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The Lights at Steubenville’s Nutcracker Village

When the organizers of Historic Fort Steuben and the creative artisans at Nelson’s of Steubenville came up with a holiday event to display life-sized nutcrackers as a way to reinvigorate the downtown and boost the morale of the citizens of Steubenville, they were stumped at first on how to illuminate the unique creations. For the first year, there were only about 35 nutcrackers arrayed in Fort Steuben Park and lit up by floodlights on extension cords staked all around the grounds. “It was a real concern that someone would trip over them,” explained Jerry Barilla, president of Historic Fort Steuben. “And we didn’t know how and if people would respond to this new event.”

But not only did people respond positively, they loved the nutcrackers and brought friends and relatives downtown to see them.

“We had older visitors in tears: they hadn’t seen crowds swarm the downtown in years,” Barilla said. “So we knew we had a hit and we needed a better way to display them.”

He started looking at methods to light up the area, particularly using hoops to hold the lights above the walkways and discussed the problem with M&M Hardware Store owner, Scott Campbell.

“Hey, what’s my name,” said Campbell.

“Scott?” responded Barilla.

“No, Santa Claus,” Campbell answered.

He had the hoops and a local greenhouse had some, too. Volunteers came to install the lights on each of the hoops. Then another local business stepped up to provide sound: Drew Hindman of World Radio Telecommunications wired speakers along the hoops to a CD player to ensure that holiday music would be playing. The local electricians’ union offered time and expertise to expand the electrical system to handle the improvements. By the second year, the Steubenville Nutcracker VillageTM had become a dazzling display with over 70 nutcrackers, colorful lights, and joyful music – a true community effort. Now in its eighth year with 200 nutcrackers, the event has spread throughout the downtown area bringing light and hope to the community and all who visit.

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2022 SIGHTS AND SOUND OF CHRISTMAS PARADE PLANNING BEGUN

The Steubenville Visitor Center is pleased to announce that Eastern Gateway Community College will be the title sponsor of the 2022 Sights and Sounds of Christmas Parade in Steubenville to be held on December 3.

“We’ve had a wonderful turnout over the years averaging more than 80 units including bands, floats, dance groups and choirs,” said Mary Snyder of the Steubenville Visitor Center. “We hope it will be even bigger this year and invite all businesses, organizations, clubs, and individuals to submit entries.”

Snyder noted that it takes time to plan the lineup and requests all applications be completely filled out and sent in by November 1. Those who haven’t received an application can get one by stopping in or contacting the Visitor Center at 120 S. 3rd Street in Steubenville or 740.283.4935.

“We especially need to know the size of your entry so we can properly place it in the lineup,” Snyder said. “Once it is all organized, entrants will receive further details and come to a meeting to ensure it all goes smoothly.”

“Besides sending in your application, pray for good weather that day,” she added.

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‘The Well-Known’ as well as ‘The Hidden’ Gems in Jefferson County, Ohio

HISTORIC FORT STEUBEN & THE FIRST FEDERAL LAND OFFICE

Ten buildings recreate life on the Ohio “frontier” at Historic Fort Steuben, a reconstructed 18th century fort on its original site overlooking the Ohio River. Visitors learn about the hardships and challenges of the early Americans who began the westward settlement of the country. Period tools and crafts, curious customs and impressive skills are demonstrated. Compare the comparative luxury of the Officers’ Quarters with the less comfortable Enlisted Men’s Quarters. An active archaeology dig is on the site. The adjacent First Federal Land Office of the West of the Alleghenies, a log structure from 1800, is a 19th century home office. In the Exhibit Hall are periodic displays of local and national history including Native Americans in the Ohio Valley, Baron von Steuben, and the Lewis & Clark Expedition. The Fort is part of the Historic Lewis and Clark National Trail and the Ohio River Scenic Byway. A tour takes 75 to 90 minutes, but it takes you back 200 years!  120 S. 3rd Street, Steubenville.

