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Half Hills Music Festival taking place this weekend in Steubenville

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A first-of-its-kind music festival is being held in downtown Steubenville.

South 3rd Street will be full of vendors, street performers and dozens of people looking to partake in the first Half Hills Music Festival.

"This is definitely a huge step for the area,” Franciscan University student Patrick O’Brien said. “Especially for students that come in and want to have a music festival, that's something that isn't really too common in the area.”

The event is being put on by local businesses and a non-profit organization called the Harmonium Project.

"When I see a really good looking building that's going for really cheap, or I see a downtown that doesn't yet have a music scene, and I see college students on the hill that want to go to concerts, or want to go to a brewery, or want to go to a coffee house, I see Steubenville that is prime for that kind of growth," said Marc Barnes, president, Harmonium Project

Barnes says he and his group aim to bring life back to downtown Steubenville

"If you can see the festival really work and really flourish, then all you gotta do is imagine it, move it into the buildings, the music artists, the vendors, the beer, whatever it is, and you can see how it would work in a downtown like ours," Barnes said.

Barnes says the 3-day festival with 20-plus bands, a beer garden and other amenities is good for all ages.

"We've got bouncy castles, hayrides for the kids, face painting, people running around with bagpipes, I mean, it's going to be a good time, I think," he said.

Barnes and others behind the festival hope to make it an annual event. But more importantly, they hope it gives business owners the vote of confidence that Steubenville is the place to be.

"Whatever it is, we would have the metrics and the data from this kind of event to bring hope to people that want to do that, and say 'yeah, yeah, it is possible, and you know what? We encourage it,'" Barnes said.

The first bit of entertainment kicked off Friday at 6 o'clock at Froehlic's Classic Corner.

For more information on the festival and The Harmonium Project, click here.

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