With so many talented local artists, exciting festivals and well-curated exhibits, there are endless opportunities for art enthusiasts to explore. Whether you’re an artist or an admirer, here are a few fine arts events happening soon in the Valley!

 

21st Annual Summer Festival of the Arts

Summer Festival of the Arts

Youngstown State University’s Summer Festival of the Arts (SFA) is the flagship event for the Summer Festival of the Arts Weekend. It’s basically a massive celebration of the performing and visual arts, happening this year on July 13, 10am–6pm and July 14, 11am–5pm. Head to the YSU campus and enjoy works from 80+ local, regional and national artists. Throughout the weekend, you’ll also find a full schedule of music, dance and theatrical performances. The Summer Festival of the Arts is free to attend and free parking can be found at any YSU parking deck or surface lot.

 

Other Summer Festival of the Arts Weekend Events

As we mentioned, SFA is the largest event of the Summer Festival of the Arts Weekend. However, there are several other events and festivals also happening as part of this weekend celebration. Here’s the event schedule:

 

Youngstown Flea

YOFleaThe Youngstown Flea is well into its fourth season this year and continues to bring some of the best local vendors and makers together. This Market for Makers meets once a month right in the heart of Downtown Youngstown, next to Covelli Centre. At each market, expect locally and regionally curated artwork, home décor, clothing, furniture, collectibles, food and more. The next Flea will be on July 13 from 9am–3pm, featuring vendors like Jason’s Marvelous Popcorn and Everhard Designs. A free (donations welcome) outdoor yoga class takes place each month from 9am–9:45am with yoga mats available to borrow. Kids and pets are both welcome at the Flea.

 

The Butler Institute of American Art Celebrates 100 Years

In case you missed it, The Butler Institute of American Art is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year! Founded in 1919, the museum is devoted entirely to American art, with collections totaling 20,000+ pieces. Explore one of the many permanent exhibits at any point in the year, or keep an eye out for the exciting, temporary exhibits that arrive periodically. In celebration of its 100th year, the Butler has a wide variety of unique exhibits planned. Here’s a few:

  • 83rd National Midyear Show (Now – July 28): two-dimensional artwork of adult artists from throughout the 50 states
  • On America: A Lecture Series by Prominent Art Scholars (various dates July 10 – September 18)
  • Youngstown Symphony Orchestra Performance: Impressions at The Butler (July 27)
  • Paxton’s Women (August 18 – November 10): includes 40+ large-scale paintings by William McGregor Paxton

For full exhibit and event details, click here. The Butler is open Tuesday-Saturday, 11am–4pm, and Sunday 12pm–4pm. Youngstown Live is sponsoring special summer extended hours on Wednesdays (11am-8pm) now through September 28th. Along with perusing the artwork, you can also shop at the Museum Store or grab a bite to eat at the Collections Café.

 

To learn more about upcoming festivals and events in the Youngstown area, visit our Facebook page or our website.

Believe it or not, the 4th of July is almost here! As communities all across the Valley gear up for the celebrations, mark your calendars to join them! Events begin this week and continue through July 6th.  Read on for details on fireworks shows, parades and other Independence Day festivities.

 

In Austintown

On Sunday, June 30, visit the Austintown Plaza for their Fireworks Celebration. Starting at 5pm (Gates open at 4pm), enjoy pony rides, clowns, face painting, inflatable games, and live entertainment followed by fireworks at 10pm. On Monday, July 1, from 5-8:30pm, head to Austintown Township Park for the special “Celebrate Our Troops” Austintown Farmer’s Market, or stop by Greenwood Chevrolet for their Independence Day Car Show. On July 2, the Canfield Community Concert Band and Fitch Concert Choir will perform a free concert at Austintown Township Park from 7:30-8:30pm. And on Thursday, July 4, there will be an Ecumenical Service and Flag Raising at Austin Log Cabin from 8:30-9:00am, followed by the Austintown 4th of July Parade. The parade will start at noon at the Highway Tabernacle Church at Kirk and Raccoon, then travel along Kirk Rd. to the Austintown Library.

 

At the Canfield Fairgrounds

This Saturday, June 29 from 6:00-10:00pm, head to the Canfield Fairgrounds for the Canfield Rotary Fireworks Fest. Admission is $10 per carload. Expect live music by JD Eicher, photo ops with Disney characters, pony and carriage rides, bounce houses, OH WOW! science demonstrations, fair food and fireworks at dark (around 9pm).

