Arts & Culture are on display at the many festivals and fairs happening in Youngstown during the summer months. There are festivals and musical events nearly every weekend. These range from small church festivals to major events that take over the streets of Downtown. Our rich culture is on display at ethnic festivals like Simply Slavic and the Greater Youngstown Italian Fest. Art and music lovers should not miss Summer Festival of the Arts Weekend in July.
It all kicks off with the Simply Slavic Heritage Festival on June 18th, noon until midnight in Downtown Youngstown. This festival celebrates the culture of all Slavic nations. Enjoy an ethnic market place, delicious homemade food, Slavic Beer Garden, educational exhibits music, dancing and yes, of course, there will be pierogi! Performances by Harmonia, Slavjane, and Living Traditions Folk Ensembles as well as Tamburitzan groups. Bring your dancing shoes because there will be Plenty of Polkas! A Vatra fire will close the event.
The Greater Youngstown Italian Fest takes over Downtown from July 29th-31st. It’s been around for 31 years, and is the Grand-daddy of ethnic festivals. Spanning six city blocks, the Fest has two tents of entertainment running throughout the weekend, plus two city blocks of amusements and rides. Enjoy over 40 food vendors with everything from carnival foods to gourmet Italian foods. Check out the pasta eating contest or the Morra Tournament. A wide variety of music will have you dancing in the streets.
Summer Festival of the Arts Weekend is always one of the highlights of summer in Y-town. On July 9-10 more than 70 local, regional and national artists will be demonstrating and selling their wonderful creations in this juried, week-end long arts event held on the campus of Youngstown State University. Music, theater and dance performances by various groups are scheduled throughout both days. The SFA Music Series will feature three great outdoor concerts in downtown Youngstown. On Friday evening, The Clarks will kick off the Series with their good old-fashioned rock and roll. The finest regional wineries and breweries will be on hand Saturday evening while live jazz sets a mellow mood at Youngstown Wine & Jazz featuring jazz great Marion Meadows. Voices will fill the air on Sunday afternoon at the Youngstown GospelFest. Fred Hammond will inspire the crowd while rounding out the weekend.
If you prefer to travel back to a simpler time, plan on attending the popular 34th Annual Shaker Woods Festival just south of Youngstown at the Shaker Woods Grounds in Columbiana. Held over three consecutive weekends in August (beginning Aug 13-14) in a beautiful wooded area, this festival features over 200 of the best juried craftspeople in the country dressed in Shaker period clothing while demonstrating and selling their remarkable handmade wares. Enjoy the aroma of country cooking oven an open fire and plenty of live entertainment.
Finally, do not miss the largest County Fair in the state of Ohio—the 170th Canfield Fair,
August 31st through Labor Day. It takes more than a day to take in all the Fair has to offer with agricultural exhibits, arts & crafts, rides and great food. Enjoy demolition derby and truck & tractor pull in the Grandstand, plus great live entertainment, including Halestorm, Newsboys with The Willis Clan, and The Happy Together Tour. It really is Something to Crow About!
Linda Macala serves as Executive Director of the Mahoning County Convention & Visitors Bureau. She enjoys spreading all of the positive news about her home town. She especially enjoys attending the ethnic festivals each summer and enjoying all of the delicious food.
Learn more about these upcoming festivals and events by visiting the Mahoning County Convention and Visitors Bureau’s website at www.youngstownlive.com. Be sure to also follow them @YoungstownLive on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest news & events. #You Belong Here!