Friendship Park Kayak Launch Ribbon Cutting

Friendship Park in Smithfield, Ohio, will open the new adaptive launch to the public in a ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, May 18, 2024 at 11:00 am.

The Coast Guard Flotilla 082-07-02 will be available from 9:00 – 11:00 am for complementary vessel inspections with a safety class beginning at 10:00 am. The ribbon cutting ceremony will begin at 11:00 am with festivities continuing through 2:00 pm.

Food will be provided by Crossroads Christian Church Wintersville, Ice Cream Island food truck will be on-site, and raffle tickets for a chance to win a kayak donated by Friends of Smithfield will be sold for $10 each. The drawing will be held at 2:00 pm with proceeds benefiting the Paddle Sports Program at the park. 

On December 14, 2023 Jefferson County Commissioners approved the purchase of a nearly $75,000 adaptive kayak launch to be engineered by BoardSafe Dock Systems and installed at Friendship Park using American Rescue Plan funds. The adaptive launch provides safe means to launch paddle craft vessels making the lake more accessible for those with and without physical impairments.

For more information visit the Friendship Park District page on Facebook or email friendshippark@jeffersoncountyoh.com.

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Steubenville Celebrates Its Native Son

As an entertainment icon, Dean Martin is remembered every year in his hometown of Steubenville. The 2024 Dean Martin Festival will highlight his music and life June 13-15.

The center of the celebration is held at The Spot Bar with a karaoke contest on Thursday evening, a tribute to Dean Martin by Russ Loniello on Friday evening, and entertainment by Bob Morelli (Dean Martin) and Dave Salera (Frank Sinatra) followed by Joe Scalissi with a Dean Martin tribute on Saturday evening.

On Thursday evening, the Fort Steuben Concert Series will present Dean Martin themed performances by Bob Morelli, the Vince Villanova Big Band, and a Rat Pack Tribute show.

Other events offered around town include opening the Dean Martin Room at the Jefferson County Historical Museum on Saturday from 11-4. Earlier on Saturday morning, runners & walkers can participate in the Dino Dash 5K in the beautiful Beatty Park with music (Nail City Brass Band, 8:30-10:30am), refreshments for all, and information canopies for Dean Martin Association, Friends of Beatty Park and Jefferson County Genealogy Society. The Steubenville Visitor Center will offer Dino’s Downtown Trolley Rides from 11-4 on Saturday highlighting the significant sites and many of the City of Murals artworks.

Throughout Saturday, the Visitor Center will host a display of Dean Martin memorabilia and run a video of clips from Martin’s movies and television show where he mentions his hometown: “Sweet Memories of Steubenville.” The Steubenville Art Association will have a show and sale of original work related to the day.

As part of the celebration, Historic Fort Steuben will offer reduced entrance fees and have displays on Steubenville history. Downtown shops will have Dean Martin specials as well.

For more information on these and other attractions in Steubenville, contact the Steubenville Visitor Center, 740.283.4935 or go to www.VisitSteubenville.com.

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Annual Spring Quilt Show at Fort

“Cleopatra’s Fan,” “Wild Blossoms,” “Paradise Crossroads,” and “Puppy Love” are just a few of the themes on display at the Annual Spring Quilt Show at the Visitor Center at Historic Fort Steuben that will run from April 7-21.

“Over thirty quilters from Ohio and West Virginia have submitted their creations for the exhibit,” explained Judy Bratten, Director of Historic Fort Steuben. “Over the years, we have seen an amazing variety of patterns and designs, each one unique. Many of them have stories attached!”

“We know that history can be found in letters, diaries, photographs, and artifacts. These quilts are also a source of knowledge about the times when they were created,” Bratten said. “From the designs, fabrics, and manner of quilting, we can learn about the everyday life of people in that time period. For example, during the Great Depression many quilts were make from feed sacks – quilters used whatever was available. Today there is an industry dedicated to producing fabrics and supplies just for quilters.”

The quilts in this year’s show reflect a variety of techniques as well as designs. Some are hand quilted and pieced while others are machine worked. Some include buttons and ribbons while others are made from tee shirts. Both men and women are participating in the show reminding visitors that quilting is a skill not limited to sex or age.

