A new festival on the block
By ROGER G. SMITH
CITY HALL REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- A Jud Zaar might sound bizarre, but it makes perfect sense to Mariae Brooks.
The Judson Block Watch leader is tired of how everyone who lives on the South Side is stigmatized by perceptions of crime.
It's time to spotlight the good, talented people of the South Side, she said.
That's why she is organizing the Jud Zaar Street Festival this weekend.
About the event
The event, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday on Judson Avenue between Firnley and Glenwood avenues, will feature the works of neighborhood artisans.
Judson will be closed so craftsmen such as painters and someone who makes rosaries can display their works on the street.
Brooks has booked about a dozen craftsmen.
"My big thing is, showcase the positive parts of my neighborhood," she said.
One of the artists with works on display will be Gregory Fesko. The West Judson resident does pen and ink drawings of area landmarks. He paints, too.
Fesko, who fled communist Romania in 1985 and brought his wife and daughters with him, hasn't had too many chances to show his work in America.
Glad for the chance
He was surprised to hear somebody was organizing such an event on his side of town. Fesko is glad to have the chance, even if it's the street and not an art gallery.
"It's interesting to see," he said of the fair.
He impressed his neighbors with his work, so he was among Brooks' first calls.
The fair won't be limited to art.
The city's police bike patrol and the fire department will be there, too, to talk with residents about what they do.
Brooks and Bill Waterson, the block watch vice president, spent about a month planning the event.
They hope to draw people from around the area, especially the South Side. They aren't sure what to expect, however, since the event is new. Visitors can park along side streets, Brooks said.
After the event, they'll look at what worked and what didn't and plan a better Jud Zaar in 2003, she said.