 

On the Canfield Green

The rest of Canfield’s annual 4th of July festivities will be on Thursday, July 4 (shouldn’t be a surprise there). Register for the Firecracker 4 Mile Run ($18), either online here, or at 7:30am at Township Hall. The Kids Race begins in front of Farmers National Bank at 8:15am, while the 4-mile run will begin in front of the Methodist Church at 8:30am. The annual Canfield 4th of July Parade will leave the Fairgrounds at 10:10am and make its way around the Canfield Green. Live music by JD Eicher and yard games will be on the Green at 12:00pm, following the parade.

 

In Boardman

Pre-4th : Visit Boardman’s Southern Park Mall this week for the Ribs & Rock Festival! Rib vendors and live music will take over the mall parking lot Thursday, June 27 through Sunday, June 30, with gates opening at noon each day. On July 6, head to Boardman Township Park for the annual Boardman Independence Day Celebration. The celebration begins at 8:00pm with a concert from the Youngstown Area Community Concert Band, followed by fireworks at 9:45pm.

 

At Celebrate Poland

This year’s annual Celebrate Poland will take place Friday, June 28 & Saturday, June 29 with a variety of family-friendly events happening throughout the village. Expect lots of food vendors, live music, bounce houses, parades, arts and crafts, pony rides, fireworks and more. Here’s a few of the major events happening:

  • June 28, 5:00-8:30pm | Strawberry Festival at Poland Presbyterian Church
  • June 28, 7:00pm | Firemen’s Parade from Coblentz to Village Hall
  • June 28, 7:45-10:30pm | Live music by Disco Inferno, behind Village Hall
  • June 29, 9:00-11:00am | FREE Pancake Breakfast at Poland Methodist Church
  • June 29, 12:00pm | Poland Idol at Poland Village Gazebo
  • June 29, 4:00pm | Guns vs. Hoses Softball Game at Firemen’s Field Riverside Drive
  • June 29, 10:00pm | Fireworks at Baird Mitchell Field

For the complete schedule of Celebrate Poland events, times and locations, click here.

 

In Struthers
The 43rd Annual 4th of July Parade will take place on Thursday, July 4 at 12:00pm at the Fifth Street Plaza in Struthers.

 

In Downtown Youngstown

For music and fireworks, head Downtown on Thursday, July 4! The Youngstown Music Festival will take place on East Federal Street, with fireworks setting off of Market Street Bridge at 9:30pm.

 

For other upcoming events in the area, visit our Facebook page or our website!

Car enthusiasts, fanatics and aficionados, you’ll want to hear this: The 32nd Annual Hot Rod Super Nationals will return to the Canfield Fairgrounds this July 5-7; and it will be better than ever. Here’s what you can expect to find at one of the Valley’s most popular annual auto events!

 

Lots of Cars  

Hot Rod Super NationalsAt the Hot Rod Super Nationals, expect to find thousands of hot rods, muscle cars and assorted street machines owned by both collectors and car buffs from across the country. You’ll come across stock and modified versions of cars like Camaros, Corvettes and Mustangs, to name a few. Visit the Hot Rod Super Nationals Facebook page to see photos of cars featured at last year’s event.

 

Special Events and Appearances

Not only do you have the chance to look at a wide variety of collectors’ cars, but you’ll also have access to several special events and appearances.

July 5-7

  • Meet and greet with Dave Kindig and Kevin “KevDog” Schiele from B****in’ Rides
  • Thunder Zone – custom and vintage motorcycles
  • Dyno Wars – the production of eye-popping horsepower numbers put down at the wheels
  • 50th Anniversary COPO Camaro – see one of only 69 models of the 50th Anniversary COPO Camaro
  • Kid’s Town – family area with face painting, balloon artists and inflatables

 

July 6-7

  • Optimus Prime & Bumblebee – the world’s first and only full-scale replica
  • FMX Stunt Show – experience the explosion of suspense, thrill and danger of Freestyle Motocross

 

July 7

  • Dave Rea (formerly of Graveyard Carz) – from the automotive reality show focused on restoring wrecked Mopar muscle cars
  • Fast & Furious Car – see the actual 1970 Dodge Charger used in the movie Fast Five

 

Hot Rod Super Nationals After Party

Daily After Parties 

Gates are open for the Hot Rod Super Nationals event July 5-7, from 8:00am-5:00pm. Anyone with a ticket is welcome to stay even longer for the After Party each day from 5:30pm-11:00pm, with 700+ parking spaces reserved for Hot Rod Super Nationals participants.