“For some people, quilting is a hobby as well as a way of artistic expression. But over the years, creating a quilt was a community project. Women would gather around the huge quilting frame and share their thoughts, troubles, and joys with each other as they stitched. That still happens today, more likely in a quilting class, but many work on the piecing on their own,” Bratten noted.

Visitors can vote for their favorite quilt at $1/vote. They can also purchase a $5 raffle ticket for a beautiful quilt made by local artist Helen Sweeney; the raffle will run until June 3rd.

The exhibit will be open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 4pm and is free to the public. Historic Fort Steuben is located at 120 S. 3rd Street in Steubenville, Ohio. For more information call 740.283.1787.

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Jefferson County Chapter of Ohio Genealogical Society releases 2024 Calendar of Events

Open House – Sunday, April 7, 2024, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the our office: 501 Fifth Street, Stratton, Ohio. Prize drawings every hour and will include: a book published by our Chapter, a free membership and a  free query. Free handouts packets will be available to all attendees. Tours of the office and genealogist and historians on hand to answer questions. Bring your research or laptop and we also have two computers with various sources available.

Steubenville Union Cemetery “Tour & More” –  Saturday, September 28, 2024, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Bring a fold up chair and meet at the 1880 old stone bridge. Co-sponsored with the Friends of Beatty Park. There will be a presentation about tombstone inscriptions and symbols: what these etchings represent, a short history of the cemetery, the connection between historic Beatty Park (adjacent to the cemetery) and the cemetery. Our chapter will have a table set up with research handout helps. Attendees can browse and meet local volunteer genealogists and local historians, grab a light snack and drink (for a donation). Jeff Evans and Paul Zuros will follow the history presentation with walks to specific burial locations within the nearby oldest sections of the cemetery and share some interesting stories. This event will not disappoint. Come early! Park anywhere along the right side of the main road throughout the cemetery. (Do Not Park at Office)

Local Authors “Meet and Greet” Event – Saturday, November 9, 2024, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Stratton Municipal Building, 134 Second Ave., Stratton, Ohio. Local non fiction authors will display their publications. Books will be for sale and book signings as well.  Several authors will be invited to give a short presentation about their book and any upcoming books too. There will be a $5.00 raffle drawing every 30 mins. for free memberships, query research, and book give-aways. Authors names TBA soon. We plan to invite 10 to 12 local authors. Each will have their own table so that attendees can visit with each author of interest during the open house. Watch for updates on who will be attending and speaking!  A soup and sandwich fund raiser luncheon by the Stratton Fire Department during the event.

During the author “Meet and Greet” – Our chapter will have a genealogy table displaying our published genealogies and various publications, books, and indexes that our chapter has published since 1984 that are still available for sale. Our table will also include: chapter brochures, genealogy help handouts – all free. Bring your genealogy questions – there will be at least four researchers and local historians available to assist you.

The Jefferson County Chapter, Ohio Genealogical Society 501 Fifth Street, Stratton, Ohio, 43961 Office Hours – Thursday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (1st Thurs. 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.) Saturday and additional research hours – Appointment Only.

Mailing Address – P.O. Box 2367, Wintersville, Ohio 43953

Website – www.jeffcochapter.com

Email – jeffcochapter.com

Phone – 740-346-2820

Chapter President – Flora L. VerStraten-Merrin

Vice President – Matt Detchon

Recording Secretary – Rena Goss & Treasurer – Connie Rohall

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Eggsibition to open in Steubenville

It’s time to celebrate spring by attending the annual Steubenville Eggsibition & Storywalk from March 18 to May 14 which features over 30 18” to 36” uniquely designed Easter Eggs strategically situated in storefronts in the downtown area.

The Art Eggs – another creation of the Steubenville Cultural Trust who developed the Nutcracker Village – are also visible from outside for folks who just want to window shop. Maps for the egg hunt will be available at Leonardo’s Coffeehouse, participating businesses, and the Steubenville Visitor Center. After finding and viewing all the Art Eggs, “egg-hunters” will be able to stop in at the Steubenville Popcorn Company and choose a prize mini-egg and vote on their favorite. All the Art Eggs were painted by local artists and range from traditional Pysanky to depictions of scenes, personalities, or literary images.

