New, returning attractions part of this year's Youngstown Street Dance
By Terry Duffy
Ready for summer? Yeah, it starts tomorrow. But kick it off in style Thursday in Youngstown.
"We're ready to go!" exclaimed organizer Cheryl Butera, president of the Youngstown Business and Professional Association.
Entering its sixth year, the annual Welcome to Summer Street Dance has become a celebration of sorts in these parts - the end of school, graduations, warm weather, vacations, time spent with friends and family, and simply having fun.
And what better way to get it started right than up in Youngstown?
The event opens at 6 p.m. and continues to 10 p.m. on the friendly confines of Youngstown's Main Street. Youngstown police will have the strip closed to vehicular traffic from the Lockport Street intersection at The Jug down past Hinman to Church Street. There, a slew of both returning and first-time favorites will be found:
•A vintage car show, entering its second year and expected to be bigger and better, coordinated by village Trustee Tim Adamson and Josh Stack of The Boat Works. Entries are welcomed. Call 807-9106.
•Events for kids, including pony rides by Lakeside Quarterhorses and Nick Conde's "Bounce-N-Around" bounce house.
"Both big hits with the children; they will be back again," Butera said.
•Face-painting, featuring two clowns this year.
"This will be the first time we will have painting clowns from Niagara Clown Alley," Butera said.
•An evening of entertainment, featuring the Carl Motyka Band, back by popular demand and returning for a sixth year. Look for plenty of beach balls available to the kids to be hitting the street thanks to Anchor Spirits, and plenty of people of all ages dancing.
•Food, food and more food. Coordinated by Cathy Pasquantino and Diane Melloni, look for a return of "Food Alley," with an assortment of tasty favorites expected from The Village Dinner, Melloni's Catering, Joe's Country Catering, The Mug & Musket Tavern and Ashker's Ice Cream. Among the fare expected will be chicken quesadillas, rice balls, sausage fries, hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, roast beef, pulled pork and more.
•Sanger Farms will be on site with giveaways of fresh produce for the children. Terri Diez of Lakeside Quarterhorses will hold a bake sale and the Youngstown Lions will provide free popcorn.
•The Youngstown Free Library will sell bottled water with proceeds going to support the library. Other beverages will available for purchase from local restaurants.
•Visitors will be able to learn more about the second annual Great Contraption Race. The fun water event/benefit is scheduled to take place Saturday morning, Aug. 1, on the lower Niagara from Lewiston to the boat launch at Fort Niagara State Park.
Ellen Augello of The It Happened to Alexa Foundation of Lewiston and organization volunteers will man a booth providing visitors with all the details on this year's edition of the GCR and how to be a part of it.
•Youngstown Volunteer Fire Co. members also are expected to be a part of the Street Dance. Look for the fire trucks and stop by to say "hello."
•And look for the sales of 50/50 tickets. Proceeds support the Youngstown Lions Club.
Butera said that, in the event of rain or inclement weather, the Street Dance will relocate to the gym inside the Red Brick School Village Center at 240 Lockport St.
"But pray for good weather," she said. "This is going to be fun."