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Weekend of arts, culture and music planned for downtown Youngstown

The weekend will be highlighted by the 23rd annual YSU Summer Festival of the Arts, which will take place Saturday and Sunday at Wean Park.

YOUNGSTOWN — Downtown will be filled with arts, culture and music this weekend as organizers from Youngstown State University, JAC Management, the city of Youngstown, Mahoning County Convention & Visitors Bureau and St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church host a variety of events. 

Here’s a look at what’s happening:

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church Summerfest

The St. Nicholas Greek Summerfest runs from Thursday through Sunday at 220 N. Walnut St., and includes music and dancing, Greek food and pastries and a display of cultural memorabilia. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Takeout lunch service is available Thursday and Friday. Admission is free.

YSU Summer Festival of the Arts

The 23rd annual YSU Summer Festival of the Arts will take place Saturday and Sunday at its new location at Wean Park, 229 E. Front St., between the Market Street Bridge (Huntington Community Alley) and the Covelli Centre. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

An artists’ marketplace will showcase the work of more than 70 local, regional and national artists selling original, hand-crafted pieces such as jewelry, paintings, sketches, sculptures, glass, wood and textiles.

Family activities include a hands-on art tent where children are encouraged to create various pieces of artwork under the guidance of two professional art teachers.

Dozens of music, theater and dance performances are also scheduled at two stages centrally located at the park. Groups performing Saturday: Youngstown Community Concert Band, Larry Elefante, Conjunto Riquena, Irish Brigadiers, John Blinsky featuring Unc D and Thin Thicket, Opera Western Reserve, Oakland Center for the Arts Kids First Theatre Initiative, Ballet Western Reserve and Millennial Theatre Co. Groups performing Sunday: County Mayo, JD Eicher, Willie Ross and Counter Pointe, Oakland Center for the Arts Kids First Theatre Initiative, Rust Belt Theatre Company, The Youngstown Playhouse Youth Valley Players, the YSU Fencing Club and Mahoning Valley Players.

Numerous arts, culture, religious and community groups will join the festivities either on-site in a booth or at their home locations. On-site groups include Ballet Western Reserve, Friends of the Mahoning River, Hopewell Theatre, Lit Youngstown, Mahoning Valley Historical Society, Mill Creek MetroParks, Millennial Theatre Company, Oakland Center for the Arts Kids First Theatre Initiative, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Basilica, Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County, Simply Slavic, SMARTS-Students Motivated by the Arts, Stambaugh Auditorium, DeYor Performing Arts Center, Youngstown Symphony Society, Opera Western Reserve, The Youngstown Playhouse, St. John’s Episcopal Church, The Montessori School of the Mahoning Valley, Youngstown CityScape, YSU Campus Recreation, YSU Athletics, YSU Honors College and YWCA Mahoning Valley. 

Others participating at their home locations include The Butler Institute of American Art, McDonough Museum of Art, YWCA, featuring the 39th annual Women Artists Show, Art House on Elm, Trinity United Methodist Church, Youngstown Presbyterian Church, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Tyler History Center and Arms Museum, OH WOW! The Roger & Gloria Jones Children's Center for Science & Technology, Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor-Steel Museum, Soap Gallery and dozens of downtown restaurants, bars and shops.

Youngstown Wine and Jazz

Youngstown Wine and Jazz will take place Saturday at Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre, 201 S. Phelps St., featuring saxophonist Jackiem Joyner and Jazz in the Park.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 each ($25 for VIP seating) and are available online at, at the Covelli Centre box office and at the gate.

Joyner, a contemporary saxophonist, author and music producer, released his seventh album, “Touch,” in 2019. He has toured more than 30 countries and performed with the late George Duke, Marcus Miller, Keiko Matsui, Donnie McClurkin, Angela Bofill, Najee, Kirk Whalum and Peter White, among others.

Joyner has two No. 1 hit songs, five top-10 Billboard singles and a No. 1 debut album. He also published a science fiction novel, “Zarya.”

Other events

  • Dedication of the Robinson-Shuba Commemorative Statue, 9 a.m. Saturday at Wean Park. The statue commemorates the 1946 handshake of Jackie Robinson, the first Black Major League Baseball player, and George "Shotgun" Shuba, his white teammate from Youngstown;
  • Pipe Organ Crawl, 1 p.m. Sunday. The event includes short organ performances and a historical talk about each organ at Trinity United Methodist Church, St. John’s Episcopal Church and First Presbyterian Church of Youngstown. St. John's will offer two church tours at 1 and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, and Trinity United Methodist will offer tours from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday.