New location for YSU’s Summer Festival of the Arts hopes to attract larger crowd

Local News

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The new location for Youngstown State University’s Summer Festival of the Arts this year has plenty of space to move around and is central enough so everyone can check out all of the vendors.

On Friday, Elaine Bond and Patti Frye were setting up for the Festival of the Arts at Wean Park. It was hot and humid and they felt it, but they were looking at the positives for being first-time vendors.

“The way the walkways go, they can stay right on even if it’s raining. They don’t have to get in the grass. They can stay right on the path and see everybody’s booth,” Frye said.

Frye is from Mercer and her friend is from Harrisburg. Although this will be their first time here, they feel there are enough vendors to make the show a success.

“As far as a big show, see how we can spread out, for one thing. People can take their time, walk around and stop whenever they want,” Bond said.

The Festival of the Arts started in 1999. It attracts more than 80 artists and 15,000 visitors a year. The change to Wean Park could have some benefits for the city.

“It’s bringing more people to the area that we want to produce and really promote, and this will give other people access to it as well,” said Youngstown Mayor Tito Brown.

Some of the veteran vendors may miss the trees at YSU, which provided shade, and the campus might have had a little more seating.

But the city and university recognize the benefits of trying to create collaborative thinking so people can see Saturday’s unveiling of the Robinson-Shuba statue, the Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre and Wean Park.

“Maybe there are some people that haven’t seen that,” said YSU President Jim Tressel. “And exposing all that we have to offer, we thought, was just a natural.”

Tressel said they’ll talk with the artists and see how this new location works.

The vendors don’t need electricity as they’ll just run credit cards right off their phones.

Rain is not a problem and if there’s a storm, the Covelli Centre is open. It will also be open so people can use the bathrooms.

Admission is free and the event takes place on Saturday and Sunday.

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