COLUMBIANA, Ohio (WKBN) – It’s going to be a busy weekend for outdoor festivals — the first since the pandemic, for some.

Set-up work is already underway at Saint Jude Parish in Columbiana for this weekend’s return of its Parish Festival. But after having to cancel the last two years because of COVID-19, this year’s event is downsized a bit from four days in the past to just three this weekend.

“We just thought this year we would go for the three days so that we wouldn’t put a lot of stress on all of our volunteers,” said Mary Ann Fleese, the festival’s co-chair.

The festival takes place from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday at 180 7th St. It includes food, drinks, games, music, Bingo and raffles.

Saint Jude’s is one of several events this weekend, including the return of the “Simply Slavic” fest in downtown Youngstown. Workers at one of the event’s vendors, Krakus Polish Deli and Bakery in Boardman, were preparing for the event between serving customers at the store.

“This is fantastic that we can finally do this in person, and to share the culture and the festivities and the food, of course,” said Marta Mazur.

The event is from 5-11 p.m. Friday, June 17 and noon to midnight Saturday, June 18 in downtown Youngstown. There will be live music, dancing, vendors, educational exhibits, food, children’s activities and more.

The entry fee is $5, though it’s free for children 12 and younger.

Wick Park will be the location for the city’s first “Funk Fest,” which will take place this Sunday on Father’s Day. It is being promoted by the group Youngstown United as One.

“Since the pandemic a few years ago, everybody has been cooped up in the house, so this is really like the perfect time, and I’ve been wanting to do this since we started our organization,” said Darrell Jones, of Youngstown United as One.

The music begins at noon and runs through 8:30 p.m. with various artists.

A common thread behind all of the events this weekend is giving people a reason to gather again, but a concern is rising costs, especially related to higher fuel prices.

Organizers of all of the events are hoping this weekend’s predicted good weather will draw out plenty of people.