Parades, music and parties made for a monster Saturday in Greater Williamsport.
Light rain failed to dampen the festive atmosphere of the annual Mummers Parade in South Williamsport.
Once again, thousands of people lined the streets for blocks to take in the sights and sounds of costumed characters, fire trucks, pets and other assorted marchers making their way through the borough.
But if the Mummers Parade drew the biggest crowd, it hardly was the only event taking place in and around Williamsport.
The second annual Downtown Billtown Music Festival at the Community Arts Center featured more than a dozen bands bringing a wide range of talents.
There also was the Public Artworks/Symphony Monster Bash in Williamsport.
People gathered for a party on the front porch of John Engel’s home at Central Avenue and Lowe Street for a birds-eye view of the Mummers Parade.
“It’s just one big conglomeration of relatives and friends,” Engel said. “It’s been a tradition.”
Among those watching the parade from Engel’s residence was Lycoming County Commissioner Ernie Larson who said he’s only missed one of the annual events since 1952.
For Brent Backhus, of South Williamsport, the parade always is worth watching.
“I like the length of the parade – nice and long,” he said.
Becky Huff, who traveled from Trout Run to see it, said she likes the costumes and the school districts represented.
“The nice thing is it’s also a family thing,” she said.
Billtown Blues Association President Bill Van Campen said the second annual Downtown Billtown Festival is a way of showcasing local musical talent.
With a mix of different types of bands, there was something for everyone, he said.
“We want a variety of music, a variety of ages, genders and instrumentations,” added Billtown Blues Association Secretary Bonnie Tallman.
She said the event still is in its infancy and pulling together all the talent presents a challenge.
“We are hoping to keep it going as an annual event,” Tallman said.
It was an old-fashioned costume party at Farrington Place, 416 W. Third St., the site of the Monster Bash, a fundraiser for Public Artworks and the Williamsport Symphony.
“We are hoping to make it an annual event,” said Public Artworks Chairwoman Laura Flynn.
She referred to the “explosion” of arts in the local community during the past 10 years and the excitement it has generated.
And, she noted the collaboration that exists between artworks and the symphony.
Yvonne DiRocco, for example, serves on committees for both groups.
“Everyone pitched in to do this,” she said, noting the ghoulish displays and overall Halloween atmosphere of the room.
About 75 people were expected to attend the event, which included food, drinks and live entertainment from the local band Pepper Street.