Ravenna plans birthday bash for 225th anniversary celebration

Ravenna has a huge birthday this year, and the city is throwing a huge party to match.

Ravenna’s 225th Anniversary Celebration will take place Saturday, June 8, and it’s actually a two-for-one deal: The birthday bash will be held in conjunction with Main Street Ravenna’s Art on Main event, a free art and music festival that will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in downtown Ravenna.

The 225th Anniversary Celebration, which marks the founding of Ravenna on June 11, 1799, is scheduled to go from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., also downtown. The festivities will include food trucks and musical entertainment, a speech by Mayor Frank Seman, proclamations, a council and mayor meet and greet, an anniversary cake and cupcakes donated by Sunshine Cupcakes, 300 hot dogs donated by Giant Eagle, promotional items, and collections for a time capsule that will be buried soon to mark the anniversary.

The city is getting spruced up for its big day. Ravenna’s Adopt-A-Spot program has been refreshing flower beds, while electrical boxes and trash cans are getting repainted in the city’s colors.

Art on Main, meanwhile, will feature professional art vendors, local student art, area food trucks and local wineries. It was created seven years ago by local philanthropist Art Bowen to give Portage County artists and craftspeople a chance to showcase their art and to provide Ravenna with an art, food and wine event.

Don’t expect Ravenna’s 225th birthday celebration to end June 8, though. Organizers of other festivals are being encouraged to incorporate anniversary commemorations into events throughout the summer, including the Ravenna Balloon A-Fair, which will take place Sept. 19-22.

Go here for a complete timeline of the history of Ravenna.

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Tom Hardesty is a Portager sports columnist. He was formerly assistant sports editor at the Record-Courier and author of the book Glimpses of Heaven.