 

 

Ticket Info

Admission is $10 per day or $20 for a 3 Day Pass. On Friday and Saturday, children 10 and under are free. On Sunday, children 12 and under are free. Military personnel, veterans, police, fire and EMS receive 10% off their ticket price. To receive the discount, simply present your ID at the event ticket window. All admission tickets grant access to that day’s event and After Party. Purchase your tickets ahead of time here.

 

FAQs

  • Parking is free
  • Hot Rod Super Nationals happens rain or shine; no ticket refunds available
  • Visitors may leave and return on the same day with a hand stamp
  • While there will be a wide variety of food vendors at the fairgrounds, visitors are permitted to bring their own snacks (just no alcohol)
  • Pets are not allowed at this event, with the exception of service animals

 

 

For more information about the Hot Rod Super Nationals, visit their website. For other upcoming events in the area, visit our Facebook page or our website!

June is Ohio Wine Month! Whether you prefer white or red, sweet or dry, there are plenty of wineries to visit for great wine in the Youngstown area. And where better to spend Ohio Wine Month than on the Wines of the Valley Wine Trail?

 

Wines of the Valley Wine Trail Wine Charms

Remind Me, How Does the Wine Trail Work?

  1. Download online or pick up a Wines of the Valley Wine Trail passport at any participating winery (listed below).
  2. Visit each of the six participating wineries and purchase a glass of wine.
  3. With the purchase of a glass of wine, receive a stamp in your passport and a custom wine charm exclusive to each winery.
  4. Collect five or more stamps and redeem your passport at one of our redemption locations (Mastropietro Winery, The Vineyards at Pine Lake or L’uva Bella Winery) to receive a keepsake charm box plus a bonus charm.

This offer is only valid through September 29, 2019, so make sure to travel the trail before it’s too late! For more details about the Wines of the Valley Wine Trail, visit winesofthevalley.com.

 

Meet the Wineries

There are several beautiful wineries in the Valley, each with their own unique offerings. Discover your favorites during Ohio Wine Month! Not sure where to start? Here’s a quick guide to each of our local wineries.

 

For a peaceful, Tuscan-style winery, visit Mastropietro Winery.

Mastropietro WineryNestled on 52 acres near both Berlin Lake and Lake Milton, Mastropietro Winery is known for its award-winning wines and beautiful landscape and stunning sunsets. Grab a glass of wine in the Tuscan-style tasting room. Food trucks are featured on weekends, along with live music. Or, visit on select dates for special events like their annual Hot Air Balloon Fest on August 18.

 

 

The Vineyards at Pine lakeFor sprawling vineyards and lake views, visit The Vineyards at Pine Lake.

Sprawling vines, a glistening lake and expansive patio are all things you can expect to find at The Vineyards at Pine Lake. Try their Vineyards White, which recently received the Ohio Quality Wine certification. Keep an eye on their event calendar for special tasting and wine pairing events.

 

L'uva Bella Winery Patio

For wood-fired pizza and wine, visit L’uva Bella Winery & Bistro.

L’uva Bella is a California-style winery, known for a sophisticated ambiance and great food. Italian bites. Grab a seat on their outdoor patio (now open for the summer) and try one of their popular wood-fired pizzas.

 

 

Diletto Winery

For fruit wine and sip ‘n paints, visit Diletto Winery.

At Diletto Winery, expect to find a wide variety of specialty fruit wines and sip ‘n paint events. Diletto also hosts monthly murder mystery dinners and an escape room, great for a date night or girls’ night out. Enjoy a game of pool or learn to line dance here.

 

 

Lil Paws WineryFor quality wines and craft brews, visit Lil Paws Winery.

Visit Lil Paws Winery for wine and beer named after the owners’ (you guessed it) K9 kids. Inside, you’ll find a relaxing atmosphere and outside, you’ll find a patio overlooking Lake Milton. Guests are welcome to bring their own snacks to pair with their drinks.