CITY OF MURALS

Twenty-four stunning murals give Steubenville its nickname. Painted by a variety of well-known artists, the murals depict the history of the town and the country on walls throughout the historic downtown. Paintings include events as well as important figures such as Edwin M. Stanton, the Tuskegee Airmen, and Fleetwood Walker (first professional African American baseball player). Visitors can socially distance with a self-guided tour or hire a guide to tell the story behind each mural as well as information on downtown architecture and amusing tales of the colorful characters in Steubenville’s history. Maps and information available at the Fort Steuben Visitor Center, 120 S. 3rd Street, Steubenville.

ANTIQUES GALORE & MORE DOWNTOWN

Explore three well-arranged floors of antiques, crafts, and treasures at the Antique Warehouse, just a block away from Historic Fort Steuben. Admire the stained glass and art of our historic churches – information available at the Steubenville Visitor Center. Browse a book-lovers’ paradise at BookMarx Bookstore stocking thousands of used and new books and gifts. Include a visit to the Jefferson County Historical Mansion Museum to find some cool Dean Martin memorabilia. Unique stores in the downtown include Drosselmeyer’s Nutcracker Shoppe, the Steubenville Popcorn Company, and The Prodigal Daughter.

OFF THE BEATEN PATH BUT IN THE CITY: BEATTY PARK & UNION CEMETERY

Hidden in downtown Steubenville, Ohio are found a historic park and cemetery that offer opportunities for historians, environmentalists, hikers, and nature lovers. Listed on the National Registry for Historic Places for its landscape architecture, the non-profit 199-acre Union Cemetery was established in 1854 and is the final resting place of notable state and local citizens. Located at 1720 Sunset Blvd. Part of the property not suitable for burial ground was sold as a city park. Ninety-nine-acre Beatty Park features indigenous flora, creeks, wildlife, and hiking trails. Many of the century old stonework structures, walls, and paths are being restored allowing for unique respites from busy urban life. Beatty Park, 855 Lincoln Avenue, Steubenville.

A RIDE IN THE JEFFERSON COUNTY COUNTRYSIDE FOR GASTRONOMIC TREATS

Truly off the beaten path are Black Sheep Vineyard and The Farm Restaurant, located down winding country roads outside of Adena, Ohio. A family-owned and operated vineyard and winery overlooking the rolling hills of southern Jefferson County, Black Sheep Vineyard offers their own special wines, entertainment, a gift shop, and even opportunities to help during harvest. Nearby, The Farm Restaurant & Pub is a beautifully restored and decorated farmhouse serving delicious homecooked meals and rich desserts. Black Sheep Vineyard, 1454 State Route 250, Adena, OH 43901  blacksheepvineyard.com    The Farm, 1247 State Route 150, Adena, OH 43901

HISTORIC MOUNT PLEASANT

More history can be found in Jefferson County at Historic Mount Pleasant, a major hub for the Underground Railroad and home of important abolitionists of the 19th century. The Historical Society of Mount Pleasant owns six historic buildings, each one a museum in itself. Additionally, the Ohio Yearly Meeting House – an amazing Quaker structure – is included in their tours. Several open houses and exhibits are scheduled throughout the year. Currently, tours and buildings are open by appointment only, however, there is a complimentary walking tour available at https://izi.travel/en/united-states/city-guides-in-mount-pleasant-oh

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A Weekend of History in Jefferson County

For over 30 years, Historic Fort Steuben has brought together soldier, surveyor, settler, and Native American reenactors along with crafters, musicians, and speakers for a festival celebrating life on the Ohio Valley frontier. This year will be no different, except Ohio Valley Frontier Days will expand its offerings to two other historic sites in the downtown: the Downtown Carnegie Library on Saturday and the Jefferson County Historical Museum on Sunday, the weekend of August 6 and 7.