As an added attraction, the Public Library of Steubenville & Jefferson County has created an Easter Egg StoryWalk to coincide with the Eggsibition. Pages of a story will be placed around town near each of the “hidden” eggs. Participants can collect a map from the Library or Leonardo’s and claim a prize at the downtown library when they have completed the Storywalk.

“It’s a great way to bring families downtown to celebrate the Easter season, to visit the local shops, to take ‘selfies’, and make memories,” noted Judy Bratten of the Steubenville Visitor Center. “The StoryWalk is part of the library’s efforts to increase literacy and encourage community involvement.”

“Egg decorating has been around for so long that historians aren’t even certain when the practice first began,” Bratten added. “I’ve read that engraved ostrich eggs have been found in Africa that date back 60,000 years. But decorating for spring and especially for the Easter season is an established practice now. Christians adopted the practice of egg decoration early on as they stained eggs red in memory of the blood of Christ. Each culture has developed its own particular style of decorating.”

Lead designer and creator of the Eggsibition and the Nutcracker Village, Therese Fedoryka, was inspired by the Easter tradition in the Ukraine, Poland and Austria, where giant decorated eggs are displayed in town squares and public places. She sees these events as part of a larger revitalization effort that brings businesses and the arts together.

“We started doing the eggs in 2017,” she said. “The nutcrackers had been very successful two years in a row — the eggs had actually been a plan since before Nutcracker Village was born. The idea was to hide the eggs so visitors would be required to go around town and find the stores, maybe find businesses they didn’t know existed. The idea was to encourage revitalization in spring as well as winter.”

The eggs are displayed 24/7 but visitors are encouraged to check store hours if they want to patronize the business as well. The Steubenville Popcorn Company and Leonardo’s Coffeehouse are located at 159 N. 4th Street and the Steubenville Visitor Center is at 120 S. 3rd Street. Selfies can be shared on Facebook #SteubieArtEggs.

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2024 SAA Art Show

This month, the Fort Steuben Visitor Center will host a show by the Steubenville Art Association called “Show Us Your Stuff.”

“This art show is different in many ways from any art show we have ever had,” explained SAA president Judy Schmidt. “First of all, it is a brag show.  We are asking everyone who has done an art piece or two that they are proud of to bring it here and enter it in this most braggadocious show ever seen.”

The invitation is open to not only local artists but to anyone who makes art in the privacy of their homes. 

“From toddler to Grandmas, you are invited to show your art in a show with the artists of the SAA.  All we ask in return is some proud Yep, I did that! Smiles,” Schmidt added.

Schmidt noted that this art show is different because it was planned and is managed by student managers and will be judged by student judges.  These are members of the SAA who have never managed or judged an art show before.  This is an opportunity for them to learn something new as they make their way through the art world.  

“Our student managers are so enthusiastic about this show that they have gone overboard.  They have planned for awards for children and awards for adults.  So, parents and teachers, if you have little ones that like to do art, frame that painting or that drawing and bring it to be hung in the children’s section of our art show. It will be such a positive experience for the child and the parent or grandparent alike,” she said.

The Steubenville Art Association is asking the public to bring their art work for the show to the Visitor Center on Thursday, March 7 from 11AM until 3PM. The members of the SAA will hang the art so that the student judges can come view it the next day and decide what art pieces will be awarded.  There will be a Best of Show Award, Most Original Award, and also the Mayor’s Choice award.  There will also be “Awesome” ribbons for outstanding artwork.  Winners will be announced at the Grand Opening.

Schmidt said that every single child who enters will get some recognition, “Because we of the SAA just love the work of young artists.”

Also at the ceremony, the SAA will unveil their new logo.  Although the SAA has been a part of our community for over 77 years, they just recently had a contest and adopted their first official logo.

All the public is invited to come out to the Grand Opening ceremony and meet the artists of the SAA. For anyone who has thought about doing more art or getting involved with the SAA, this is a chance to talk with their members.  

Anyone who has questions can email judyschmidt50@hotmail.com or call at 740-424-3835.  Also, please check out.  You’ll find further information about this art show on the SAA Facebook page and website.

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The cold winds may be blowing but spring is just around the corner bringing programs and events to look forward to.

