Council OKs downtown pedestrian mall, LH Jams and more for summer

Canoe races, Regatta and other events planned

EXPRESS ARCHIVES Lock Haven City Council approved the annual LH Jams festival for August of this year. Picture above is a band performing during the 2019 festival.

LOCK HAVEN – The pedestrian mall in downtown Lock Haven should be coming back.

And so should LH Jams in August, along with other very noteworthy events in the city that include the annual parade and festival, a farmers market, national canoe and kayak races, along with the Labor Day Regatta.

Based on the COVID-19-driven outdoors initiative of last year, when the city — with PennDOT approval — closed Main Street from Jay to Vesper for much of the summer to accommodate outdoor concerts and restaurant seating, the general consensus is, let’s do it again.

That was the message from Marie Vilello, manager of Downtown Lock Haven Inc., and DLH board president, Angela Harding, a Clinton County commissioner, at this week’s Lock Haven City Council meeting.

City Council is fully behind the plan with its unanimous approval of the pedestrian mall on Monday night.

EXPRESS ARCHIVES Downtown Lock Haven Inc. and the City of Lock Haven received the green light to close a section of Main Street for the Pedestrian Mall. The closure will begin Friday at 3 p.m.

Next up is PennDOT’s approval, and it includes closing Grove Street from Main to Church.

Essentially, the city and Downtown Lock Haven are asking that the two-block section of Main Street be closed for outdoor seating and concerts this year on Fridays from 3 p.m. to Saturdays at 10 p.m., from May 7 through and including Sept. 25.

The Lock Haven City Free Summer Concert Series Committee continues to line up bands for the Main Street stage, Triangle Park and the popular floating stage on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River at the Corman Amphitheatre at Jay and Water streets.

City council also approved use of Main Street on Aug. 13 and 14 for the LH JAMS Festival.

JAMS director Steve Getz said additional artists will be participating this year, all in the downtown.

He said it is hoped to increase attendance limits at the concerts, depending on state regulations in effect at the time.

Council also gave its okay to the return of the Great Island Race Series, a triathlon event set for June 25, an event called off last year because of the pandemic. And approval was given for a tentative speed boat race for use of the Corman Amphitheater on June 12 and 13.

The request came from the Delaware Valley Outboard Racing Association.

Per discussion Monday night, the staging would be a smaller version of the annual Lock Haven Area Jaycees Regatta on Labor Day weekend; the latter event again is in the offing over Labor Day after a hiatus due to the pandemic last year.

Further, council approved a request from Louie Anastos to close off Sarah’s Alley from East Main Street to Jordans Alley beginning April 1, in order to offer additional dining outside at his family’s Stella A’s restaurant.

In making their request, Vilello and Harding offered the following: The plan collaborates with the Summer Concert Series, current Downtown Lock Haven, Inc. events, and other events planned in the city for 2021.

“To aid in your consideration, we have included our schedule to detail our closure proposal. We are respectfully asking your approval and for the city to make a formal request to PennDOT for the following dates:”

— May 7-8, 14-15, 21-22, 28-29

— June 11-12 (Lemonade Days) and 25-26 (Best of Clinton County festival and parade.)

— July 9-10 and 24-25, 30-31 (National Independent Retailers week).

— Aug. 13-14 — LH JAMS and National Canoe Race (on the river/Woodward Township); 27 and 28 — Hometown Hero Banner Ceremony on floating stage.

— Sept. 3-4 — Lock Haven Area Jaycees Labor Day Regatta — Water Street Closure; 10 and 11 (911 Remembrance (Flags, etc.); 17-18 and 24-25.

Sprinkled within these dates is the Farmers Market on Main Street parking lot downtown and Bring flowers to someone day (market);

Added to this year’s mall is the feature of allowing Downtown Lock Haven members to utilize open air booths and spaces to sell their products and services on Friday nights.

Downtown will also see some Saturday nights concerts, if approved, to encourage pre-concert eating and shopping.


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