Celebration aims to raise awareness of the Mahoning

Many people signed up for the free canoe rides and 18-mile bike tour.
WARREN -- The east bank of the Mahoning River was crowded with children playing games and adults clambering into canoes for the third annual RiverFest celebration.
Sponsored by a coalition of organizations dedicated to cleaning the river, the Mahoning RiverFest is an opportunity for people to celebrate what the river has meant, and could mean, to the community, said Kim Mascarella, a trustee of the Mahoning River Consortium and coordinator of the event Saturday.
She estimated that about 1,000 people passed through the event in Packard Park at some point during the day. About 170 people signed up for free canoe rides, and many more took an 18-mile self-guided bicycle tour along streets that parallel the river.
There were also drum circles, children's activities and informational booths from local environmental organizations.
The river was the reason many communities were started in this area, Mascarella said. A clean river could play an integral role in revitalization and redevelopment now, she said.

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