 

 

For relaxing lake views, visit Halliday’s WineryHalliday's Winery

Situated between picturesque Lake Milton and the links of Olde Dutch Mill Golf Course is Halliday’s Winery. Try one of their flatbreads, paninis or sandwiches paired with wine, sangria or a frosse to cool off on a hot summer day. We recommend visiting during sunset for the best views.

 

Need a DD?

Area transportation services have you covered! Download the Uber or Lyft app on your phone and request a ride after tastings. You could also call Fab Cab at 330-793-6666 or DD4Hire at 330-259-0445. If you plan on traveling the trail as a group, consider contacting Kelco Services at 440-542-4410 for a shuttle bus.

 

Make It a Winery Weekend

There’s no reason to tackle the trail all in one day if you don’t have to! Instead, stay at one of the many hotels, inns and B&Bs located near the trail’s participating wineries. View our list of accommodations, and when booking, make sure to call and ask for special Wine Trail rates!

 

Ohio Wine Month is the perfect opportunity to start (and finish) the Wines of the Valley Wine Trail! This June, discover your favorite varieties at one of our many local wineries. For more information, visit our Facebook page or take a look at our website!

Summertime in the Mahoning Valley means lots of concerts (especially at The NEW Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre), a fair or two and FESTIVALS! From June through August, expect a slew of food, craft and music festivals to pop up around the area. Not sure which ones you should visit? Here’s five festivals definitely worth checking out this summer.

 

Simply Slavic Festival

SIMPLY SLAVIC FESTIVAL

WHEN: Saturday, June 15 (12:00pm-12:00am); Free preview night Friday, June 14 (7:00pm-11:00pm)

WHERE: Federal Plaza East in Downtown Youngstown

 

Specifically created to celebrate Youngstown’s Slavic community, the Simply Slavic Festival is an annual favorite. Head downtown for a full day of live music, folk dancing, homemade Slavic food, children’s learning areas, educational exhibits and ethnic vendors. Admission for the entire day is just $5/person. Children 12 and younger are free.

 

 

White House Fruit Farm Strawberry Festival

WHITE HOUSE FRUIT FARM STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL

WHEN: Saturday, June 15 & Sunday, June 16 (11:00am-4:00pm)

WHERE: White House Fruit Farm

 

June in Ohio marks the start of delicious, juicy strawberry season. And where better to celebrate than at the White House Fruit Farm Strawberry Festival? Visit the farm for plenty of fresh strawberries, along with strawberry desserts, drinks and (of course) donuts. This event also marks the start of White House’s pick-your-own-strawberries season.

 

 

YSU SUMMER FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS

WHEN: Saturday, July 13 (10:00am-6:00pm) & Sunday, July 14 (11:00am-5:00pm)

WHERE: Youngstown State University Campus

 

Youngstown State University’s Summer Festival of the Arts is a massive celebration of the performing and visual arts. Head to the YSU campus and enjoy works from 80+ local, regional and national artists. You’ll also find a full schedule of music, dance and theatrical performances during the event. Important to note: There are other events happening this same weekend including the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church Summerfest and the Youngstown Wine & Jazz Festival featuring Norman Brown – all as a part of the Summer Festival of the Arts Weekend. Make sure to check out the details of each and mark your calendar!

 

 

Greater Youngstown Italian FestGREATER YOUNGSTOWN ITALIAN FEST

WHEN: Friday, August 2 (11:00am-11:00pm), Saturday, August 3 (1:00pm-11:00pm), and Sunday, August 4 (11:00am-11:00pm)

WHERE: Central Square in Downtown Youngstown

 

As the birthplace of countless local pizza shops, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Greater Youngstown Italian Fest takes over the streets Downtown with live entertainment, 40+ food vendors, pasta eating contest, homemade wine contest and much more. Proceeds from the fest benefit the Italian Heritage Foundation.

 

                              

SHAKER WOODS FESTIVAL

WHEN: Saturday & Sunday, August 10-11, 17-18, 24-25 (10:00am-5:00pm)

WHERE: Shaker Woods Grounds, 44337 County Line Rd., Columbiana

Shaker Woods Festival

If you like handcrafted décor, furniture, jewelry, pottery, you-name-it, mark your calendar for this summer’s Shaker Woods Festival. Spanning across multiple weekends in August, this festival hosts 200+ of the best juried craftspeople in the country. Purchase handmade goods, peruse the many delicious food options and enjoy live entertainment located on two different stages. Admission is $8/day for adults and free for children 12 and under.

