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Youngstown amp announces community events

YOUNGSTOWN — A free program featuring five Youngstown boxing champions is one of six events planned at the Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre as part of the Premier Bank Community Event Series.

The event schedule was released at noon today along with the lineup for the free Youngstown Summer Movie Series in neighboring Wean Park.

“The goal of the Community Events Series is to put on quality entertainment for a low cost or no cost, thanks to Premier Bank and their sponsorship,” Jordan Ryan, executive director of the amphitheater and Wean Park, said.

Two events from the abbreviated 2020 schedule will be back in 2021 — a concert by Youngstown band The Vindys on July 31 and “330 Show Live,” a hip hop showcase presented by Loud 102.3 FM, on Aug. 7. The third ticketed event, Youngstown Wine and Jazz on July 17, continues the tradition of a downtown jazz concert in conjunction with Youngstown State University’s Summer Festival of the Arts. This year the YSU festival moves from the campus to Wean Park on July 17 and 18.

Tickets for those events are on sale now through Ticketmaster.

Youngstown’s Night of Champions on Aug. 13 is billed as “a fireside chat and video footage presentation” with boxing legends Harry Arroyo, Jeff Lampkin, Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, Kelly Pavlik and Greg Richardson. Ryan credited ex-state Sen. Joe Schiavoni with hatching the idea.

“We’ve obviously had many boxing events in our facilities over the years, but we’ve never had anything that brought all of the champions together, talking about their careers and talking about what it means to be a champion and coming from Youngstown,” Ryan said.

Other free events include a Juneteenth Celebration on June 19 with spoken- word performances, line dancing, a candlelight vigil and citywide prayer. Also planned is a screening July 9 of the movie “42,” which stars Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson and focuses on what the athlete endured integrating Major League Baseball in 1947. A statue commemorating a handshake between Robinson and his Brooklyn Dodgers teammate George Shuba, a Youngstown native, will be dedicated in Wean Park this year.

In addition to the Youngstown Movie Series, which started on the grounds of the Covelli Centre and now is held in Wean Park, Ryan said, “We wanted to have at least one marquee movie over at the amphitheater each year. We were talking about what that movie could be, someone suggested ’42.’ With the Robinson-Shuba statue scheduled to be revealed around that time, we felt it would be perfect.”

The Youngstown Movie Series starts June 21 and will feature seven films over the summer.

With the state lifting COVID-19 social-distancing restrictions, JAC Live will start announcing national touring acts for the amphitheater within the next two weeks, Ryan said, and shows already are booked as late as mid-October for the outdoor venue.

“I’m hesitant to give you a number (of how many shows will happen), but I have a strong feeling we’ll have a strong season this year,” Ryan said.

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