Car Cruise, children’s activities, Thurman Brothers and more on Main Street
√ YBPA members hear River Region news updates
By Terry Duffy
With the 13th annual Beginning of Summer Street Dance just days away, its planning was among the many topics covered at Tuesday’s spring members meeting of the Youngstown Business and Professional Association at the Youngstown Yacht Club. Discussions included updates on musket use at Old Fort Niagara; tributes to long-time Youngstown businesses; a new village audio project being promoted by Niagara County Legislator Irene Myers; and July’s Porter on the Lake Summerfest.
Topping the discussion was the YBPA’s annual Street Dance celebration to come on Thursday evening, June 22.
“We are pleased to announce our 13th annual ‘Beginning of Summer Street Dance and Classic Car Cruise’ featuring the Thurman Brother’s Band,” YBPA President Cheryl Butera said. “Their music is renowned and loved by so many that everyone will be dancing in the street!”
Set to run 6-10 p.m. (rain or shine) on Main Street, this annual happening promises fun for all ages. Presented by YBPA, it is supported by the Town of Porter and Village of Youngstown with partial sponsorship by Modern Disposal Services.
“Each year, this event gets better and bigger, and this year is looking to break all records because folks are so pleased to be back together again,” Butera said.
It leads off with a car cruise at Main and Hinman streets, where car enthusiasts and owners of those classic collectibles are invited to bring along their prized vehicles to display starting at 4:30 p.m. The invites are out and, “we’re hoping for very good attendance, over 50 vehicles, if the weather cooperates,” said event co-organizer Albert McFayden.
Nearby, the staff of Lakeside Quarter Horses will again be offering pony rides for children. YBPA said the corner of Hinman and Main will transform into “the kid’s corner” where a potpourri of activities for the younger set is planned. Look for plenty of games; face painting by volunteers including Chrissy Parish of the new Salon Christine & Co. on Main Street; and a visit from Youngstown’s favorite clown, Jim “Donuts” Donoughe, with his balloon animal creations. Also, plenty of hula- hoops, chalk walk art activities on the street and free beach balls provided by Anchor Spirits and Wines. Nearby, the Youngstown Volunteer Fire Co.’s fire truck will be on display with handouts on safety and education.
Don’t forget about the dancing on the streets, with The Thurman Brothers set to return again this year.
“Dave Thurman told us that his band is bigger and better than ever,” Butera said, ash she hinted at an Allman Brothers musical theme in planning with a two-drummer set among the surprises. “I don’t know how to describe it; but it will be lots of good things.”
Also look for plenty to eat and drink. Among the expected favorites: the Youngstown Village Diner, with sales of hot dogs, hamburgers, fries and soda; the Youngstown Marketside, which will celebrate its one-year anniversary with pizza and sandwiches; the Ontario House (Jug) with on-premises food and drink; and the Hill of Beans Coffee Stop, with java creations and a coffee treat as it celebrates being named YBPA’s 2023 Business of the Year.
Joining in will be a host of vendors and community organizations. There will be free popcorn offered by the Youngstown Lions Club; bottled water by the Youngstown Free Library; a 50/50 split table with bubble machine presented by the YBPA; and the First Presbyterian Church of Youngstown will be celebrating its 200-year anniversary with ice cream for the kids, and the “Wreath Sisters” selling deco wreaths.
Also expected: Youngstown VFW Lake Ontario Post 313, the Youngstown Garden Club, Lew-Port Youth Football and Cheer, the Historical Society of Youngstown, and members of Girl and Boy Scout troops.
A number of village business will be open, including Everything Youngstown, Sister and Brother Children’s Apparel, Barker Outdoors, Main Street Pizza and the Susan Geissler Art Gallery.
“Everyone in Youngstown will be out there to greet our visitors. Come out and start summer and the end of school with your family and friends!” Butera said.
For more information on Street Dance, visit the YBPA on Facebook or its website, www.youngstownny.com.
As noted, the Tuesday get-together at the Yacht Club covered a number of items.
•Robert Emerson, executive director at Old Fort Niagara, announced that, following an about-face in Albany, the state will allow use of muskets at OFN’s ceremonial events this year.
“The last meeting, I spoke about the New York state gun law and how it outlawed muskets. I’m very happy to report tonight that, in the budget bill that was passed recently, reenactments, military ceremonies, theatrical productions were exempted from that law,” he said. “Us 18th century soldiers are no longer felons.”
He also reported on the new roof project at the French Castle, installed by the state and ICC Commonwealth.
•YBPA offered tributes to two long-time businesses on decades in operation in the River Region:
√ Victoria Quarantillo, formerly of Victoria’s Hair Care. In presenting a certificate of recognition, Mark Butera, YBPA secretary, cited Quarantillo “for the achievement of 25 years of outstanding salon service” in the community. YBPA also praised her for being the “longest-standing member” of the business association.
√ YBPA also recognized Bandana’s Bar and Grill on Lake Road “for its achievement of 20 years of food and beverage services in the Town of Porter and Youngstown.”
“Go Rob and Melissa,” Cheryl Butera said as she presented a proclamation to Melissa Kudel.
√ YBPA went on to recognize long-time village physician Dr. Rama Bojedla on her retirement after serving the community for 35 years.
“We are sorry to lose you as a member … you have been a wonderful addition to our historical little village, serving so many, so professionally for these past years,” Cheryl said. “Your presence will be missed. … Here’s hoping that, as you leave, you feel the admiration from those you have served. You are a strong woman and you have left your mark in Youngstown. We thank you for your service.”
Hill of Beans Coffee Shop will be honored as 2023 Business of the Year at YBPA’s Sept. 12 meeting at the Niagara Frontier Golf Club. Also to be recognized with community service awards will be the Youngstown Lions on its 75th anniversary, the Youngstown Free Library and VFW Lake Ontario Post 313.
•Legislator Irene Myers provided insight on a developing historical/tourist-related endeavors.
“Last year, I was approached by Audio, a Kevin Costner company; he tells stories about little towns,” Myers said. “So we hooked up with the Heritage Center in Niagara County along with Destination Niagara and Niagara USA. … We are moving forward with this audio project … basically it’s going to tell stories” of our area.
Myers said county money has been appropriated to historical interests in the village and Town of Porter “to finance the stories that will be told about our area.”
She said the program will further promote the area via a new loop service now being offered by the Discover Niagara Shuttle.
“What this program is going to do is enhance our little village and bring people back for more visitation. It is bringing people here and driving our economy. … We have a lot of stories to tell,” Myers said.
•Porter Councilman Tim Adamson announced plans are moving ahead for the annual Summerfest, set for 3-10 p.m. Saturday, July 15, at Porter on the Lake Park.
The event is expected to feature music by the Rick Zachary Band followed by the Thurman Brothers. Plenty of vendors are expected, along with a petting zoo, clowns, and a bounce house for the kids.
Admission is $5 per person for ages 12 and over, with all proceeds going to support the park.
“Come out and enjoy the day at our beautiful park,” Adamson said.
For more information on Town of Porter Summerfest, visit www.townofporter.net.
YBPA recognized Bandana’s Bar and Grille for its 20 years of operation in the River Region. Melissa Kudel is shown with Cheryl and Mark Butera. (Photo by Kevin and Dawn Cobello, K&D Action Photo & Aerial Imaging).