 

 

 

 

Which festival are you most excited about? For more information about all upcoming festivals and events in the Youngstown area, visit our Facebook page or take a look at our website!

 

The Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre is set to open on June 14! Here’s the inside scoop on the venue and performances announced (so far) for this summer.

 

First Things First

In case you missed it: The region’s newest outdoor entertainment venue, The Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre, is nearing completion. Once finished, it will include a state-of-the-art stage, high-quality sound system, lighting and multiple concession areas– all situated inside the new Riverfront Park. The venue offers plenty of green spaces with great views of the Downtown Youngstown skyline. This 4,800-person facility is intended to be an entertainment destination, hosting both concerts and local events.

 

When Can I Visit?

Great question! You can see it all for yourself on June 14, at the Amphitheatre’s free First Look event. Gates open at 5:00pm for a first official look and kick off to the summer concert season featuring local favorites The Sensations, Geo C and Tha Storm and more.

 

Announced Performances  

Here’s the Amphitheatre’s summer lineup so far:

Tickets are on sale now for all concerts and events and can be purchased at The Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre website. Please be sure to view their policies before you go. Be the first to receive updates: Sign up for the Amphitheatre’s newsletter and follow its social accounts at @yfamphitheatre.

 

Where to Eat    

The Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre is close to lots of delicious Downtown dining spots. Before the concert, enjoy an Italian meal at Roberto’s Italian Ristorante or grab a specialty burger from The Federal. Check out the eclectic menu at The Kitchen Post or snack on a pretzel or German food at Rhine Haus Bier Hall. During the concert, take advantage of the many concession stands that will be open inside the Amphitheatre. Afterwards, get drinks at V2 Wine Bar Trattoria (open until 2:30am on Fridays and Saturdays), O’Donold’s Irish Pub & Grill (open until 2am every day), or pour your own with the self-service taps at Whistle & Keg. For a complete list of restaurants and bars near the Amphitheatre, visit this page of our website. Friendly reminder: Make sure to have a designated driver or driving service at the ready if you’ve been drinking.

 

Need a place to stay?

Local hotels in the Austintown, Boardman, Canfield and North Lima areas are all within minutes of downtown Youngstown. Or choose the new DoubleTree by Hilton Downtown Youngstown, located (you guessed it) right near the Amphitheatre. Once you purchase concert tickets, make sure to book your stay.

 

Outdoor entertainment is about to take the Youngstown area by storm. Are you ready? For more information about The Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre and all upcoming local concerts, visit our Facebook page or take a look at our website!

From wedding soup to pizza shops, the Youngstown area is home to many widely-loved recipes and traditions. But, one of our most cherished traditions undoubtedly is the Youngstown Wedding Cookie Table.

 

Let Us Explain

If you’re not from the Youngstown area, then the concept of a “cookie table” might be kind of foreign to you. In short: It’s our local tradition to serve hundreds (usually more like thousands!) of cookies in an elaborate display at a wedding reception. Many times the wedding cake takes a back seat to the cookie table, with some couples foregoing a traditional wedding cake altogether. In Youngstown, the first thing people ask about a wedding is, “How were the cookies?”

 

Humble Beginnings

The immigrants that came to the Youngstown area in the early 20th century brought with them many wonderful ethnic traditions centered around food and baking. Money was tight–especially during the Great Depression–and the cost of a wedding cake was often prohibitive. Family and friends would step in and provide an amazing display of homemade cookies to serve at the reception. This time-honored tradition continues today, and it is seen as a way to show love for the newlywed couple.

 

The “Ingredients” For a Great Cookie Table

Cookie tables may look a little different from wedding to wedding, but there are definitely some cookie varieties that you’ll find on every great cookie table. Let’s break it down:

  • The Classics: At the base of all memorable cookie tables lie varieties like Clothespin Cookies, Kiffles, Peanut Butter Blossoms, Pecan Tarts, Snowballs, Chocolate Crinkles and Thumbprints
  • Straight from Nonna’s Kitchen: Homemade Pizzelles, Biscotti, Ricotta Cookies, Italian Wedding Cookies and Wands (which look like a large bow tie)
  • The Natives: It’s not a true OH-IO cookie table without a hefty helping of Buckeyes. And don’t forget the Kolachi!

