Honoring Steubenville's Favorite Son
~ Dean Martin

STEUBENVILLE - Patrons at the Spot Bar took turns impersonating the King of Cool Thursday night for the start of Steubenville's 20th-annual Dean Martin Festival, one of the city's favorite yearly events.

Steubenville, Ohio, may be known as the City of Murals, but its other great claim to fame may be bragging rights as the birthplace of legendary singer and actor Dean Martin. Each year, for three days in the middle of June, thousands of visitors descend on Steubenville for a festival of films, memorabilia, concerts, food, a parade and more. Celebrate the life of the "King of Cool" along the banks of the Ohio River and recall the golden days of Hollywood.


Dino Crocetti, the son of Italian immigrants, started his entertainment career singing in Steubenville and other Ohio nightclubs. This eventually led to his name change to Dean Martin, and a successful six-decade career as a singer and actor in New York City, Hollywood and Vegas. In 1996, Steubenville Mayor Domenick Mucci assembled the Dean Martin Committee, led by Dean's daughter Deana and her husband John Griffeth, with the purpose of establishing an annual festival in honor of the entertainer. Today, the Dean Martin Festival benefits the Dean Martin Scholarship Funds for local high school students pursuing music and the arts.

Festival Events

Festival events occur at venues throughout the city of Steubenville, with parking and admission free for many and a charge for others. Enjoy concerts, impersonators and karaoke at The Spot Bar (spotbar.com) and the Steubenville High School Auditorium (no website; 420 North Fourth Street, Steubenville; 740-282-9741); eat your fill at a Grecian Food Festival and Meatball Eating Contest on South Fourth Street; catch the parade down Dean Martin Boulevard; and attend the Dean Martin Memorial Mass at the Holy Name Cathedral (no website; 411 South Fifth Street, Steubenville; 740-264-6177). Other occasional events include a film festival, Dino's Father's Day Buffet, and the Dean Martin Horserace at Mountaineer Racetrack and Gaming Resort (mtrgaming.com). Throughout the festival, memorabilia are on display in the Dean Martin Room of the Jefferson County Historical Museum and Library (steubenville.lib.oh.us).

Dean Martin Tours

Take a walking or driving tour of landmarks relevant to Dean Martin's life and career. The site where Dean's boyhood home and his father's barber shop once stood is located at 319 Sixth Street, and just around the corner lies St. Anthony's Church (no website or phone; 711 South St., Steubenville), where Dean was baptized. At 329 North Street lies the Naples Steak and Spaghetti House (naplesspaghettihouse.com), one of Dean's favorite places for Italian food. The Mansion Museum (rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ohjcha) displays additional Dean Martin items in the Celebrity Room, and the museum's Wedding Room has a wedding dress handmade by Dean’s mother. Don't miss the Dean Martin Mural, painted by Robert Dever in 1998, located at 350 S. Hollywood Blvd., or the State Historical Marker in Gazebo Park on Route 7 commemorating Dean Martin Day, an official Ohio holiday.

Considerations for Travelers

Several hotels in the area offer discounted Dean Martin Festival room rates, including the Best Western University Inn in Steubenville (bestwesternohio.com/steubenville-hotels), only two miles from Historic Fort Steuben, as well as the pet-friendly Weirton Holiday Inn (holidayinn.com/hotels/us/en/weirton/wwvwv/hoteldetail), five miles across the Ohio River into West Virginia. If you stay at the Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort (mtrgaming.com), 20 miles from Steubenville in Chester, WV, you can take advantage of resort amenities including pools, tennis, golf, spa, live shows and the casino. (References 4) Just a few miles from the Mountaineer is the Wheeling Island Hotel, Casino & Racetrack Resort (wheelingisland.com), complete with a food court, gift shop and slot machines. (References 5) The average June high temperature in Steubenville is 80, the average low is 59, and normal rainfall is 4.2 inches for the month

Source: USA TODAY Entertainment Article