At the Fort, there will be blacksmith, candlemaker, gunsmith, and others demonstrating the skills of the period. A Native American encampment, military reenactments, and the Surveyors Academy of the Northwest Ordinance are featured. Vendors selling crafts, gifts, and food will be on hand. Music by Bill Schilling, Rich & Kathy Small, and award-winning singer/songwriter Steve Free is on the schedule. The event runs from 10-6 on Saturday, 11-4 on Sunday with General Admission: $7, Youth 6-12: $3, and under 6 free.

Visitors can take the Trolley from the Fort to the Downtown Library where activities and tours will be provided on Saturday and then to the Museum on Sunday for more history and tours.

More history can be found August 6 and 7 just 20 minutes south of Steubenville in Historic Mount Pleasant for their Annual Tour of the properties associated with the 19th century abolition movement. Admission is Adults: $15, 2 children free with paying adults.

Back in Steubenville, the annual African American Heritage Festival will offer traditional food, vendors, basketball game, bounce house, and music on Saturday, August 6 at the North End Ball Park. This free community event will run from 12-9pm.

For more information on these and other events, call the Visitor Center at 740.283.1787.

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STEUBENVILLE CELEBRATES 225

This summer marks 225 years since the city of Steubenville was declared the county seat of Jefferson County by proclamation of the Northwest Territory Governor Arthur St. Clair. Beginning as a frontier outpost, the city grew from a producer of wool and pottery to a major industrial powerhouse of coal and steel, with the Ohio River as the backdrop and main supply line.

Historic Fort Steuben is marking the occasion with an exhibit of informational panels highlighting the people, places and events that are part of our history.

After viewing the exhibit, visitors are encouraged to go to the Jefferson County Historical Association which has a huge collection of maps, books, photos, and artifacts. A visit to the JCHA Museum on Franklin Avenue is well worth an afternoon: it is a storehouse of Steubenville and Jefferson County memorabilia.

Then find the 24 murals located in the city which highlight significant moments in Steubenville and American history.

While exploring the city’s history, stop at the Antique Warehouse on Market Street with three floors of memorabilia are displayed and for sale.

The free exhibit at Historic Fort Steuben will run to July 24 and is open from 10-4, Monday through Saturday, 11-4 on Sundays. Tours of the Fort are also available: $10/adult; $9/seniors; $7/youth 6-12; free for under 6 and active military (Blue Star Museum Program). Historic Fort Steuben is located at 120 S. 3rd Street in Steubenville. For more information call 740.283.1787.

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2022 Dean Martin Hometown Celebration

Coming up in just two weeks from now on June 16th, 17th & 18th is the annual Dean Martin Hometown Celebration. This year there will be live entertainment, food and craft vendors and trolley rides at Fort Steuben Park; Open House at the Jefferson County Historical Museum, including the Dean Martin Room; reduced admission to tour Historic Fort Steuben; as well as karaoke contest, Martin Memorabilia Auction and live entertainment ($15 cover charge), at The Spot Bar, located at 217 South 4th Street.

SEE PROGRAM BELOW:-

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2022 Summer Happenings in Steubenville & Jefferson County!

Are gas prices keeping you closer to home? Why not be a Tourist for a Day in Steubenville and Jefferson County, though you may need several days to include all the events and attractions!

May signals the opening of the 15th Annual Fort Steuben Summer Concert Series on Memorial Day. Eleven concerts celebrate the joy of free, live entertainment by a varied roster of musicians and performers in the Berkman Amphitheater in Fort Steuben Park. The audience members have a choice of bleacher or blanket seating with a great view of the Ohio River flowing behind the stage. Food and drink vendors and a general spirit of congeniality make these Thursday evening concerts a popular community event. The Amphitheater will also be the site for a Gospel Concert on June 5th and the city’s Independence Day Celebration with music & fireworks on July 4th.

