Hometown Celebration Planned Saturday in Steubenville

The annual Hometown Celebration on Saturday is expected to highlight the four-day Dean Martin Festival with music, dance, food and a parade.

The day will start with a Dino Dash/Martin Meander 5K run at 9 a.m. Registration will start at 7 a.m., and all proceeds will benefit the Grand Theater restoration campaign.

A noon parade will welcome Martin’s daughter, Deana Martin, back to her father’s hometown, followed by a meet and greet with her at the Historic Fort Steuben Visitors Center from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Organizers said a celebrity star for Martin will be unveiled by his daughter.

The Hometown Celebration will include a street fair on South Third Street and free activities in Fort Steuben Park, including mini-train rides, balloon fun with Amazing Nick, the KidZone, a photo booth, petting zoo and food vendors open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Kurt James Fun’n’Games will have free activities from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

The Dean Martin 100th birthday show at Steubenville High School will begin at 4 p.m. with a $10 admission. The Dean Martin Festival Committee donates part of the proceeds to music scholarships at the area high schools. Entertainers will include Deana Martin, Lou Martini, Jr., Russ Loniello, Elvis Jr., Ann Flamingo, the Sgro Brothers, Pat Benti, Donna Cunningham, Allen Karl and Rose Angelica.

A dance marathon, live entertainment and a street dance will be held in the evening at Fort Steuben Park as well as a Dean Martin Celebration at the Spot Bar at 7 p.m.

“The Dean Martin Festival Committee under the direction of Angelica has been actively planning this for over a year,” said Judy Bratten, director of Historic Fort Steuben and the Visitors Center. “We have collaborated to make this an event that all members of the family can enjoy. Dean Martin fans will have lots to reminisce about while youngsters can participate in games and activities. There will be a variety of vendors selling gifts and memorabilia as well as giving out information at the street fair.

The celebration will include tours of the Jefferson County Historical Museum and its Dean Martin Room, three churches in the downtown area as well as the museum in the Grand Theater. Talented visitors can plunk out melodies on several pianos placed around town.

According to Bratten, among the 25 booths at the Street Fair will be a unique opportunity to record your memories of Steubenville at the Dear Ohio display presented by the Ohio Historical Connection. This project aims to collect stories about local communities in all 88 Ohio counties.

“At the Saturday event, organizers will have iPad recording prompts, one-on-one conversations, and a gigantic interactive post-it note board to find out what makes our county unique such as the places, parks, traditions, foods and legends that make this place special,” said Bratten.

“We are glad to have several church tours on the schedule again this year: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, First Christian Church and Zion United Church of Christ. These historic buildings have stunning architecture and stained-glass windows; there will be church members available to give the background stories. The trolley will stop at the churches as well as the Jefferson County Historical Museum, Drosselmeyer’s Nutcracker Shoppe, the Steubenville Popcorn Company and the Grand Theater. And be sure to sign the giant Birthday Card that will be on display at the Grand,” said Bratten.

Parking is free throughout the downtown for the Hometown Celebration, while shuttle buses will be running to and from the hotels on University Boulevard.

For more information about the Steubenville Hometown Celebration call 740-283-1787.