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Scenes from a past Beginning of Summer Street Dance and Car Cruise in the Village of Youngstown. (File photos)
Scenes from a past Beginning of Summer Street Dance and Car Cruise in the Village of Youngstown. (File photos)

Beginning of Summer Street Dance returns to Youngstown, offering fun for all ages

Mon, Jun 17th 2024 07:00 am

By Terry Duffy

Editor in Chief

Fresh off this weekend’s Lewiston Garden Festival and "Porchfest," an annual favorite will take place Thursday up in Youngstown. The 14th annual Beginning of Summer Street Dance and Car Cruise will take over the village’s Main Street strip from 6-10 p.m. with music, dancing and fun for all ages.

Presented by the Youngstown Business and Professional Association together with the Village of Youngstown and Town of Porter, this annual event serves as the kickoff of all that’s fun about summer, with beach balls, music, dancing, children’s pony rides and activities galore to enjoy.

“Youngstown will celebrate the beginning of summer and the end of school with an old-fashioned street dance! There will be something for everybody – young or old and in between. There’s been a lot of behind-the-scenes work to make this a most memorable event,” said Cheryl Irish Butera, YBPA board member and past president.

Interim President YBPA Melissa Kudel added, “We’ve worked really hard on this. The car cruise is all set; we’re planning for a real good time.”

Among the many favorites, the Thurman Brothers band will once again entertain visitors.

“We have changed the location where the band will be this year. It will be on the Hill of Beans patio; it will work out nicer. And we’re still doing the kids’ corner down at the end down by the corner where the car show is,” Kudel said.

Butera added, “They will be easier to see and hear as they’ll face the street facing north towards Main Street. Coming back again will be Lakeside Quarterhorses offering pony rides for the kids, a petting zoo, and treats for the children.”

Joining them at the corner of Main and Hinman streets will be the “Children’s Corner.”

“There will be hula-hoops, chalk games, face painting, coloring contests, rock painting, hair glitter, bubbles, and prizes with lots of things to keep kids happy,” Butera said. “Also coming back this year will be Donuts D Clown from Niagara Clown Alley making balloon animals and entertaining the children with his amazing humor.”

Village merchant Anchor Spirits will once again provide beach balls for the little ones.

The Youngstown Volunteer Fire Co. will have a fire truck stationed nearby to check out.

All local businesses will be open throughout the evening, with plenty of tasty eats, beverages, frozen treats and some interesting items for all to see.

Speaking of foods, YBPA said The Great Foodini will back be on the street, joining a number of River Region businesses and community groups expected to be part of this fun event.

“Big this year is The Great Foodini, whom everyone LOVES!” Butera said. “Youngstown Marketside will be back now celebrating TWO years in business. And Petey’s Treats, selling ice cream and cookies, is celebrating their first year in business.”

Also returning is the Youngstown Lions with free popcorn for visitors; the Friends of the Youngstown Library will sell water; the Youngstown Village Diner will have hot dogs and hamburgers for sale; and back again is Just Desserts by Aimee. New participants include Friends of Youngstown Inc., a new nonprofit dedicated to supporting the village as a healthy and vibrant community; and the Lewiston Writer’s Group, whose members will have book signings.

Still more to check out: Renowned artist and sculptress Susan Geissler, a YBPA member, who will open her studio for street dance visitors; vendor 716 One of a Kind will sell T-shirts and the Space Master crew. And returning with unique designs will be the Wreath Sisters of Youngstown.

“We’re ready to rock and roll,” Kudel said.

Vendors are still welcome, Butera noted: “It is not too late to register to be a vendor. It’s only $50.”

For more information on the 14th annual Street Dance, visit the YBPA on Facebook.

Scenes from a past Beginning of Summer Street Dance and Car Cruise in the Village of Youngstown. (File photos)


Helping hands

Kudel and Butera went on to praise the numerous volunteers from the village, town and local businesses who worked to get this celebration organized.

“There’s been a lot of behind-the-scenes work to make this a most memorable event,” Kudel said.

Butera added, “YBPA has been working with the Village of Youngstown and Town of Porter and, together, things have fallen into place. Town of Porter has graciously paid for the necessary insurance coverage for this event.”

Committee members include Butera (co-owner of Anchor Spirits & Wine), Kudel (co-owner of Bandanas Bar & Grill), Town of Porter Councilman Tim Adamson (YBPA liaison), Catherine Stella (YBPA member and village trustee/YBPA liaison), Nicole Quarantillo (village trustee), Lew Bean (YBPA board member and owner of Hill of Beans Coffee Shop) and Albert McFadyen and Dennis Ketch (both classic car aficionados), who will have the classic cars line along Hinman Street (and, if needed, overflow to Main Street).

“Together, we’ve all pulled our resources by donating lots of time and energy. We owe a big shout-out to Modern Disposal Services, who have donated the Porta Potties for our event,” Butera said.

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