ASHTABULA — Have you ever seen a ghost?

Board Richmond’s Trolley on Friday and enjoy ghostly stories of the 1876 Ashtabula Train Disaster as you travel to and from Chestnut Grove Cemetery, where you will experience ghostly surprises.

After a great success last year, the Ashtabula Downtown Development Association’s October First Friday Street Fest theme is Ghost Stories again this year. The main event will be the ghost tour ride to the cemetery with a focus on the train wreck, in which 92 people died as the train tumbled from the railroad bridge over the Ashtabula Gulf. 

Ashtabula County Commissioner J.P. Ducro IV said he’s excited about being the tour guide again this year.

“We sold out last year and people really loved hearing the history of the Ashtabula Train Disaster, “ Ducro said. “The spooky ‘ghosts’ at the cemetery really add a lot to the tour and take you back in time to this tragedy.”

Advanced ticket sales for the ghost tours are available at Ultimate Appearance Hair Salon. Remaining tickets will be available at the event.

Ticket are $10 for adults and $2 for children. Ghost Tour rides will start at 3:30 pm. The final ride will be at 7:30 pm.

The First Friday Street Fest will take place from 3-8 p.m. today on Main Avenue and Cornelius Park in Ashtabula.

First Friday attendees of all ages can participate in a costume contest for people and their pets, games, crafts, face painting and story telling in Cornelius Park. Activities are sponsored by Kelly’s Garden and the Ashtabula Family YMCA.

“It’s our final First Friday of the year and I hope a lot of people will come out for the fun,” said Marty Cephas, a member of the ADDA, and organizer of First Fridays. “I’m hoping the weather will cooperate.”

National Weather Service forecasters say today is going to be a cloudy day, with a high of 56 degrees and 20 percent chance of rain.

Cephas suggests festival-goers bring a chair (and umbrella, if needed) to relax and enjoy musical performances by Dick Dana, Tim Dorman, Susan Hagan, Jim Ales, Tom Laughlin, Dan Gestwicki, Czarina Charters, Bob Sabo, Linda Fundis, Nick Deveney, Solita Jones, Forgotten Astronaut and Ed and Lynda Dana.

Rhonda Wright will provide a free historic Downtown Ashtabula Gallery Tour.

Attendees also will find the usual food and business vendors, a car cruise and more along Main Avenue. 

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