Mingo event brings many together
By WARREN SCOTT
MINGO JUNCTION — Whether it was to view a variety of vintage vehicles, browse through an assortment of crafts and other goods for sale or cheer for the Indian Creek High School Marching Band and others in a parade along Commercial Avenue, Mingo Community Days brought many people together Saturday.
The annual festival got off to a rough start, with heavy rain pouring onto vendors and attendees on Friday night.
But the clouds cleared and sun burst forth for event’s busy second day.
Many lined Commercial Avenue to view local police and fire vehicles, a steady string of classic cars and other units in the festival’s parade. A big crowd-pleaser was the Indian Creek High School Marching Band, which stopped in front of the festival’s stage to perform a handful of rousing musical numbers.
Serving as grand marshal for the procession was Orin Diomedi Jr., owner of Orin’s Auto Sales and Service, a business begun by his father more than 80 years ago.
A military veteran, Diomedi waved a U.S. flag as Bobby Pizzoferrato of US Kids sang the national anthem and “God Bless the U.S.A.”
Diomedi is no stranger to Mingo Community Days or parades in the village. He appeared as George Washington in a 1976 parade to mark the nation’s bicentennial and as grand marshal of the village’s 1984 Christmas parade.
Also appearing in the parade were Glory Dami, 2017 Jefferson County Fair queen; and candidates for the Princess Aracoma and Little Chief Logan pageant held during the festival.
Youth are a vital part of the event, which also included a Idol Singing Contest that showcased a dozen young singers in two age groups: 5-12 and 13-18.
The winners for ages 5-12 were: Anthony Pearce, first place; Jada Creech, second place; and Maylee Robinson, third place.
The winners for ages 13-18 were: Jacqueline Shea, first place; Glory Dami, second place; and Christina Westlake, third place.
Also participating were: Angelica Kidd, Alexandra Kaine, Kesim Boyd and David Eakle.
Serving as judges were: Rose Angelica, a Mingo resident, Nashville recording artist and Ohio Music Education Association judge; and Donna Cunningham, a Nashville recording artist and Century II Records talent scout and director of artist relations.
Cash prizes of $100, $50 and $25 went to the three winners in each category. Co-sponsoring the competition were: Softite Community Federal Credit Union, Fraley & Schilling Inc., FEX, Wheeler Funeral Home, Schuetz Funeral Home, Mingo Pharmacy, Gus’s Goodies, Hauser’s Furniture and the Ohio Valley Youth Network.
Bobbyjon Bauman, the latter group’s president and emcee for the competition, said the OVYN will hold its second Valley’s Got Talent Contest at 6 p.m. Nov. 5 at Steubenville High School. For information, call Bauman at (608) 556-3068.
Entertainment on Saturday also was provided by Hank Vincent Stone Street Station; Angelica and Cunningham; Ann Flamingo and “Elvis Presley Jr.”
A concert by Mingo Junction native Rob Parissi who, with the band Wild Cherry produced the chart-topping “Play That Funky Music,” also was held in the village Saturday night. Though not affiliated with Community Days, it raised scholarship funds for Indian Creek students and helped to bring visitors to the community.
Jim Freiling, vice president of the Mingo Business Association and organizers of the festival, expressed thanks to all of Community Days’ supporters, including WTOV and the Steel Valley Regional Transit Authority; and its volunteers.
George Irvin, a Mingo Junction councilman and emcee for the parade, said Freiling also deserves applause for his hard work for the event.
The Mingo Junction Senior Center was among local establishments that welcomed Community Days visitors to its doors, offering food and a chance to cool off from the hot sun.
Among those inside were Millie Huggins, a volunteer for the center, who said, “What I like best about this (the festival) is seeing people you haven’t seen for a long time.”
Jim recalled local businesses displaying photos from the village’s older days, often dating to the 1940s.
Fred Pernick, the center’s director; and his wife, Diane; also reflected on the old days of the festival, which itself is more than 40 years old.
“We used to dance here, and we would stay from morning until night,” said Diane.
Fred said while the village has seen brighter days, when the local steel mill was open and thriving, Community Days helps to infuse some energy in the community.
“It’s a good thing. It brings the people out,” he said.
(Scott can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)