The Toronto Festival of the Arts, scheduled for 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday centered around the city gazebo commons, is a great opportunity not only for the city but also for those who reside in the Tri-State Area.
The festival, hosted by the Focus in Toronto organization, once again will feature a host of crafters, food vendors and live music throughout the weekend. The event is a celebration of the arts and all things Toronto more than 30 years after being established.
The festival this year will be like those in past years with one new twist - all live and local musicians performing in a variety of different styles, according to organizers.
Food booths will be hosted by the Toronto Band Parents organization and the Toronto Lions Club as well as soups and sandwiches available at the Riverview United Methodist Church, 105 N. River Ave. The church parking lot also will be the place for the festival's entertainment, which will include bands performing blues, jazz, classical, contemporary acoustic, bluegrass and Christian praise and worship music.
Entertainment begins at 11 a.m. Saturday with a welcome by Mayor John Geddis and the selection of Little Miss Lion by the Toronto Lions Club, after which the Toronto High School Marching Band will perform a number of selections.
Country bluesman Memphis Mike, also known as Mike Metzger from Pittsburgh, will perform from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., followed by the Joseph Sisters Band from 2:15 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. The Swinging Jazzbos take the stage from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Also Saturday, between performances pupils and students from Toronto High School will compete in the first "Student Poetry Slam," reciting their poems and vying for title of best poet for the weekend.
Sunday begins with an outdoor service scheduled for 11 a.m. hosted by the Riverview United Methodist Church featuring Remnant, a praise and worship band from Wellsville. At 12:45 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. the Howard Report string quartet will perform, followed by local contemporary acoustic band the Fossils from 2:15 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The day's entertainment will conclude with the Gem City Bluegrass Band beginning at 4 p.m.
Those attending also can get a sneak peek at the Goucher Haunted Hotel's newest attraction over the weekend, according to organizers.
Small town festivals are a source of entertainment for the community and a staple of Ohio Valley living. We hope those in the Tri-State Area will take advantage of this opportunity to see the charm of the Gem City and what it has to offer. We also commend the Focus in Toronto organization, which took over the festival three years ago and continued the tradition.