The themes of the many fairs and festivals that are held around the Tri-State Area each year vary widely, but they all follow a very simple formula - they offer the chance to spend an enjoyable day with friends and family.
Inside today's edition, you'll find our annual special section dedicated to the many such events held throughout our region. Each is unique to its area, and all offer activities that those of any age can enjoy.
With the unofficial start of the summer season upon us, we'd like you to consider this random selection of events planned during the next few months:
Steubenville will launch its monthlong hometown celebration June 8-9, when the Ohio Valley Frontier Days opens at Historic Fort Steuben. The event will offer a chance for area residents to experience what life was like during the period when Fort Steuben opened the West.
Activities continue June 11-15 when Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church holds its annual Grecian Food Festival. The annual event features Greek food and a glimpse into that country's rich cultural heritage.
The annual Dean Martin Festival opens June 13 and features karaoke, entertainment and various tribute acts that help to capture the spirit of the cocktail cool era made famous by Martin, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr.
June 15 features Local History Day and the hometown celebration street fair, as well as a Rat Park tribute concert in the auditorium of Steubenville High School.
The June 20 concert at the Berkman Amphitheater will feature Contemporary Pop Night, and the third-annual Stars and Stripes Concert and Festival will be held June 30 in the area surrounding Hollywood City Center and Harding Stadium. Activities will include a stadium concert featuring headliner Phil Vassar as well as the Todd Jones Band and the Joseph Sisters. Hollywood City Center has signed on as the title sponsor of this year's event, which will conclude with the city's annual fireworks extravaganza.
Weirton's Summerfest is moving to the city's events center this year. The all-day event, set for July 6, will follow the city's annual Independence Day Parade and will end with fireworks.
Fans of fireworks will be sure to gather in Wintersville June 28-29 for the 18th-annual Thunder in the Ville Festival. Fireworks will cap the two-day celebration at 10 p.m. June 29.
Toronto's annual Gem City Day celebration on July 6 will end with that community's much-anticipated fireworks display in Clarke Hinkle Stadium.
All Saints Greek Orthodox Church in Weirton will hold its food festival July 18-19. The annual event features food, dancing and other entertainment.
Fans of county fairs will have several opportunities to get out and enjoy the atmosphere, beginning with the Harrison County Fair July 2-6. The Carroll County Fair will run July 16-21 and the Jefferson County Fair will run Aug. 13-18, while the Brooke County Fair will be held Sept. 6-8.
No date has been set for the Hancock County Fair.
While it's not possible to list every event here - see our special section - it's safe to say you'll find something for everyone at the Tri-State Area's fairs and festivals.