Tonight, a chance to sample missing sense of community
“That sense of community again” — that’s what Shanin Dougherty, co-chair of the First Friday Committee, hopes to find tonight when the widely popular Lycoming Arts First Friday event returns after a long pandemic-prompted hiatus.
Yes, Shanin, that’s something we long for too. As a community newspaper, watching folks go into a prolonged period of isolation — participating in it ourselves — has been hard.
So hard, in fact, that many would call it the biggest challenge of a lifetime.
Simply put, we miss seeing you. We miss all of the interactions with the community, in many ways, including the arts.
One thing generations before us have illustrated is that we, as a people, persevere. We face the challenges head-on, we overcome the obstacles, and then we get on with it.
Well, tonight we are going to get on with it.
West Fourth Street will be lined with arts, live music, shops eager to renew some patronage, open restaurants and food vendors, as well as many people in the gardening world.
That’s because the initial First Friday in well over a year will celebrate gardening and landscaping.
In attendance, we are told, will be Snyder’s Nursery at the Feed Mill, Williamsport’s Red Shield Community Garden, Penn State Master Gardeners and the Montoursville Garden Club.
Doesn’t quite fit, you might say? We disagree. One thing we learned in the past year is to appreciate the art of gardening in a way perhaps not embraced as widely before COVID-19 hit our shores.
We are thrilled to see this event expand in a new creative direction.
Overall, though, we hope to catch a happy glimpse of the future tonight with the return of First Friday, in its 20th year this year.
For two decades, the arts have summoned people to congregate downtown for a light-hearted evening in which we celebrate not only the arts but also our people and our talented children. It’s become an occasion to just appreciate how wonderful this corner of the world can be, how truly fabulous our local community is.
The arts have enriched our lives and made our community all the more inviting as one of the best places on Earth to call home.
So remember your masks and practice the safety protocol, but we encourage you to get out and explore that sense of community — we hope to see you tonight!