LEETONIA- After changing to a different weekend, the annual Leetonia Artisans Festival will feature more than double its vendors from last year.
Scheduled for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 23 at Wick Park, the festival this year features over 70 vendors, according to festival chairman Dan Morelli, who credited the increase to the date change.
"We're bringing back a lot of vendors from the past plus a lot of vendors who are returning from last year," he said. "So, yeah, I do think the day change helped, moved us off the weekend of other community activities in the area."
According to Morelli, the festival, around since 1982 with a brief hiatus in the 2000s, has been established as a traditional homecoming.
"Over the years, it has run the test of time," he said. "It's family oriented and really just a nice day."
He also noted that there is no cost to attend.
"It's free entertainment, free parking and free admission," he said.
This year for the first time the Leetonia Community Public Library will hold events in conjunction with the festival, too. There will be a book sale in the annex building and a flower show in the community room, with a question and answer session from 2 to 3 p.m. hosted by Ken Kaiser, a botanist at Mill Creek Metroparks. Pre-arranged flowers may be dropped off Wednesday through Saturday. The library will also begin collecting Halloween costumes for its exchange program. Visitors may drop off a clean and complete costume and receive a coupon to redeem for another costume on Oct. 20 or 22.
Other featured events this year include chainsaw woodcarving with Mike Highfield of Canfield and spinning and weaving demonstrations by his mother, Florence Highfield; framed prints of northern Columbiana County communities for sale by Historic Images of Youngstown; cornhole tournament and children's activities hosted by the Leetonia Mennonite Church; and a car cruise along Walnut Street between Wood and High streets, with ribbons for the first 60 participants; a chalk art contest; children's Identi-kits from the Washingtonville Police Department; and boxed lunches for sale on the front porch of the Charles Nelson Schmick House Bed and Breakfast, 110 Walnut St.
The Artisans Festival Committee will also auction off a patio table and bench set and conduct a 50/50 raffle.
The entertainment schedule includes the flag raising with Pastor Kari Lankford, 10 a.m.; Niki Slaven and Tyler Stouffer, 10:30 a.m.; Little Bears cheerleading cheer off, 11:35 a.m.; Jigsaw Rodeo with Leanne Binder, noon; Leetonia High School Marching Band, 1:30 p.m.; Ruthie Horner, 2 p.m.; and The Noble Brothers Band, 3:30 p.m.
Kevin Howell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org