Festival brings fun, food of Little League World Series downtown

Downtown Williamsport was packed with locals and visitors alike as they took in and celebrated the global experience of the Little League World Series during the fourth annual Williamsport Welcomes the World.

The aroma of the many food vendors filled the air along West Fourth Street, as there was kettle corn, French fries and the traditional baseball snack, hot dogs, among others. Street vendors also had the opportunity to sell goods, along with downtown businesses.

But that wasn’t all, as there was plenty of entertainment, as well.

The Uptown Music Collective performed on stage and there was a kids zone, where children were able to play in bounce castles, get their faces painted and see a magic show.

“We’ve got a great event,” said Jason Fink, executive vice president of the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce, which partnered with the city to host the event. “Everyone seems to be having a great time.”

The fact that the event attracted people of all ages fit right in with the Little League experience, Fink said.

“It’s a fun area event celebrating Little League Baseball,” he said.

Besides the many vendors, visitors also could meet and get an autograph from Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Robin Yount, who played 20 years for the Milwaukee Brewers.

Dave Chaklos, of Frackville, was one of the many waiting in line to get the chance to meet the former ball player. He said that he comes every year for the World Series games, but also enjoys taking in the downtown festivities.

“It’s nice,” Chaklos said of the annual event. “It seems like it’s something nice for the town.”

Dawn Palmatier, who was promoting the Pennsdale Haunted Barn, Hayride and Corn Maze, said there was something for everyone.

“It’s a wide variety of things (offered at the event),” she said.

She added that it’s an opportunity for the area to show what they have to offer, as there are so many people from not only the area but from around the globe.

“For Williamsport, it’s a big opportunity. Different businesses get more people than they normally would,” Palmatier said.

Rod Morgan, a member of the city’s Recreation Commission, also noted how great it was to show off the city.

“This is great,” he said. “It’s a chance to showcase Williamsport.”

Fink added that inviting people into the city allows them to explore the many shops, restaurants and other downtown businesses. He enjoys the fact that these businesses are able to get more exposure because of the event, which he said normally attracts anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 individuals.

“It gives the folks an opportunity to see our great downtown,” he said.