The fifth annual Kids First Friday event will be held from 5 to 7:30 p.m. First Friday in the mural parking lot along West Fourth Street between Woodlands Bank and the Bullfrog Brewery.
Several thousand people are expected to attend this year's First Friday event, according to event organizers, who have been working together to plan the event since March.
The Lions Clubs of Williamsport and Newberry, the Williamsport Rotary Club, and the Kiwanis Clubs of Williamsport and Loyalsock Township are the sponsors of this year's event.
Sun-Gazette File Photo
Nearly 30 local nonprofit service organizations will be on hand to provide information about their services, as well as offer activities and arts and crafts, said Kevin Carroll, First Friday Planning Committee chairman and Kiwanis Club of Williamsport vice president.
Supporting partners include the Salvation Army, YMCA, YWCA, Family Promise, West Branch School, Nittany Greyhounds and the James V. Brown Library, to name just a few.
Carroll said the Newberry Lions will again sell fresh-cut french fries and the Kiwanis Club of Williamsport will sell burgers, with both clubs offering water and soda for sale. The Williamsport Lions Club will have the ever-popular inflatable basketball hoop game and the Williamsport Rotary Club will provide an inflatable bounce house for children. There also will be games, crafts, free books, child identification, children health screenings and more.
Carroll said more than 60 people help out during this event, including local Key Club students sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Williamsport, and volunteers from the Salvation Army, the American Rescue Workers and the Susquehanna House.
"The library will have the Bookmobile there again, the National Guard will have military vehicles and the fire company will have a fire truck again," Carroll said. "There's a lot of different activities for kids, too."
Carroll said this is an event everyone in the community looks forward to.
"It's a good, fun event and a good family event," Carroll said, adding that this year's activities will be extended by an additional 30 minutes.
Carroll said the most important part of this event, though, is that several community organizations work together for a common goal.
"We're all doing the same thing, giving back to the community," he said. "Any money raised is divided and given to charities in the community, too."
Carroll said the committee members meet to decide where to donate proceeds from the event, so it's not just one person or club making that decision. In the past, proceeds have been given to the James V. Brown Library, the Children's Development Center and the Salvation Army to support children's programs.
Along with Carroll, the committee includes John Confer of the Williamsport Lions Club; Michael Barclay of the Kiwanis Club of Williamsport; Pam Shipman of the Loyalsock Lions Club; and Ron Cimini and Mike Wolfe of the Williamsport Rotary Club.
Cimini, who is serving his first year on the committee, said he never anticipated the amount of support for the event. He said the event is at "max capacity" and may have to consider another location for next year to accommodate the growing crowds.
"It keeps growing as more and more people know about it," he said.
Carroll agreed: "Seeing kids having fun, that's why we do it."