Party on downtown

16th season of free summer concerts on Central Square kicks off

By D.A. Wilkinson


Doug Esenwein is doing it again.

The Party on the Plaza is back for its 16th season, he said Friday outside the Buffalo Wild Wings he operates.

With the Memorial Day weekend here, Esenwein said, “We’re kicking off the summer.”

Triple Threat was the opening act Friday, and Hoss Jarman and The Juggernauts were the headliners.

Mother nature has soaked the event in years past but Esenwein said that for the last five years, the weather has been fantastic, as have the performers. And Friday’s weather was looking good, he added early during the event.

“Last year in May we had a great mix of bands,” he said.

And the performers also have been great, he added.

The party officially starts at 5 p.m. on selected weeks through the summer, but the crowd Friday was relatively thin right after some businesses closed for the day.

Esenwein said that the party had trimmed the number of performances to actually improve the program.

“Less is more,” he said.

The opening acts generally get going around 8 p.m. and play till about 10 p.m.

The headliners get ready to go about 20 to 30 minutes after the opening acts end their set. They play to about 1 or 1:30 a.m.

Esenwein said that the headliners know what they are doing and can get rolling in a short time.

Mona DiSchiavo from Youngstown’s West Side and her friend Gloria Short from Boardman met downtown at the concert and festival.

DiSchiavo said she liked the outdoor concerts.

Short said she likes the party, adding she had not been to it for several years.

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