Family fun, music and more
By Terry Duffy
Summer gets its official start this week in Youngstown.
School's out in coming days, and northern Niagara's celebration of its favorite season will kick off with an outdoor party starting at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 23, on Youngstown's Main Street with a host of family-fun activities.
"This year we are expecting our biggest turnout yet. We are ready!" said Cheryl Irish Butera, president of the Youngstown Business and Professional Association, which is presenting the seventh annual YBPA Beginning of Summer Street Dance with the Village of Youngstown.
That evening, YBPA will team up with a number of local businesses, individuals and area groups for a special happening celebrating the traditional end of the school year and the beginning of all that's summer in the River Region.
Stretching from Main and Hinman streets on Youngstown's south end to the intersection of Main and Lockport streets on the north, the event will offer such activities as a classic car show; the music of Carl Motyka; a bounce house, pony rides, face painting and ice cream for the kids; popcorn and beach balls; foods, drinks and merchandise; and family fun galore.
Among Thursday's happenings:
•The return of a classic car show that promises to be bigger and better.
"More classic cars, thanks to our team of classic car experts getting the word out," Butera said. She reported show organizers, YBPA members Dennis Ketch and Josh Stack of The Boat Works, have reached out to car collector groups in the area and are expecting an interesting turnout of classics, both old and current.
"It has gone from 10 cars to more expected this year," Ketch said. He added the classics "will be here," and those who like to display their favorites are welcome to join in, too. "This one is open to visitors, too; no charge to participate."
Ketch and Stack only ask those interested in participating to bring their vehicle to Main and Hinman streets in the village from 4-5 p.m. that day.
•A street full of eats to fill every appetite.
"More vendors on the street - all organized by our foodie Diane Melloni for 'celebrating Youngstown,' " Butera said.
Among the participants, look for the freshly grown and homemade delights of the nearby Sanger Farms & Bakery, plus a host of goodies from The Youngstown Village Diner, Melloni's Market Place & Catering, Main Street Pizza, The Mug & Musket Catering and more. YBPA member the 700 Bistro Cafe will sell smoothies and healthy choices; the Youngstown Lions Club will have its popcorn popper operating with free samples; look for ice cream provided by Ashker's; plus the Jug will be open with a host of tasty fare throughout the evening.
Adult beverages will also be available for purchase at nearby bars and restaurants.
"This is a family entertainment event and no alcohol will be sold on the street. If desired, all of the local establishments will be opened that evening," Butera said.
•Fun, fun, and more fun on the street for kids of all ages.
Among the attractions, Butera said The Carl Motyka Band returns this year as "everyone's favorite street dance band"; free beach balls will be handed out, courtesy of Anchor Spirits; three professional clowns from the Niagara Clown Alley will stroll the street, offering free face painting and balloon animals, as well as a balloon frame for photo shoots; pony rides will be offered from Lakeside Quarter Horses; a bounce house will be on the street; and re-enactors from nearby historic Old Fort Niagara will roam the village.
In addition, a number of area organizations and YBPA members such as the It Happened to Alexa Foundation (host of the upcoming Great Contraption Race), the Youngstown Free Library, Youngstown and Porter historical societies and others will have booths on the street with information for visitors.
Butera invited all to visit, enjoy the experience and celebrate a special evening with the YBPA.
"Come join with us as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the YBPA. It's a celebration for all of us," Butera said.
For more information on Street Dance, visit the YBPA at www.youngstownnewyork.com.