WINTERSVILLE — The latest installment of Wednesdays in Wintersville and the opening week of the Jefferson County Farmers Market drew many to the village on Wednesday.
In keeping with this month’s theme of “50s Flashback,” organizers of Wednesdays in Wintersville arranged for a classic car cruise to be held in the parking lot of Wintersville United Methodist Church and local band Reflections to perform outside the Wintersville Municipal Building.
And an assortment of vegetables, fruit and locally produced goods could be found under the tents of the farmers market pitched in the rear parking lot of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church.
While planning the new monthly street festival last year, Joel Johns, Mary Decker and others decided it could coincide with the farmers market, which was then moving to the church lot.
As a result, area residents can stop by and shop for fresh produce, baked goods and other food when not grabbing a bite at any of several food trucks parked in front of the Catholic church or browsing the assorted craft and other booths along Main and Grove streets.
Through the support of local churches and others, the Wednesdays in Wintersville event also has included activities for children.
Many could be found enjoying a bounce house, inflatable tunnel and face painting in front of the United Methodist Church, whose members also offered free food.
Since launching the event, Johns, Decker and others have experimented with various themes and activities.
A 50s style dance contest planned for Wednesday had no takers, though some had expressed interest when the festival was scheduled for last week, said Johns.
Storm predictions had resulted in it being postponed from its usual date of the first Wednesday of the month.
Darlene Snider of Wintersville said she was disappointed when the event was called off last week but was quite pleased with Wednesday’s balmy weather.
She and her sister, Carole Leyland of Steubenville, were among a number of visitors who set up chairs to listen to Reflections, who also delivered more modern hits.
“This is the first time for both of us,” said Snider, who gave high marks to the hot dogs and gelato sold there.
She said the two also enjoyed shopping for crafts while a third sister was spending time there with her grandchildren.
Visitors to the farmers market found tables filled with the season’s first produce, which included strawberries, lettuce, cherry and green tomatoes, beets, beans, cucumbers and carrots.
One was manned by Shawna and J.R. Lerby of It’s All Good Farm of Smithfield. J.R. works in an aluminum mill, and the farm has become a sideline and potential second career for them.
“We’ve always done gardening, and it’s just progressed,” he said.
“We’re all natural — no synthetic fertilizers, no sprays,” said Shawna, who added, “We plant a little extra and plan for bugs. That’s how my grandpa did it.”
Another booth was manned by Richard and Pete Franckhauser, two brothers in the fifth generation of a family that runs Miller Farm near county Road 43 in Steubenville.
The Franckhausers said as the summer season continues, they’ll be bringing more produce, including tomatoes, sweet corn, cantaloup and watermelon, with pumpkins and squash available in the fall.
“We’ll have a good bit of stuff, God willing,” said Richard.
Plans call for the farmers market to continue each Wednesday from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. into the fall.
Potential vendors may contact staff at the Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District, at (740) 264-9790.
Volunteers behind Wednesdays in Wintersville also plan to take that event into the fall, with various themes each month.
The theme for the next one, slated for 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. July 6, will be Christmas in July and include a toy drive to benefit children in need at Christmas.
In the event of inclement weather, it will be moved to the following week, with an announcement made that day through the Wednesdays in Wintersville Facebook page.