Ashtabula is a city in Ashtabula County, Ohio, United States, and the center of the Ashtabula Micropolitan Statistical Area (as defined by the United States Census Bureau in 2003). A major location on the Underground Railroad in the middle 19th century, the city today is a major coal port on Lake Erie at the mouth of the Ashtabula River northeast of Cleveland. The name Ashtabula means "river of many fish" in the Iroquois language. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 20,962. Poet Carl Sandburg wrote a poem titled "Crossing Ohio when Poppies Bloom in Ashtabula. " There is also a novel called The King from Ashtabula by Vern Sneider, published in 1960. Ashtabula hosts an annual Blessing of the Fleet Celebration, usually in late May or early June. As part of the celebration, a procession and prayer service is held at Ashtabula Harbor. Ashtabula was also home of the FinnFestUSA in 2007.