YOUNGSTOWN — The beginning of summer is here and the Village of Youngstown will celebrate with its “Beginning of Summer Street Dance” set for 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday on Main Street.
Cheryl Irish-Butera, president of the Youngstown Business and Professional Association, and her husband Mark Butera, secretary for the group elaborated on what can be expected at the dance, as well as other projects the YBPA works on.
Cheryl and Mark are also owners of Anchor Spirits, a liquor store on Main Street.
“We call (Youngstown) “A Slice of Heaven” because for eight years, consecutively, the street dance has not been rained out,” Cheryl said. “There was a year that it rained till 4 o’clock. The clouds parted, the rain stopped, and we have pictures of kids playing with their beach balls in the puddles.”
This year, along with beach balls provided by Anchor Spirits, and popcorn provided by the Youngstown Lions Club, there are a variety of activities for families.
“There is no alcohol on the street. If anyone wants a drink, all the establishments will be open,” Irish-Butera said. “We do not promote alcohol on the street — this is a family friendly event. We want everybody to be safe, we want everybody to be in line with what needs to be done to keep everybody safe.”
One of the festivities include a classic car show. There will be at least 50 cars along Hinman Street where the two main events, the street dance and the car show “meld” according to the Butera’s.
“For the 2010 street dance, I think we had about 200 people,” Irish-Butera said, referring to the first street dance. “It was a hot one. Everybody had a good time, but that’s a small amount of people. Now we’re more a couple thousand or more.
"Every year it grows bigger than before.”
The list of vendors includes Rebecca Poletti of the Youngstown Galley who will be selling fried bologna and onion sandwiches, and ice cream. Diane and Lou Melloni from Melloni’s Catering, former owners of the grocery store in Youngstown, will be back with their sausages and burgers. Cathy Pasquantino of the Village Diner will be serving “Kickin’ Chicken Chowder,” and the Costello family from the Ontario House will also be selling items from their menu. To round off the list Barbara Crouthael of the 700 Bistro will be selling healthy snacks, and the Mug & Musket will have their popular rice balls
“We’re excited about Sanger Farms, Michael Tuck and his family will be on the street as well,” Irish-Butera said. “They’re known for their baked goods, but now they make this really good pizza from scratch. He’s going to be on the street as well.”
Lakeside Quarter Horses, owned by Terry Diez and the YBPA’s 2018 “Business of the Year”, are bringing in ponies to ride and raise money for the 4H Club.
Other activities include a bounce house, clowns, face painting, and 50/50 split.
“It’s nine years now,” Irish-Butera said. “Kids are little, now they’re grown. They can remember the street dance. I remember when my kids would dance with me, we danced at the street dance.”