  We are especially excited for the return of the Jefferson County Chamber Spring Home Show, on March 2-3. It has been a few years since the area has seen such events.

Chamber of Commerce President Kate Sedgmer explained that this free event will appeal to new and seasoned homeowners, DIY enthusiasts, and anyone looking for home improvement ideas.

  “There are similar shows in neighboring areas, but the closest shows to us are Pittsburgh and Wheeling! We are fortunate to have attracted many of the ‘large’ vendors that typically frequent these shows,” she noted.

  They are anticipating about 60 vendors and displays from local and regional businesses and nonprofits as well as several pop-up displays. New this year is a Kids Korner to entertain the youngsters while their parents browse the exhibits.

  “The Show takes lots of planning, coordination with vendors, community, and volunteer support. We are excited to partner with the Public Libraries of Steubenville and Jefferson County to offer crafts and activities to children. We also hope to have an appraiser on hand so attendees can bring their vintage/antiques to be checked out,” she added.

  The 2024 Spring Home Show offering information on home renovation, landscaping, interior design, and home technology will be held at St. Florian Hall, 286 Luray Drive, Wintersville and run from 11am to 6pm on Saturday and again from 11am to 3pm on Sunday. For more information, call the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce at 740.282.6226.

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A Wintry Visit to Steubenville

It’s easy to get the January blahs when the grey skies and cold, damp weather dominates. But a short drive to Steubenville may help break the gloomy spell. Situated in the Ohio River Valley, Steubenville has remnants of its industrial past, the natural beauty of the Appalachian hills, and a historic downtown with quirky shops, stunning churches, and a reconstructed 18th century frontier fort right in the downtown. Start at the Steubenville Visitor Center where you can obtain maps, dining/lodging recommendations, and a list of the many events and festivals through the year.

  1. City of Murals: Twenty-three larger than life works of art adorn many buildings in the city, depicting moments of local and national history including the first professional African American baseball player, Abraham Lincoln in the Civil War telegraph office, the main character of Ohio’s rock song (“Hold on Sloopy”), city native and crooner Dean Martin, and scenes of old Steubenville. Pick up a map and scavenger hunt at the Visitor Center to make it a fun experience for the whole family.
  2. Beatty Park: Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this nature preserve abounds with 19th century stonework, walking and hiking trails, creeks, wildflowers, and towering trees. Put February 25th on your calendar for the Leap Year Winter Hike! This guided walk will loop up to the cemetery and back to the old stone lodge where there will be a fire and snacks.
  3. Downtown Fourth Street: With many of its buildings and shops currently undergoing revitalization, this block is filled with unique businesses that encourage browsing and shopping. Stock up on holiday décor and gifts in Drosselmeyer’s Nutcracker Shoppe; browse the art and books in BookMarx Bookstore; sip a latte in the DaVinci themed atmosphere of Leonardo’s Coffeehouse; choose one of many flavors at the Steubenville Popcorn Company; enjoy a taste of Greece in Yorgo’s or fire-baked pizza at Martoni’s – each locally owned and operated.
  4. Antique Warehouse: Get out of the cold and wander through three floors of antiques, memorabilia, bargains, and mementoes of yesteryear. It’s easy to spend an hour or two admiring beautiful crystal and well-crafted furniture, remembering old toys, and discovering records or books, easily accessible with an elevator for those who aren’t able to navigate the grand staircase.
  5. Historic Fort Steuben: Billed as the Gateway to the West, this reconstructed military fort depicts life on the Ohio frontier in 1786-87. Although the Fort is closed until late April, the Exhibit Hall in the Visitor Center offers historic displays, including a huge collection of Native American spear heads and artifacts – some thousands of years old. Both adults and children can appreciate an exhibit on the Lewis & Clark expedition and an affiliated Junior Ranger Program. Bring your NPS Passport book to get stamped! Include the Museum Shop to pick up some postcards, old fashioned toys, history books, and souvenirs.

Many lodging options are available, but for a family or small group experience the Bayberry House Bed & Breakfasts offer an elegant and private retreat with modern conveniences right in the downtown.

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Tomorrow is the big day!   77 Units – Bands, Dance Groups , Martial Arts, Floats, Vehicles and more-


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