A River Region favorite
By Terry Duffy
Summer gets its official start next 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 22, on Youngstown's Main Street, with a host of family-fun activities.
"Let's get this party started!" exclaimed Cheryl Irish Butera, president of the Youngstown Business and Professional Association, which is presenting the eighth annual "Beginning of Summer Street Dance."
On Thursday evening, YBPA will team up with a number of local businesses, individuals and area groups for a special celebration of 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, this family-friendly gathering will feature a whole slew of fun happenings. Included will be a classic car show; the return of the ever-popular Carl Motyka Band (complete with bracelets and tambourines for the kids); art viewing featuring the works of renowned sculptor and artist Susan Geissler, who will open her studio; two age-specific bounce houses by Nick Conde's "Bounce-N-Around"; three clowns from the Niagara Clown Alley; pony rides by Lakeside Quarterhorses; face painting and ice cream for the kids; popcorn and beach balls; free coloring books for children by St. John's Episcopal Church; plus foods, drinks and merchandise.
Among Thursday's highlights:
•The return of a vintage car show that grows in interest each year. YBPA reports the show this year will be found on Hinman Street only, adjacent to the Lakeside Quarterhorses lot, to allow for better organization of the "Street Dance" on the village's Main Street strip.
Participation is free and open to everyone.
Organizers Dennis Ketch and Albert McFadyen said this year's show is expected to see new participation by car show groups from Lewiston, Lockport and throughout the area.
"We're open to all vehicles, old and new," Ketch said.
He invited owners of both vintage vehicles and "those new eye-catchers" to join in the show. Interested participants are asked to bring their vehicles to Hinman Street by 5 p.m.
•A street full of eats to fill every appetite. Coordinated by Diane Melloni of Melloni's Market Place, this year will feature what Butera is calling "A Taste of Youngstown."
"We're providing food offerings from our many Youngstown foodies," she said.
Local participants expected include the Youngstown Village Diner, the Mug & Musket, Melloni's and Somewhere.
The Youngstown Lions Club will have its popcorn popper operating with free samples; for the adults, the Jug will be open with a backyard tent and a host of tasty fare throughout the evening; and village businesses will be open with special offerings. 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.
Vendor participation is limited to local businesses and YBPA members. For more information, call Melloni at 219-4105.
•Fun, fun and more fun on the street for visitors of all ages. Families from throughout the River Region typically make this event a must-do, with the Lewiston-Porter School District finished up and virtually all area schools embarking on summer break.
The "Beginning of Summer Street Dance" will be held rain or shine. Butera invited readers to visit Youngstown and celebrate the annual event, which is coordinated by YBPA in partnership with the Village of Youngstown, the Youngstown Police Department and the Youngstown Volunteer Fire Co.