I always enjoy going downtown for First Fridays during the warmer months. It’s always great to check out all the vendors, street artists and musicians lining Fourth Street, plus there is always a ton of great art to be found inside the galleries and local businesses. June’s First Friday is no exception. There is a lot happening as part of the festivities this month.
There will be a juried art show and sale on the sidewalks from 5-9 p.m.
The Uptown Music Collective is set to present its eighth annual Blues-A-Thon fundraiser, taking place June 3rd & 4th, 2016. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, June 3rd on Pine Street as part of Williamsport’s First Friday festivities, then move to the Uptown Music Collective for the overnight events. On Saturday, June 4th the festivities will move to the BB&T Stage (next to the Community Arts Center) at 12 p.m. until the close out the 24-hour event at 7 p.m. The Blues-A-Thon, sponsored in part by the Billtown Blues Association, is a unique fundraiser that has been held annually since 2009, and is intended to raise money to support the Uptown Music Collective. This year's BBA Sponsored Guest Artist is the great musician & educator, Kelly Richey!
Speaking of Kelly Richey…on Friday and Saturday night, June 3rd and 4th, Kelly Richey will bring her Solo Electric Blues Experience to the Bullfrog Brewery. Richey has shared the stage with the likes of blues legends Albert King and Lonnie Mack. On Saturday she will be joined by members of the Uptown Music Collective for a one of a kind set, in addition to her blistering solo performances. Richey will be performing original material from a catalog tracing her 25 years as a professional musician, including her most recent release, Shakedown Soul (2016). Her gritty blues rock sound, husky vocals, commanding presence and red-hot guitar slinging blend together for a you-gotta-hear-it-to-believe-it live experience.
The James V. Brown Library, 19 E. Fourth St., will have two events in conjunction with June First Friday. “Kick Back and Groove” summer concert series with a performance by Stained Grass Window. Stained Grass Window is a five-piece ensemble from central Pennsylvania that has been performing in the northeast United States for the past 23 years, appearing at a number of the region’s larger bluegrass festivals as well as numerous family centered events.
The members include banjo player Mark Doncheski, Bob Shuey on guitar, Rick Marcera playing the mandolin, Ken Shafranko on resophonic guitar, and Doug Ward as bassist. All five are vocalists and depending on the song, each will be featured as the lead singer with the others adding the harmonies.
Also during First Friday, an open house will take place in the Cimini Courtyard/Dr. Cooper Garden area to introduce to the community a large-scale community mural installed on the back of the Firestone Building.
From 5-7 p.m., the Art Honor Society students from Williamsport Area High School and their teacher, Andrea McDonough Varner, will be available to discuss the project and the inspiration behind the “Botanical/Mechanical” themed pieces. Light refreshments will be served.
Gallery 425, at 425 Market St., will be featuring artist Paul Barrett with a reception from 6-9 p.m.
Patinaz, 38 W. 4th St., is celebrating their 5th birthday with live music, new jewelry and Lang’s Chocolate.
The Community Theatre League, 100 W. 3rd St., has Beatles tribute band, Rubber Soul performing at 7:30 p.m.
The Collegetown Gallery in the Community Arts Center Lobby will be featuring Rachel Parthemer’s exhibit, “Frame of Mind”. She is a Lycoming College junior whose photography involves her perspective of various cultures.
This is just a small offering of things that will happen downtown on First Friday. There are also things going on at the Lycoming College Art Gallery, Alabaster Coffee, Gustonian Gift, Barrel 135, Converge Galley, CH’Art Gallery at Plankenhorn’s, the 4th Street Grille Gallery in the Genetti, Woodlands Bank, the Cinema Center and the Herdic House.
These are all great opportunities to get out, enjoy some fresh air and support local musicians, artists and artisans. So head out and grab some dinner at one of the great local restaurants, and the go for a walk around downtown! You never know what you may find.
I made a mistake on the cover last week. It was completely inadvertent and I certainly meant no disrespect. In an effort to make a picture fit the cover better, I flipped it without thinking that I would flip the salute of the veterans also. Again, I am very sorry for the mistake.