as "The what were you thinking award."
For more on the Bed Race, stop by at The Dory Trading Post at 435 Main St., call 716-222-2129 or visit its Facebook page.
From noon and continuing throughout the afternoon the Arts and Music Festival will feature a number of happenings at Falkner, including: food vendors, the Woodcock Brothers Brewery, the Black Willow Winery, assorted children's craft activities, an artisan market, a farmers market plus booths/participation from Cornell Cooperative Extension, the Youngstown Lake Ontario Post VFW and Old Fort Niagara.
And a host of music/entertainment offerings is expected. Included are: the Dady Brothers; the Celtic Circle Ceilidh Band; Callahan, Daly and Jones; the Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village Victorian Dancers; Dave Ruch; Kindred; Step in Time with Another Thyme; the Irish Volunteers; Tim and Diana Straube and the Youngstown Village People.
This event is presented free of charge. For more information, call 716-622-0373.