 

Get Inspired   

Check out the Youngstown Cookie Table Facebook group. With over 18,000 members, this page is FILLED with photos and recipes for all cookies imaginable. For ingredient advice, recipe feedback or just cookie entertainment, join the group! You can also “wear” your Cookie Table pride with a cool T-shirt created by Youngstown Clothing Company to commemorate this tradition.

 

If I Can’t Bake, What Do I Do?

Great question! If baking just isn’t your forte (or if you don’t have time to bake thousands of cookies), look no further than the local bakeries of Mahoning County.

  • Classic Bakery | Boardman, OH – Serving baked goods for over 50 years, you’ll find everything from homemade pastries and cookies, to pies, cakes and donuts
  • Bake Me Treats | Poland, OH – Known for their French macarons and specialty cakes
  • One Hot Cookie | Boardman, OH – Decadent cookies piled high with specialty toppings
  • Butter Maid Bakery | Boardman, OH – Serves some of the area’s best kolachi, using a 150-year-old recipe
  • The Amish Market | Boardman, OH – Baked goods are made fresh and sold in the market
  • White House Fruit Farm | Canfield, OH – Lots of baked goods sold year-round, along with a variety of seasonal items
  • Das Dutch Haus | Columbiana, OH – Traditional fresh baked goods and specialty cakes

 

Not invited to a Youngstown-area wedding? The Mahoning Valley Historical Society hosts an annual fundraiser each February, Cookie Tables & Cocktails, based around this beloved tradition. It’s a great way to have a Cookie Table experience!

 

Be sure to follow our Facebook page or take a look at the Mahoning County Convention & Visitors Bureau website! If you’ve created a cookie table of your own recently, share your photos on social media with the hashtag #VisitYoungstown.

The saying, “April Showers Bring May Flowers” couldn’t be more true in the Valley right now! Although we’ve had our share of rainy weather, rest assured flowers will start to pop up throughout Youngstown very soon. Not sure where to find them? Take a look below for some suggestions.

 

Mill Creek MetroParks – Two ‘Can’t Miss’ Spots

Fellows Riverside Gardens

Home to 12 acres of lush garden landscape, Fellows Riverside Gardens is the perfect starting point for floral finds. Over 40,000 colorful bulbs mark the arrival of spring, from crocus to tulips and everything in between. Visitors (over 400,000 annually) are welcome to peruse the outdoor gardens any day from sunrise to sunset. During rainy days or cool weather, head inside the D.D. and Velma Davis Education & Visitors Center, open Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm, to find an assortment of seasonal exhibits, the Garden Café, horticulture books, gifts and more. Fellows Riverside Gardens is hosting a variety of events this spring including their Spring Plant Sale May 10 & 11. Visit this upcoming weekend, April 13 & 14 for the annual Daffodil Weekend where you can peruse the daffodil show, take trolley rides and go on guided walks to Daffodil Meadow.

 

Wondering what else will be in bloom in the coming months? Here’s a quick list of what you’ll most likely find at Fellows Riverside Gardens throughout the spring season:

  • Mid-April to early May: Daffodils
  • Late April to mid-May: Tulips
  • Mid-May to early June: Shrub Roses
  • Mid-May to late June: Rhododendrons and Azaleas
  • Late May to early June: Iris
  • Late May to late June: Peonies

 

Mill Creek Park Daffodil Meadow

Between mid-April and early May, trek to the Park’s well-known Daffodil Meadow, where you’ll find thousands of daffodils in peak bloom. Located on the east side of Lake Newport, the Meadow attracts a lot of attention each spring. In fact, the area was even named a top place to see daffodils by USA Today!

 

 

Poland Municipal Forest | Bluebell Trail   

Make your way to Poland, and you’ll come across the 265-acre Poland Municipal Forest. With over 30 hiking and biking trails, Poland Forest is known for its wide variety of natural beauty. For the best spring floral views, take the 1-mile Bluebell Trail. The graveled trail starts at the College Street Parking Lot, then heads South before turning back North, reconnecting with itself in the shape of the number six. Along the way, you’ll see brilliant lush bluebells carpeting the forest floor (hence, the trail’s name).

For the best view of the flowers, wait until about the third week of April.

 

 

Looking to purchase plants, flowers or hanging baskets? You won’t be disappointed with a visit to any of these popular locations.

