Stepping Up: Southern Park, Austintown Farmer’s Market, Youngstown Flea

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The Business Journal is asking companies and organizations to tell us how they are faring and what they are doing to help others through this pandemic crisis.

We call this series “Stepping Up.” Segments will continue to be posted during the crisis.

Submit your own story at

Southern Park Mall

BOARDMAN, Ohio – Washington Prime Group, the owner of Southern Park Mall is hosting a digital graduation cap design contest, awarding prize money that can be used at any of its properties.

Members of the high school and college class of 2020 can submit their graduation cap design on any of the company’s social media pages with the hashtag #ScholarSpree. All entries will be posted here and where voters can choose their favorite designs. 

The contest is open until June 12. The 13 winners, announced June 19, will receive prizes between $500 and $3,000. 

“We know missing traditional graduation ceremonies and the end of senior year has been hard for the class of 2020 and their families,” says Brian Gabbert, general manager of Southern Park Mall. “These students have worked so hard and are off to change the world. It is an honor for Southern Park Mall to commemorate their hard work and bring the community together to celebrate these students.”

Austintown Farmers’ Market

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio – The Austintown Farmers’ Market will host a trial run of its new drive-thru model 5 to 8 p.m. May 18.

Developed to minimize contact between shoppers and vendors and ensure social distancing, the drive-thru market allows customers the option to preorder their items or order directly from their cars.

The regular season of the Austintown Farmers’ Market begins June 8 and will be held every Monday through the end of August. All markets will run 5 to 8 p.m.

For more information, contact [email protected].

The Youngstown Flea

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The fifth year of The Youngstown Flea, the “market for makers” held monthly in downtown Youngstown, will begin June 13 with safety precautions in place.

All employees and vendors will be required to wear masks and health assessments will be conducted. It is recommended that shoppers wear masks. 

Hand sanitizing stations will be placed throughout the three-acre market site and all food stations, workspaces and vendor booths will be cleaned at the close of business and between shifts, with vendors also required to clean their frequently touched items such as tables and credit card machines.

Vendors will spaced six feet apart and Youngstown Flea staff will ensure that there is “no loitering clustering or lingering groups of people and will use appointment setting, quick curbside pickup, where possible to limit congestion.” Parking will be spread out across the Flea’s usual parking lot behind Timlin Plumbing, the Covelli Centre and other downtown lots.

“We know that we are more than four weeks away from our June 13th Flea, and, the current directives from our Ohio Gov. DeWine could change. We are prepared to honor those should things change. We will continue to monitor and follow guidance from the CDC as well as state and local health officials who are involved in this decision,” says Youngstown Flea founder Derrick McDowell. “We appreciate your patience as we navigate this challenging situation. Our hope is that in 30 days we all arrive at the Flea in an extremely safe place of containment of the virus. Now more than ever, we encourage people to dig in and find creative ways to support local businesses — the makers, bakers, brewers and growers of our communities — both online and in-person starting June 13.”

America Heart Association

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Youngstown chapter of the American Heart Association will move its annual fundraiser, the Tri-County Heart Ball, online this year.

The virtual event will be held 6 to 7 p.m. May 21. Among the entertainment planned is live music, a comedy show and a magician, as well as education on heart health and staying safe during the COVID-19 outbreak.

““Now, more than ever, we’re all looking for ways to connect with others, stay positive and have fun,” says Jeff Ryznar, founder and president of 898 Marketing and co-chairman of the event. “This virtual event provides everyone with an entertaining evening at home with family and friends while supporting the Heart Association’s lifesaving mission. We are grateful for the support from our community and our sponsors, and we can’t wait to virtually share this event with the tri-county area.”

Funds from the event will support the American Heart Association’s research and education initiatives.

For more information or to register for the Tri-County Heart Ball, visit or email [email protected].

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.