Two weddings were also held on the garden grounds during the event
YOUNGSTOWN – Lucille Santangelo was perfectly serene and centered after a morning of yoga and afternoon of strolling through the gardens.
The Youngstown woman radiated as she spoke of spending the day with her two granddaughters, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Fellows Riverside Gardens.
Fall Into Fun – A Family Celebration took place Saturday at the gardens, part of Mill Creek MetroParks. The event replaced the annual Pumpkin Walk this year, but officials say the walk will resume next year.
“The miracle of this is that the weather held out,” Santangelo said. “It’s so beautiful here, I just love the openness and beauty of it.”
Her granddaughters, Hope and Gina Santangelo of Dublin, Ohio, also took part in the yoga class, saying it was their favorite part of the day. The girls, age 9 and 7, respectively, also had a picnic on the grounds with their grandmother, who takes yoga twice a week in the park.
“I couldn’t think of a better way to spend the day with my angels,” she said. “It’s wonderful to be around them and enjoy the outdoor beauty.”
The event included a garden marketplace with mums, plants and bulbs, and crafts from local artisans. Gardening experts were on hand, as were entertainers such as Barbara Root, a strolling storyteller; Jocko The Clown; magician Tom Phoolery; and members of Ballet Western Reserve, who whirled and twirled their way around the grounds.
There also were pumpkin decorating, educational displays, food, a T’ai Chi demonstration and cider pressing.
Ted Vagas of Boardman, a member of the Men’s Garden Club, said he volunteered at the event because the park has always been supportive of the club.
“They do a lot of good work here,” he added.
He helped demonstrate the way apples were packed in crates before being shipped to people around the country back in the days when people cooked more.
“How many apples do you buy when you go to the store, two or three?” he asked. “Today, people aren’t cooking and baking and canning the way they used to.”
Two weddings were also held on the grounds during the event, and bridal parties could be seen ming-ling with event-goers while waiting to get pictures taken. The gardens are considered one of the premiere spots in the Mahoning Valley for photographers.
Horticulture director Keith Kaiser said at least 2,000 people were expected to attend the event.
“This is all about the gardens,” he said. “It’s very family-oriented here.”
Marci Muckleroy and her 3-year-old daughter, Abby, sat in on a storytelling session in the D.D. and Velma Davis Education and Visitor Center.
Muckleroy, of Cuyahoga Falls, said she made the trip because her mother-in-law, Carol Cartwright, of Canfield, was volunteering there and she knew it would be special.
“We kind of had a mom and Abby day,” she said, explaining her other two kids were at home. “They had a lot of really creative things here for kids to do.”