Need weekend plans? Here's a list of festivals happening around the Valley
It's a busy weekend in the Mahoning and Shenango Valleys, with more than a handful of festivals and other events to choose from. Whether you stop in Howland to grab dinner from a food truck or head to Downtown Youngstown for a Guinness with friends, there's no shortage of things to do.
July 21-22: The Mahoning Valley Irish Festival, hosted by Penguin City Brewing, is back for a second year. The Irish fest kicks off Friday at 5 p.m. at Penguin City, and the party continues until 11 p.m. The festivities return Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. This year's festival is bigger than last year, with food, vendors, and two stages for live music performances and dancing. 'Kids Day' Activities will be set up from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, with bounce houses, Irish music lessons, face painting, and more. Admission is $5. Parking is available across from Penguin City and throughout Downtown Youngstown.
July 19-22: If you haven't stopped by the Lowellville Mount Carmel Society Italian Festival yet, there's still time. It's the 128th year for the festival, which takes place at 102 Washington Street in Lowellville. You can find lots of favorite Italian food, drinks, and live music each night. While you're there, you can't miss the famous Baby Doll Dance from 10 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. each night. The festival concludes Saturday with a firework display at 11:45 p.m. Paid parking lots are available around Washington Street for $5 to $10.
July 22-23: It's once again time for the St. Maron Maronite Catholic Church's annual Lebanese Fun Fest. Festival-goers can also enjoy a variety of Lebanese food including lamb kabobs, kibbee, grape leaves, chicken shawarma, and more. There's also live music from the House Band (7 p.m.-11 p.m. Saturday) and RDNA (4 p.m.-8 p.m. Sunday), plus bounce houses to entertain the kids. If that's not enough to convince you, the fest also has a full bar. The festival runs from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Admission and parking at the church are both free.
July 21: No dinner plans Friday night? Howland Township has you covered with the second of four 'Food Truck Friday' events at Orwig Park. From 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., several food trucks will be set up: The Alternative, Magic Tree, SV Gourmet Kitchen, Majevics, TortA'mo, Curbys Custard, Holy-Y-Cow Donut, and Sweet Southern Charm. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy live music from Steve Vuich & The River Saints while you eat. There is no admission fee. Parking is available on site.
July 21-22: It's Christmas in July! Enjoy some early gifts at McKim's Honeyvine & Winery in East Palestine. The winery is getting festive with their Merry Berry and Christmas Cranberry wine blends. The taproom opens at 5 p.m. Friday with live Christmas music from Sparo & Marlene. The festivities continue Saturday, with acoustic guitarist Tyler Guerrieri playing at 3 p.m. Both days, you can pair your holiday-themed flight with some comfort food from JW BBQ. The Cellar will also be open for some early Christmas shopping, with all wine sold at pre-pandemic prices. The winery will also have a full stock of Rosalind's Chocolate for the perfect Christmas gift pairing.
July 22: WaterFire is back in beautiful downtown Sharon on Saturday. Things kick off at noon with a free tour from the Sharon Historical Society. If you can't make that one, there are also tours beginning at 2 and 4 p.m., leaving from the Thornton-Hall Bowling Alley. Everything else starts at 2, with vendors, food, live music, and fun for the kids along State Street. At 9 p.m. is the Lighting of the WaterFire Globe, surrounded by 55 floating bonfires. Bring a chair and stick around for a night of entertainment and live music on the river.
July 21: In New Castle, the Hometown Summer Concerts Live! at The Riverwalk series continues for the 3rd week. This Friday, country/classic rock group "The Wrangler Band" will perform from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Riverwalk Park. The band is comprised of Western PA natives that have been performing together since they were kids. The concert is free, but you are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on. Food vendors will be on hand, plus a 50/50 raffle to help sustain this summer concert series.