Friends of the Mahoning River to host Riverfest on June 2

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Staff report


The Friends of the Mahoning River will host its seventh annual Riverfest from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the B&O Station, 530 Mahoning Ave. This free, family-oriented festival, sponsored by the Neighborhood SUCCESS Program of the Raymond John Wean Foundation, Vallourec Star and the City of Youngstown, celebrates the Mahoning River.

Participants will have the opportunity to walk the river’s nature trails as well as enjoy a kayak or canoe ride under the direction of the Trumbull Canoe Trails Club. The event also will include several environmental, educational and historical presentations. The Ohio Environmental Protection Angency will explain what lives in the river, and the Green Team and the Trumbull and Mahoning Soil and Water Conservation Districts will explain the recycling process and the importance of composting.

New this year will be a Zero Waste Event. Guests are encouraged to bring water bottles for refill. Fresh water and refillable bottles will be available. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources also will discuss water safety and water-related creatures. There will be a river table, which is an Enviroscope to demonstrate various processes and their impact on the river.

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Special guests include the Birds in Flight Sanctuary and the canine Searching Out Scents rescue dogs. Jungle Terry and his animals will be in attendance from noon to 1 p.m.

The Artists of the Rust Belt will host an art show inside the B&O, and music will be provided by Leather & Lace, the Western Reserve Ballet, the Southside Academy of Drums and the Simple Truth Band. The event will feature a 50-50 raffle to benefit future Friends of the Mahoning River projects.

An inflated slide, a bounce-a-round, face painting, a pirate walk with a reward for “walking the plank” and craft tables will be available for children.

On June 9, the public also is invited to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. by Girard Mayor James Melfi of the new launch site. A paddle from Girard to the B&O Station will follow the ceremony. A picnic will be provided to participants. There will be multiple free shuttles by the Mahoning River Adventures, courtesy of the Trumbull Canoe Trails and Friends of the Mahoning River.

For information, contact Patricia Dunbar by email at or by phone at 330-719-2459 or Tom Smith by email at or by phone at 330-880-1260.

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