Thousands of people filled downtown Williamsport Friday evening for the third annual Williamsport Welcomes the World street fair featuring Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher and former Philadelphia Phillie Steve Carlton.
Carlton, who was seated at a table near the corner of West Fourth and Pine streets, was among the many who came out on a picture-perfect summer evening to celebrate the Little League Baseball World Series during an off-day.
Father and son Dave and Chris Chaklos, of Frackville, were some of the first in line to meet Carlton and get his autograph on photos provided by the City of Williamsport and the Williamsport-Lycoming Chamber of Commerce.
Northwest players wander down West Fourth Street during Williamsport Welcomes the World Friday.
"Back with the Phillies, he was No. 1. He was it," Dave said.
The pair said they have been driving back and forth from Frackville to see the Series games each day.
"The games are great," he added.
Doug and Bessie Lane, of Old Lycoming Township, weren't waiting in line for "Lefty's" signature, but Doug said he's still a Phillies fan.
"I'll tell you, it's been a tough year, but I still root for them," he said.
They decided to come out to the event "because I was hungry," said Doug.
"I think it was date night," his wife added.
And there was plenty of food from which to choose.
Dozens of food vendors, musical performers, and arts and crafts vendors were on hand for the event, which stretched from West Fourth and Market Streets to William Street.
Part of Pine Street and a city parking lot along Court street were also filled with food vendors and merchants.
One vendor who was in attendance - Mona Lisa Cakes - said this was the first time for the South Williamsport business.
Co-owner Lisa Bartholomew said the specialty cake and baked goods company started their business in May.
"We're just thrilled about it. We're getting a very, very good response," she said, as her daughter and co-owner Sara talked to customers by their tent on West Fourth Street.
Jim Slother, of Watsontown, waited in line to spin a prize wheel at the Williamsport Outlaws booth. He said he may attend a game when the new professional hockey team begins play at Bowman Field in October.
"Since it's so close, yeah. I've never been to a hockey game," Slother said.
Jeff and Amie Porter, of South Williamsport, said they came to the street fair on a whim.
"We wanted to be part of it," said Amie, as she was eating a meatball sandwich. "We enjoy baseball very much."
The Hall of Famer said this was his first visit to Williamsport, and that he was looking forward to seeing the Little League Baseball complex. Carlton will be an honorary base coach during today's Challenger Division game at Volunteer Stadium.
Carlton said he played for the North Miami Little League's Rotary team when he was a youngster.
"That's where it starts. They're future stars," he said of today's players.
Carlton, who ranks fourth with 4,136 strikeouts in 24 seasons, said he makes only a few public appearances a year.