Each April, Lonardo’s Greenhouse in Boardman opens its doors to visitors and locals alike. Inside, you’ll find a diverse selection of flowers, and vegetable plants for your garden. For deals and giveaways, keep an eye on Lonardo’s Facebook page (especially around Mother’s Day). Lonardo’s also boasts a vast array of locally grown fruits and vegetables for purchase.

Lutz Greenhouse on W. Pine Lake Road in Salem is open April, May and June. Their greenhouse is bursting with color and their gift shop offers creative arrangements. Want to have fresh herbs for cooking? They have a wide variety available. Save the date for their annual May Day Sale (May 4 & 5) where everything is 20% off.

Petitti’s Garden Center in Boardman has all the colorful plants the season has to offer, from annuals and perennials to all your landscaping needs. Their popular Spring Ladies Night Out will be held April 25 from 6pm-9pm. Experts will be on hand to answer your questions, and a Mystery Coupon will be offered for a special discount. More information and registration (required) can be found on their website.

 

For more information about all-things-spring happening in Mahoning County, visit our Facebook page or take a look at the Mahoning County Convention & Visitors Bureau website!

As the birthplace of Brier Hill Pizza, (the locally-loved green pepper and cheese creation) and home to countless local pizza shops, Youngstown was practically built on a foundation of crust, tomato sauce and cheese. From Valley favorites to unconventional concoctions, there’s no shortage of pies to try in the Youngstown area.  As a visitor, how do you know which to try first? Take a look at our brief guide to a few area pizza places below to learn more about local favorites.

 

The Tale of Brier Hill Pizza    

We can’t talk about pizza without first paying homage to Youngstown’s most famous pie: Brier Hill Pizza. What is it? A delicious combination of thick crust, flavorful tomato sauce, green peppers and Romano cheese. When manufacturing communities like Youngstown were hit by The Great Depression, many locals turned to their home gardens for meals. With the help of community ovens, the Brier Hill neighborhood, aka “Youngstown’s Little Italy” transformed their easy-to-grow tomatoes and peppers into what is now known and loved as Brier Hill pizza.


The Best Brier Hill Pizza

Many shops in the area serve up Brier Hill Pizza. The Avalon Downtown is one popular pizzeria, known for its Brier Hill variety complete with sweet peppers and imported Romano cheese. Bruno Bros. Pizza serves up New York style pizza, and also claims to have the #1 Brier Hill pizza in Ohio (you can be the judge of that). One of the most notable Brier Hill curators is family-owned Wedgewood Pizza in Austintown and Boardman, recently recognized in a Food Network article for having the area’s best Brier Hill pizza.

 

The Secret’s in the Sauce

It all starts with the sauce. Visit Cornersburg Pizza in (you guessed it) Cornersburg, and you’ll find an old-fashioned pizza place serving up pies smothered in a tomato and green pepper sauce. And if you visit The Elmton in Struthers, expect to find more sauce with green peppers, along with lots of Broasted Chicken (battered and deep fried in a pressure cooker).

 

Progressive Pies

There are also shops in the Valley offering unconventional options.  If you’re on YSU’s campus visit Republic Pizzeria e Pub! They’re known for their hand-crafted artisan pizzas, available by the slice or full pie – try the White Pizza. At Southgate Pizza in Boardman you’ll find a crunchy crust and interesting specialty varieties, like pierogi and gyro. If you’re visiting with kids, make a stop at Bella Napoli in Canfield. At this shop, pizzas can be built and decorated in custom shapes and sizes (like a clock), upon request. At Ianazone’s Pizza in Boardman, consider trying their Baked Potato Pizza. And unlike most shops, Uptown Pizza in Youngstown is known for putting their pepperoni under the cheese rather than on top.

 

Party Pizzas

Need a larger-than-average pizza for your next party? Head to Cocca’s Pizza Friday – Sunday and order their popular full sheet pizza for a special price. Or, take your party to Cocca’s on a Wednesday for their all-you-can-eat buffet. They have eight different locations in our area and won the People’s Choice Award in 2018. Or, visit family-owned Giangelo’s Pizzeria and try their “Soooo Big” Gia’s Pizza, complete with pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, red & green peppers, hot peppers, onions & olives. And we’re pretty sure the phrase “you can’t please everyone” isn’t in Westgate Pizza’s vocabulary. Their sheet pizzas can be divided into three varieties, four varieties and even six varieties, aka the Super Sampler.

