CARLISLE — The summer’s First Friday series in the borough starts next week, with a new focus on children’s activities.
“We want there to be a family atmosphere downtown,” said Cate Mellen, coordinator of adult programs and community relations at Bosler Memorial Library. “We want there to be a reason for families to come downtown with their children.”
In the past, the library has hosted concerts during First Friday events. Mellen said children’s events will be planned according to the First Friday theme.
The series kicks off with the Art Walk on May 2, which Glenn White, executive director of the Downtown Carlisle Association, said is always a good one out of the gate.
“We’re starting to collect some activities the art galleries and restaurants are doing,” he said.
Young artists will be the focus of the children’s activity at the library for the Art Walk. Mellen said artworks from the library’s Meet the Artist program will be featured, and children will be able to draw their own chalk art on the sidewalks in front of the library.
The Meet the Artist program teaches children about an artist. The children then make their own artworks imitating the style of the artist, Mellen said.
“Our hope is that we won’t be the only ones offering children’s events,” she said.
Kids Night Out will be the theme of the June First Friday Event.
“It’s a very easy thing for the restaurants and retailers to come up with kids’ items,” White said.
Plans are still underway for the Kids’ Night Out, but Mellen said there will be a selection of arts and crafts that she anticipates may include other agencies, businesses and groups downtown.
That First Friday corresponds with the launch of the library’s summer reading program for elementary students. The program aims to keep children reading through the summer as a way to maintain their reading level. This year’s science-themed program is “Fizz, Boom, Read!”
Programs will also be offered for older students and adults.
The first-ever Restaurant Walk will be held at the August First Friday.
“We’ve been trying to start a restaurant walk here for awhile,” White said. “We have so many great and different cuisines downtown.”
Participants will be given passport cards which can be stamped at restaurants downtown. Those who have their cards stamped will be entered into a drawing for gift certificates.
The First Friday event will kick off Restaurant Week in Carlisle during which downtown restaurants may have special menu items or a special restaurant week menu, White said.
September’s First Friday will feature the Music Walk during which the downtown stores and restaurants will be encouraged to have entertainment inside or outside.
“It’s going to be the first weekend, too, that all the college students are back,” White said.
The series is sponsored again this year by Velocity Cycles, which will “take over” the deck at the Comfort Suites hotel. The deck atmosphere won’t be for motorcycle enthusiast only, White said. Everyone is invited to sit outside on the patio.
There are no plans to hold First Friday events in the fall, White said, because the association found that its audience doesn’t have as much leisure time in the fall due to school activities and high school football games.
“We’re really trying to concentrate on the product that we know is going work,” White said.
To get the downtown ready for the summer season, the association will hold a downtown clean-up day starting at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. Projects for the clean-up day include Replanting the flower planters on the square, repairing banners on light poles downtown, power washing, painting fire hydrants and removing debris and trash.
“We’re really looking for groups of people or individuals who want to come out on Earth Day,” White said.
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