‘Downtown Shutdown’ Parties to Begin June 10

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – In the spirit of the former “Party on the Plaza” that ended last year, the city is kicking off a new series of summer events designed to attract patrons to downtown on Friday nights.

“Downtown Shutdown” officially begins June 10 at the Kress Lot, a parking lot between the Mahoning County Court of Appeals building and the former Two Guys building on West Federal Street, says downtown events director Michael McGiffin.

“I think when we closed down the Party on the Plaza last year, we lost a regular outdoor music event,” McGiffin said. “We started to think about how to bring that back, and the happy hour theme came to mind.”

The city, the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber, and Eric Ryan Productions are teaming up to bring at least four events to downtown during the summer, McGiffin noted.

Two of the events – Las Vegas DJ Blaze on June 10 and country act Abby Abbondanza Aug. 5 – will come with a $5 admission charge. Two other scheduled performances – The Clarks on July 8 and Disco Inferno – will have a $10 admission.

The Kress lot provides an ideal location, since the lot slopes toward Dutton’s Alley and is bordered by two brick buildings that make a natural amphitheater, McGiffin says.

Downtown Shutdown will start with a free admission pre-event, “Tie-Off a Great Time” party, sponsored by the chamber from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., replete with a cash bar and food trucks to satisfy the happy hour crowd.

“We are thrilled to be part of this exciting series of events downtown and look forward kicking off the weekends with our members and the community,” said Kim Calvert, the chamber’s vice president of marketing/special events.

Eric Ryan, president of Eric Ryan Productions/JAC Management Group, said this partnership with the city and the chamber helps to rekindle the great festive atmosphere that the downtown is accustomed to during the summer.

“As with most projects involving the downtown resurgence, this is a great collaborative effort between us, the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber, and the City of Youngstown,” Ryan said. “Live entertainment on Fridays downtown in the summer has long been one of the best traditions of the city and we are proud to be able to improve upon the concept and bring it back to the valley.”

The parties begin at 7 p.m. and last until 11 p.m.

“We’re going to start out with four and see how the community responds,” McGiffin said, adding more events could be added throughout the summer months. “We’re going to see what makes a splash and go from there.”

Copyright 2023 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.