COLUMBIANA - For half a day once a year the number of people in the city nearly quadruples in size. The reason? The Festival of the Arts at the Harvey S. Firestone Park.
The annual festival began 27 years ago, the same year as the park's 50th anniversary. The event organized by the Tourism Bureau raises money for various restoration projects at the 52-acre park.
Tourism President Larry Deidrick said the park is continuing to work on changes to Mirror Lake. An aeration system was purchased through funds received through this and other events over the last year.
He said the park is currently working on building up the beaches around the lake to prevent eroding.
"They are trying to raise a good bit of money for Mirror Lake," he said of the park board.
Tourism Board member Rose Conrad said up to 90 vendors have now registered for the free event scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
Money is raised through vendor fees, table registrations, and a 50/50 raffle.
Admission and parking is free, as well as the live musical entertainment that will be emceed by Mark Frost.
"We're extremely excited about being able to present this event to the community again this year, in our 27th year. We have some excellent vendors and great concessionaires. Our musical line up is wonderful. It would be a great day for our community to come out and be in Firestone Park to support the city and the tourism bureau," Conrad said.
The event will be held rain or shine, although Conrad is hoping for the latter.
"I think the weather is going to be great too. Hopefully. We are keeping our fingers crossed," she laughed.
The event reportedly drew a crowd of roughly 30,000 its second year, and Conrad is expecting a large crowd this year as well.
Linda Seidner, who is organizing the vendors, said there are many antique dealers this year, as well as "unusual jewelry and wine-artisan items."
Craft and other art items and food vendors will also be available.
Visitors will also have a chance to meet with animals from the Humane Society of Columbiana County, Conrad said.
Music will be held at the gazebo from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will be announced by Frost every hour on the hour. The lineup includes S.C.P. Alumni, Guy and Cheryl Kekel, Natalie Sprouse and the Bodacious Bobcats, Angel Wing Harp Duo and the Stage Left Kids.
For more information contact the Columbiana Area Tourism Bureau at 330-482-2282 or go online to tourcolumbianaohio.com.