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There’s a lot to do this weekend

With the first weekend of August comes reminders of what’s ahead: Children will be returning to school in a few weeks, high school football will return in about 10 days and Labor Day — the unofficial end of summer — is four weeks away.

That doesn’t mean there still isn’t time to enjoy area events, including several that are happening this weekend — Ohio Valley Frontier Days, Steubenville’s African-American Heritage Festival, the annual Mount Pleasant historic tour and the chance to experience flight among them.

Frontier Days will again bring history to life when it returns to Historic Fort Steuben on Saturday and Sunday. Held during the first part of June for most of its more-than-30-year run, the festival has shifted to August. Those who attend will have the chance to experience what life was like on the early American frontier. Presentations will offer a glimpse at 18th century crafts, skills, music, dance and history. Members of the Brigade of the American Revolution will hold an encampment and offer demonstrations of 18th century military equipment and weapons.

This year’s festival has expanded — on Saturday, visitors will be able to ride the trolley from the fort to the Main Library of the Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County, where other activities will be held, including the chance to churn butter, tour the historic library and participate in an American Girl tea party. On Sunday, the trolley will take visitors to the Jefferson County Historical Museum.

The festival will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. The trolley to the library on Saturday and museum on Sunday will run between 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. each day.

Also on Saturday, the area around Steubenville’s North End ballfield will come to life with the annual African-American Heritage Festival, Family Reunion and Community Fun Day.

The event, which will run from noon to 9 p.m., promises to be filled with activities for all ages, including plenty of music and activities for children.

Food plays a big part in any festival, and organizers say this year’s event will not disappoint. In addition to local vendors, there will be food trucks from across the region. Plus, there will be dozens of local businesses and vendors on hand to show what they offer.

Other activities include the annual memorial balloon release and the old school vs. new school basketball game. It’s a chance for seasoned veterans to show a thing or two to the younger generation — and a chance for the younger players to show it’s their time to shine.

The festival has expanded — organizers said the city will close Seventh Street between Franklin Avenue and the Coen Market, which will allow the event to take on more of a festival feel.

Organizers, including Michael Jett and C.J. Mitchell, have been encouraged by the growth of the event, which returned last year after an absence of several years. They say the response from the community likely will lead the festival to expand into a multi-day event.

It’s a day of fun, a chance to celebrate, a time to remember and the opportunity to show off the city’s North End and remind residents of Steubenville and the Tri-State Area that the park has a lot to offer.

History will take center stage when the Mount Pleasant tour returns Saturday and Sunday. The village holds National Historic Landmark District status, thanks to its anti-slavery activities and participation in the Underground Railroad. This year’s tour includes stops at the Elizabeth House Mansion Museum (built in 1835), the Burriss-Fairlawn Store (1905), the Historical Center (1856), the Tin Shop (1840), the Harris-Bone Store and Residence (1804-1835), the Quaker Yearly Meeting House (1814), the Samuel Gill House (1846), the Evangelical Friends Church (1856) and the Humphreville Log House (1806.)

Scheduled to run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, the tour offers a chance to look back at more than 200 years of our region’s history. Tickets will be available at the Elizabeth House.

And on Sunday, Chapter 859 of the Experimental Aircraft Association will offer free airplane rides for children between the ages of 8 and 17 at the Geary A. Bates Jefferson County Airpark. Set to begin at 10 a.m., the event, part of the EAA’s Young Eagles program, will include presentations on aviation, STEM projects, a cookout, door prizes and tours of the airport as well as the EAA hangar. It’s a chance to inspire future pilots.

Even though summer is winding down, there’s still a lot to do in our area — events that remember our past, celebrate our present and let us look to the future.

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