Arts facilities host fest downtown

By Ashley Luthern


Motorists in the city might have glanced twice if they noticed an old-fashioned trolley chugging along downtown streets Saturday afternoon.

The trolley, operated by Jubilee Limousine, was running on schedule as it delivered holiday shoppers and curiosity-seekers to local artists at the Mahoning Commons Holiday Fest. The Holiday Fest showcased nine arts facilities in the neighborhood just west of downtown.

“The trolley was a magnificent gesture. It was the original downtown trolley, and then it was refurbished,” said Mahoning Commons Association vice president Mary Farragher.

Farragher is also the manager for the Calvin Center Idea Incubator, 755 Mahoning Ave., which is home of The Rust Belt Theater Company and which hosted the Artists of the Rust Belt Art Market.

The trolley traveled to Fellows Riverside Gardens, Star Supply Bargain Outlet, Youngstown Maennerchor, Calvin Center Idea Incubator, The Lemon Grove Caf , B&O Station, the Victorian Players, Santisi Wholesale Foods and the Ward Bakery Building.

The Art Market and the Holiday Open Studio and Sale were two of the stops that displayed more than 30 area artists’ work.

“The quality of work of the artists and the talent level in Youngstown is just phenomenal,” said Jacob Harver, owner of The Lemon Grove Caf .

Harver encouraged holiday shoppers to purchase local goods.

“Not only do you get more interesting gifts, but it also helps the local economy,” he said.

If people missed Saturday’s event, they can search for Artists of the Rust Belt online or stop by The Lemon Grove Caf for more information, Harver said.

Farragher added that the Holiday Fest is just another example of the increasing number of downtown events.

“So much is happening in downtown Youngstown: the perpetuation of these type of events, new restaurants and the theaters,” she said. “Everything’s open and running. Nobody can honestly sit back and say there’s nothing to do downtown.”

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