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.