The Update | Lawrence Visitors Guide Arrives; Polish Vodka, Cookie Table Fundraisers; YSO in Concert

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Youngstown Symphony Orchestra will present “Classical Exploration,” a masterworks series concert, at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29, at Stambaugh Auditorium.

The guest conductor will be maestro Alberto Bade, who is the director of orchestral studies at Miami Dade College where he serves as conductor of the symphony orchestra.

In the concert, Bade and the YSO will explore the classical works of Strauss, Coleridge-Taylor, Haydn and Dvořák.

For tickets or information, click HERE.

Cookie Table and Cocktails

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Mahoning Valley Historical Society will host its 11th Cookie Table and Cocktails fundraising event on Saturday, Feb. 25, from 6 to 10 p.m. at Assumption Social Center, 356 S. Belle Vista Ave. on the West Side.

Cookie Table and Cocktails is the signature fundraising event for MVHS. The catered event is styled to recreate a traditional Youngstown wedding reception and features a cookie baking competition for both amateurs and professionals, judged by a select panel of community figures. Television personality Stan Boney will return as the emcee.

Cookie bakers wishing to participate can register online HERE or by contacting Traci Manning at

Amateur and professional bakers will vie for first-, second- and third-place awards and honorable mention in both divisions.

Additional categories include best decorated cookie, best use of a unique ingredient, best cocktail inspired cookie and best traditional cookie. Bakers may also choose to be noncompetitive. All bakers receive one complimentary event ticket and special recognition at the event.

A cash bar will be available with signature cocktails, including the featured cocktail, Pretty Ricky, created by Billy Danielson of Cedar’s West End. The tequila-based drink was voted the best of four served at MVHS’s Olive with a Twist cocktail party event on Jan. 20.

After the buffet dinner by Assumption Social Center catering, musical entertainment and dancing will be provided by the Del Sinchak Band. There will also be a 50/50 raffle, basket raffle and silent auction.

Tickets are $70 per person or $640 for a reserved table of eight, which includes preferred placement table location and a table sign. Tickets are available HERE.

‘That Guy’ reading at Kent Trumbull Theatre

WARREN, Ohio – Kent Trumbull Theatre will present a reading of “That Guy,” a play by Peter Anthony Fields of Kent, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1, at Modern Methods Brewing.

The play has a unique plot.

A playwright who receives inspiration by interacting with the imagined characters from the play that he is currently writing is struggling through a period of writer’s block because his characters have “stopped talking” to him. He soon becomes depressed and anxious and develops other physical and cognitive symptoms.

After receiving a devastating diagnosis, he is determined to get his life headed in a productive and positive direction. But despite his best efforts, everything that matters the most in his life seems to be on the verge of falling apart.

Modern Methods Brewing Co., 125 Dave Grohl Alley, downtown, will open at 7 p.m.

For information, call 330 675 8887 or email

Lawrence County Visitors Guides Available

NEW CASTLE, Pa. – The 2023 Lawrence County Visitors Guide is now available.

The magazine is packed with information about fun things to do in the county, including outdoor recreation, dining, arts and culture, wine and brew, Amish country and more.

Produced annually by Visit Lawrence County, the guide includes user-friendly maps of the Stavich Bicycle Trail and the North Country National Scenic Trail.

Residents of the county and region will also learn about places and events in the county, said Janet Falotico, executive director of Visit Lawrence County.

New this year is a feature on the county’s many waterfalls, as well as the start of the Lawrence County Coffee Club.

The free guidebooks can be found at highway welcome centers and rest areas throughout the state. 

It will soon be placed on brochure racks at the following Lawrence County locations: Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Quality Inn, Lawrence County Government Center, The Confluence, Ellwood City Area Chamber of Commerce, Premium Outlets at Grove City, Pulse Coffee Shop, Don Reclaim, New Castle Airport and at businesses throughout the county.

The guide can also be downloaded or mailed. Go to

Carnival Celebration with Polish Vodka, Food

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The annual revelry of Carnival in Brazil and Mardi Gras in New Orleans are legendary and widely imitated. However, lesser-known celebrations have taken place for generations in other parts of the world, particularly in those countries where Christian traditions have made the 40 days of Lent a time of sacrifice and solemnity.

Poland is one of those countries, and PolishYoungstown is inviting the public to its 10th annual Ostatki: A Polish Vodka Carnival Celebration on Saturday, Feb. 18, at 6 p.m. at the Youngstown Country Club. 

Tickets are $75 per person and available HERE.

Upon arriving, guests will receive a passport to be used as they tour Poland via a series of guided tastings of imported Polish vodka and beers not traditionally available in Ohio. This will be followed by an elaborate Polish appetizer buffet and complemented by an elegant dinner.

DJ Walter Bielski and accordionist Tom Katrenich will provide music to set the tone for the event, which will include meet-and-greets, bead contests, an elegant basket raffle and more. The evening will climax with the presentation of the celebratory pączki with a hidden surprise for one lucky winner.

Directly translated as “the last,” the event gives guests a final chance at merriment before the solemnity of Lent. “This is a big event back in the villages where my ancestors came from in Poland,” says Aundréa Cika Heschmeyer.

“People traditionally start their festivities a whole week before, and it doesn’t stop until late on Shrove Tuesday.”

Photo Exhibition at Davis Center

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – “Moments in Time,” a photography exhibition by the late W. Gordon, is now on display at the Weller Gallery, inside the Davis Center at Fellows Riverside Gardens.

Gordon was a street photographer who wandered and responded instinctively to what he could find rather than consciously searching for specific subjects. He observed and let his subjects speak for themselves, capturing the complexity and relationships of everyday life.

The exhibition will run through March 26. Admission is free. The gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Valentine’s Day Events at River Valley

PULASKI, Pa. – The River Valley Community Resource Center, 320 Shenango St., will present a Valentine’s Day Party on Feb. 12, beginning at 3 p.m. 

Guests will enjoy live music by Mike and Lauren, food, desserts and games in a romantic environment. 

Tickets are $35; reservations must be made by Feb. 11.

For information or to buy tickets, go to or call 724 651 8130.

Art Scholarship Available Through The Hoyt

NEW CASTLE, Pa. – Arts & Education at the Hoyt is accepting applications for the L. Eugene DeCaprio Undergraduate Art Scholarship fund to support the undergraduate study of the arts. DeCaprio, former director of the Westminster College Celebrity Series and current Hoyt Center for the Arts trustee, has been an arts advocate for more than six decades.

Up to four $1,000 awards are available to graduating Lawrence County seniors pursuing a degree at an accredited visual or performing arts (music, dance, theater) program, including the Thomas G. McNickle Visual Arts award dedicated to the study of the visual arts. Thomas McNickle, like DeCaprio, was a former educator and a founding member of the Hoyt Center for the Arts in 1965.

Winners will be chosen according to demonstrated artistic merit and commitment to the field. Work samples are required.

Interested students can apply HERE. High School transcripts, work samples and two to three letters of recommendation must be included. Deadline to apply is 5 p.m. April 1. Awards will be announced in early May and distributed directly to the winners’ colleges of choice in June.

Fashion Exhibition to Open at Kent Museum

KENT, Ohio – “Head to Toe,” a trilogy of fashion exhibitions, will open Feb. 2 at the Kent State University Museum and run through July 23.

It will demonstrate the evolution of hats, coats and shoes over the decades. All items are from the museum’s permanent collection.

The Kent State University Museum, 515 Hilltop Drive, has more than 29,000 pieces in its collection. For tickets and information, call 330 672 3450 or go to

Pictured at top: The cover of the 2023 Lawrence County Visitors Guide.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.