WARREN - With seven kids, some may think Amey Park of Sugar Bush Knolls is challenged to find things for them to do.
But not during Ohio Chautauqua time. For the last five years Park, her husband, Lloyd, and the brood have trekked across the state to see the living history event.
This year they not only visited Warren to see it, but they have stayed for each performance.
Marvin Jefferson portrays York, the man-servant of William Clark on the Lewis and Clark expedition, Friday during the Ohio Chautauqua.
Park and her family were on hand Friday night just before Marvin Jefferson portrayed York, the slave of William Clark who accompanied him and Meriwether Lewis on their famed expedition west.
She said there are several reasons why Chautauqua is a good event for a family.
''Most of all it makes history come alive,'' Park said. ''You're meeting people portraying people from those times. It ties together in a way that makes it seem real.''
The theme for this year's event is "When Ohio Was the Western Frontier." The local event is being sponsored by the Tribune Chronicle, Warren-Trumbull County Public Library and Trumbull 100 in partnership with the Ohio Humanities Council and the Trumbull County Tourism Bureau. It is part of a year-long string of events helping to mark the Tribune Chronicle's celebration of the 200th year of newspaper publishing in Warren.
This year, Park said the family is staying at the home of a friend in Howland, although the drive back and forth is not taxing at just 45 minutes. She said her husband was not able to attend, but all seven of her kids, ranging in age from 18 to 4, did make the trip.
The kids say they like Chautauqua also, especially making friends with the performers and others who follow the show around the state.
Park said with seven kids, she has to plan ahead to get everyone up, dressed and to the event on time, but the kids have made it easier on her as they have gotten older.
''The kids are really helpful,'' Park said. ''I'm basically the manager.''
Park also said Warren has done a great job hosting the event this year. One of the things they like best is traveling to different parts of the state, Park said.
''You never see this kind of crowd,'' Park said.
''Never,'' added her 13-year-old daughter Lindsay.
On the stage, Jefferson, dressed in frontier garb, told the crowd of about 480 to picture him in a tavern as he recounted how he was picked as a child to be Clark's man-servant, played and hunted with Clark and served Clark on the expedition that explored the American West.
Speaking as York, Clark told the crowd how American Indians they encountered on the expedition looked up to him despite his color because he made things happen for Clark and the others.
''When they saw me, they saw a great warrior, a leader, the most courageous of all. I could kill a buffalo with one arm tied behind my back,'' York said.
York did not hide his disappointment that although he was freed by Clark, it was not until 10 years after the expedition was finished, and York lost contact with his wife.
''Yes, William Clark did free me, but how empty that freedom became for me.'' York said. ''If I had to live my life over, I would be a free man.''