A chance for city to shine

Summer is a time when things get to be a little more relaxed, a time to enjoy being outdoors and a time to renew some annual traditions.

We’re reminded of all of that as we head into the middle of June, which means Steubenville once again will come alive with several events that will draw people from all parts of the Tri-State Area, many regions of the nation and even from locations around the world. Each of the events has a different theme, but they all help us celebrate the good things about our community and offer an opportunity to remember the past.

Such was the case last weekend, when Historic Fort Steuben came alive during the annual Ohio Valley Frontier Days. The festival offered a glimpse of what life was like for those who lived in our area more than 200 years ago. Organizers said they were impressed with the number of children who came through the event and who had the opportunity to participate in demonstrations and learn about the history of our area.

That was important, because the two-day event always looks to provide educational and entertainment opportunities in a family friendly environment.

Frontier Days serves as good lead in to what annually is one of the busiest weeks of the year in Steubenville.

It begins Tuesday, with one of the region’s most-anticipated events — the annual Grecian Food Festival at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. Organizers work hard to keep the event, which is entering its 31st year, fresh, and visitors will be greeted with a new layout when the festival opens Tuesday at the corner of South and South Fourth streets.

Scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily through Friday, the festival offers a chance to enjoy authentic Greek food, celebrate Greek traditions, learn about the church and spend time with family and friends.

The week also will be special because the community will be celebrating what would have been the 100th birthday of one of its most famous sons, Dino Crocetti, who the world would come to know as Dean Martin.

The annual Dean Martin Festival will open Thursday at the Berkman Amphitheater with a special edition of the weekly concert series dedicated to Martin. The evening will include the annual karaoke contest at the Spot Bar.

Deana Martin, daughter of the versatile entertainer, will be returning for this year’s festival, which will continue Friday with a meet-and-greet and silent auction from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Inn at Franciscan Square and music, film clips and auction at the Spot Bar beginning at 8 p.m. Saturday will see the return of the festival’s parade, a meet-and-greet session at the fort, a special show in the Steubenville High School auditorium and entertainment at the Spot Bar. A Martin family Mass will be celebrated at 9 a.m. next Sunday at Holy Family Catholic Church.

This year’s Hometown Celebration also is scheduled for Saturday. Centered around the fort area, it will feature he Dino Dash 5K Run and the Martin Meander 1-mile walk, trolley tours of the downtown area, a wide variety of vendors and a 1950s dance on South Third Street in the evening.

It’s a week that area residents look forward to all year, a chance to show pride in our region and a time for us to remember our heritage, enjoy some great food, honor one of the greatest entertainers of all time and just relax with relatives, friends and neighbors — all of the things that make our area a good place to live.

(Gallabrese, a resident of Steubenville, is executive editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times.)