Perfect weather will greet Williamsport Welcomes the World

As Williamsport Welcomes the World downtown between 5 and 9 p.m. Friday, Mother Nature will be in a cooperative mood.

The skies are expected to be clear with no chance of rain, giving more opportunity to see large crowds as the streets fill with the aroma of vendors’ food and the gleeful sound of children taking part in free activities mixes with melodic and soulful sounds of musicians’ performances.

The street fair, with its homespun music, vast amounts of entertainment and special events, such as baseball Hall of Fame inductee and former Milwaukee Brewer Robin Yount signing autographs, enriches the Little League experience, said Justin Simpson, city recreation director.

“It gives those who have attended the games and visit our city a chance to congregate downtown and see their baseball heroes – young and old alike – while mingling with crowds,” he said.

Mayor Gabriel J. Campana said the festival and the expected good weather will be an opportunity to showcase the downtown, bringing out more families to see the free entertainment and try the different varieties of food.

The mayor said he, his wife and their children thought up the idea of holding the street festival in conjunction with Little League World Series during his first term in office and the idea took off.

Outside conditions are expected to be made-to-order, according to Craig Evanego, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in State College.

After Thursday’s 50 percent chance of showers leave, a high pressure system swoops into the Susquehanna River valley and will stay through the world championship game on Sunday, Evanego said.

Friday’s high temperature is expected to reach 81 degrees, with a low that night dropping to a comfortable 52, he said.

For baseball fans, the appearance and autograph session with Yount will take place from 6 to 7 p.m. outside the former bank building at West Fourth and Pine streets, Simpson said.

The signing is sponsored by the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce.

Williamsport Welcomes the World draws more than 50 vendors (some food and some arts and crafts) who line the curbs and streets from William to Market streets along West Fourth and Pine streets, according to downtown merchant and City Council member Bonnie Katz, who is also a member of the city’s special events committee.

Entertainment will be provided by local talented musicians, some who are part of the Uptown Music Collective, Katz said.

Several bands and solo artists will perform at both the main stage, near William and West Fourth streets, and at the community park stage, near Market and West Fourth streets.

On the main stage performers expected include Mallory Scopa, Kimberly Adair and Soulful, Urban Souls, Blackstrap Blues and Gabe Stillman.

At the community park stage, Morgan Patterson, Tess and Nuria, Sean Roberts and Sean Strickland are scheduled to perform.

Eddy Ray, a magician, will do tricks in the street near West Fourth and Pine streets, and the YMCA Zumba dancers also will be at that location, Simpson said.

Several free children’s games will highlight a Kid’s Zone set up along West Fourth, near Pine Street, he said. The activities include a dunk tank, two bounce houses, an obstacle course and sidewalk art. Several downtown merchants will have Williamsport Welcomes the World pins available.