 

But Wait, There’s More

While all of the pizza shops in Mahoning County have great varieties, some are known for more than just their pizza. When dining at Inner Circle Pizza add a delicious order of hot chips. Pick up a “pizza roller” at Pizza Joe’s – rolls of fresh dough filled with pepperoni and cheese – to add to your Philly Steak or Buffalo Chicken pizza. For a heaping slice of authentic Italian tradition, visit LaRocca’s Pizza and Pasta in Poland, known for their homemade traditional dishes. At Belleria Pizza & Italian Restaurant, you’ll find plenty of pizzas, but if you’re really hungry, try their half gallon tub of spaghetti. Try the Smoky Hollow Pizza at Cassese’s MVR where you can enjoy your slice while watching a serious match on their bocce courts.

 

For more information on other restaurants in Youngstown & Mahoning County, visit the Mahoning County Convention & Visitors Bureau website or Facebook page!

Avalon Downtown photo credit: @rchillman

With a new and improved location, countless specialty wines and exciting events, Diletto Winery is definitely worth a visit while in Mahoning County. Today, we’re here to share the inside-scoop on Diletto’s big move to Boardman, along with more details about their varied wine selection, sip ‘n paints and February fun.

 

New Location  

Diletto bid adieu to blueberry donuts, and said hello to ballrooms as they moved from Canfield (across from White House Fruit Farm) to the old Antone’s Banquet Centre, 8578 Market St. in Boardman. The quaint winery packed up in September and has since transformed their new location into a bigger and better Diletto Winery. The challenge: how do you create a cozy and intimate winery vibe in a massive space like the former Antone’s? The answer: lots of comfy couches, warm lighting and (of course) good wine.

 

How Good?

At Diletto, you’ll find a wide variety of quality wines, sangrias and ciders- with the flavors constantly changing. In the summertime, try peach or Hawaiian sangria, or grab a glass of one of their specialty fruit wines. In the fall, watch for some of their award-winning wine ciders to return to the shelf, along with caramel apple sangria. And winter calls for even more unique flavors, wrapped in custom holiday-themed labels.

In addition to a wide drink selection, Diletto also serves up some delicious bites (and full meals, for events). On their regular menu you’ll find snacks like cheese plates, flatbread pizzas and sandwiches. And on Fridays and Saturdays, jumbo wings are dry rubbed, smoked in-house and sold for just 79 cents each.

 

Upcoming Events  

From murder mystery dinners and challenging escape rooms, to relaxing sip ‘n paint sessions, Diletto Winery hosts a plethora of fun events. And their new spacious location allows ample room for activities. Here’s what’s happening soon:

 

Sip ‘n Paint

Participate in one of Diletto’s upcoming guided painting sessions! A preview of the paintings can be found on Diletto’s event calendar. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased here.

Jan 17 at 6pm | Winter Woods

Jan 24 at 6pm | Coffee ‘Till Wine

Jan 26 at 1pm | Dreaming of Spring

 

 

Valentine’s Dinner & Concert | Feb 14 at 6pm

This Valentine’s Day, you can treat your loved one to a special four-course dinner at Diletto! Tickets are just $35 per person and include a dinner buffet, glass of wine, romantic live music and roses for the ladies.

 

Valentine’s Murder Mystery Dinner | Feb 16 at 5pm

Play along as the suspect of a murder during a 3 or 4-course meal. Visitors are assigned specific characters with “roles” to act out and, throughout the night, you must guess who committed the crime. Tickets are $49 and include a glass of wine, food and fun entertainment.

 

Escape Rooms | Saturdays 4 – 9:15pm

Have an exciting (and possibly frustrating) night out with friends or family by participating in Diletto’s themed escape room! Whether you’re breaking out of prison or robbing a bank, your mission remains the same: use clues to escape the room before the time runs out. Tickets are $28 and can be reserved here.

 

All of Diletto’s events, descriptions and links for tickets can be found on their event calendar.

 

 

Whether you’re looking for a great glass of wine or fun night out, Diletto Winery has something for everyone. For more information on Diletto and other local wineries, visit our Facebook page or take a look at the Mahoning County Convention & Visitors Bureau website!