Jazz, Blues and BBQ to Hit the Streets in Downtown East Liverpool

EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio — The historic Devon’s Diamond area of the city’s downtown will come alive Saturday with the fourth Ceramic City Jazz, Blues & BBQ Fest from 1 to 10 p.m. headed by the East Liverpool Community Partnership for Development group.

The event began in 2017 with barbecue competitions as well as live music and vendors, and continued until last year when it had to be canceled due to the COVID pandemic.

This year, the event will be somewhat smaller due to continuing effects of the pandemic on business and donations, according to ELCPR Vice President Kathy Hyatt Smith, who said it will be no less fun for those attending.

“We are grateful for any community support we receive. Come listen to some great music, bring your camp chair, grab some great food and drinks and have some fun,” she said.

2019 Jazz, Blues & BBQ Festival In East Liverpool (Image from the ELCPR Facebook page, taken by Jimmy Joe Savage).

Music will begin on the Jazz Street Stage at 1 p.m. with Derek Redd and the Five Minute Band (Antonio and Carlos Monteiro), followed at 2:15 p.m. by Steeltown Horns featuring East Liverpool native Staciawa Abbott; at 3:30 p.m. Elias Khouri will perform; and at 4:45 p.m. Hugo Cruz and the Caminos will conclude the set.

The evening set starts at 6 p.m. with a performance by The Willis Gordon Band, followed at 7:15 p.m. by the Ini Og Quartet and finishing up at 8:30 p.m. with Brian Edwards’ Steel City All Stars, with special guest Billy “The Kid” Evanochko.

Also taking the stage during the event will be DJ NoFear and MC Phat Man Dee.

“These jazz acts are major,” said Hyatt Smith. “Without Staciawa, we wouldn’t have access to them.”

Although there will be no competition among barbecue concessions this year, there will be barbecue fare for those who crave it, as well as other food vendors.

Hyatt Smith said close to 30 vendors will be on hand in the historic Diamond area offering a multitude of goodies, ranging from Brooks Homestyle BBQ, Mad Mac’s Bakery and Sweet Amelia’s Home Made Sweets to local restaurant Fresh on Fifth and M & J Farm pure Ohio maple syrup, among others.

Among artisans who will have their wares on display will be Sam Kinemond’s Pink Hippo Design Company, Lindsey Smoot’s Knotty Hookers, D’s Crafts and Cravings, Sock It To Me Head To Toe and RF Stainless Jewelry, and more.

Wines, craft and domestic beers will also be sold. There is no admission fee.

Main event sponsor is Community Animal Clinic, silver sponsors are East Liverpool City Hospital and Heritage Thermal Services and event sponsors are R.I.D.E (Road Improvements Drive the Economy), DiNuzzo Index Advisors Inc. and Renovatio’s Taproom and Restaurant.

Promoters are anticipating a large turnout, judging by last Friday’s attendance at the ELCPR’s monthly First on Fifth event, which Hyatt Smith said brought an estimated 5,000 people downtown to hear live music and visit multiple vendors along Fifth Street.

“The community is really hungry for a sense of community and a place to be together,” she said, saying the large crowd for First on Fifth was “amazing on a Friday night, so hopefully, we’ll see the same Saturday.”

Also happening in the city Saturday is an open house from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Central Fire Station, 626 St. Clair Ave., to celebrate the department’s 125th anniversary. In addition to having an opportunity to meet city fire personnel, visitors can view a live extrication demonstration from 11:30 a.m. to noon and a simulated hazmat (hazardous material) demonstration from 12:30-1 p.m.

Tours of Central Station will be given, and fire trucks, ambulances and hazmat vehicles will be open for inspection. Firefighters’ equipment will also be on display. A dunk tank will be on the premises, with visitors having a chance to try and dunk firefighters.

The East Liverpool Fire Department has been a professional department since 1896.

Pictured at top: A band performs during the 2019 Jazz, Blues & BBQ Festival In East Liverpool (Image from the ELCPR Facebook page, taken by Jimmy Joe Savage).

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.