YNDC to Host Its First Glenwood Avenue Festival

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – As community engagement fellow for the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation, Kayshia Washington said she goes door-to-door to conduct surveys about how residents feel about their neighborhood.

After several visits, Washington was surprised to realize how few residents knew what resources were available to them in the community. 

“When the residents answer some of those questions, the majority of them already are saying, ‘We don’t know about too many resources in the community. How do we get this information?'” she said. 

To combine the promotion of local businesses and make locals aware of the resources they have, YNDC and Glenwood Neighbors will host the first Glenwood Avenue Festival on Aug. 19. 

The event will last from noon to 5 p.m. at The Youngstown Playhouse, 600 Playhouse Lane. 

Entertainment will be provided by DJ Jocko and Mercy Health’s Stepping Out Program featuring the Slay Steppas Line Dance Team. A “kid zone” will feature Confetti House bounce houses, games, cookie decorating and a mobile library.

“The Glenwood Avenue Festival is a free event for community members to attend and enjoy fun and productive activities,” said Ian Beniston, executive director of YNDC. “The event will also highlight multiple local businesses and food trucks.”

The main sponsors for the event are YNDC, Glenwood Neighbors Business Association and The Youngstown Playhouse.

Washington said the festival is also a way to highlight some of the recent work the organization has done in the community. 

“Glenwood avenue has been revitalized,” she said. “It’s coming up and it’s looking great. We wanted people to come out and enjoy the South Side – enjoy and see all of the new businesses on Glenwood Avenue and see a lot of the renovations that have been going on.”

The Youngstown Playhouse has been providing the area with entertainment for many years, Washington said. She said in addition to its large parking lot, choosing this as the event site will allow them to highlight that entertainment.

Washington said local resources attending the event include Mercy Health’s dental van, Alta Head Start, CareSource, Premier Bank, youth organizations and more.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet with the local police and fire departments. Washington said they can talk to them about the issues they are seeing in their own homes.

“When it comes to the food trucks, we have a diverse group of food trucks and vendors,” she said. “We want to let people know there are different varieties of food trucks and food vendors in the community. We want to open people up to something new.”

The food trucks will include TortaMo, ST’s, Karter’s Korner, Melina’s Sweet and Savory Treats, Tra’s Gourmet Sandwiches and Astia’s Sweet Lemonade. 

Washington said this is only the kickoff. YNDC will use feedback from this event to make bigger and better ones in the upcoming years.

“Be on the lookout for a few more years of the Glenwood Avenue Festival,” she said.

All vendors for the event are local. 

“We have actual organizations, and we also have entrepreneurs,” Washington said.

Some other local businesses YNDC hopes to highlight through the event are Beyond Expectations Barber College, Dré Dramatics Loc Shop, Pie Oh My, Grounds, G’s Chop Shop, Branch Street Roasters, Glenwood Plaza with Savannah Joe’s, Glenwood Fresh Market, QuickMed Urgent Care, Protestant Family Service and Inspiring Minds Youngstown.

Admission to the event is free. Parking will be available at The Youngstown Playhouse and adjacent surrounding locations.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.