Steubenville will celebrate its birthday and its ethnic and historic heritage in June with Celebrate Steubenville: 225 (June 12-July 24), the Greek Mini Food Festival (June 16-17) the Dean Martin Hometown Celebration (June 17-18), and a Community Juneteenth Celebration (June 17-20). There will be a variety of foods, music, exhibits, and activities that draws participants from all over the country.

Among the attractions that are open this summer is Historic Fort Steuben and the First Federal Land Office in downtown Steubenville. The reconstructed 18th century military fort is an opportunity to immerse yourself in history…to experience the hardships of life on the Ohio frontier. A celebration of early American skills, endurance, and culture will be held at Ohio Valley Frontier Days, August 6-7 at the Fort with soldier, settler, surveyor, and Native American reenactors and volunteers. The Battalion of the American Revolution will present demonstrations and programs. Ohio singer/songwriter Steve Free will be among the entertainers at this year’s festival. Food, crafts, music and more make this an annual favorite in Steubenville.

The Jefferson County Historical Museum on Franklin Avenue in Steubenville is a 19-room showcase for the beautiful furnishings and historical artifacts of the past two centuries. The Dean Martin Room, the Presidents’ Room, the Riverboat Room and more are open for viewing between March and November: Wednesday –Thursday, 10 am – 3 pm, or by appointment.

For more history, a 20-minute drive from Steubenville is Historic Mount Pleasant, a village on the National Register of Historic Places for its role in the abolition of slavery in the 19th century. A yearly tour and celebration is held the first weekend in August.

For an evening of lively music, art displays, and unique games and activities, don’t miss First Fridays on Fourth. This monthly celebration of the arts fills the streets and sidewalks in downtown Steubenville with performers, food, vendors, families, and visitors from all around the region. Each month features a special theme, and you never know what kind of costumed folk you’ll meet as you stroll down the street. June 3 has a medieval flavor for Ye Olde First Friday; flags and patriotic music will be out on July 1; big hair and fun music for Eighties Night on August 5; characters from your favorite storybooks will be out for September 2nd; and enjoy a pumpkin spiced Fall Festival on October 7. The events are free and run from 6-10pm on Fourth Street in Steubenville.

If Fridays don’t work for you, stop in at Wednesdays in Wintersville in Jefferson County. Every first Wednesday from 4:30-8:30 sees a mix of vendors including crafters, candles, home accessories, and gifts all along the community’s Main Street. They have several sweets and confectionery vendors selling delicious desserts as well as a local Farmers Market. Food offerings include hot dogs, pizza, BBQ and other concessions.

Steubenville is also known as “The City of Murals,” with 24 larger-than-life depictions of people and events from local and American history painted on walls throughout the downtown. You can get a Mural Map & Art Hunt at the Visitor Center to find all the murals. While strolling downtown check out the unique shops along N. 4th Street and the Antique Warehouse with three floors of treasures and memorabilia to browse through.

As spring is in full bloom, celebrate the beauty and wonders of nature in historic Beatty Park in Steubenville. The park has nature and hiking trails and disc golf. A special addition is the StoryWalk in the Park: pages of a children’s book are enlarged and placed along a trail. When the walkers come to the end they can get a special gift at the local library. The book changes each month and is a delight for all ages.

Find out about these and other events as well as the many dining, shopping, and lodging options by calling 866.301.1787 or visiting www.VisitSteubenville.com.

          

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2022 Fort Steuben Concert Series Schedule Released

Historic Fort Steuben has released this season’s summer concert schedule. There are both returning favorites and new faces this year. See full schedule below (subject to change). Be sure to also check out the sponsors who make this all possible and “Thank” them if you can by your patronage or acknowledgment!

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EGGISBITION TO OPEN IN STEUBENVILLE

It’s time to celebrate spring by attending the annual Steubenville Eggsibition & Storywalk from April 15 to May 8 which features thirty-two 18” to 36” uniquely designed Easter Eggs strategically situated in storefronts in the downtown area.

The Art Eggs 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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