DANVILLE — A new downtown block party gave artists and musicians a chance to showcase their works.
Jason Perez, owner of Brews N Bytes, came up with the idea of the event to be held along Lower Mulberry Street, where his restaurant is, after talking with Van Wagner, organizer of the annual Danville Heritage Festival.
"This is just the right size block for this type of event," he said of the festivities going on Saturday during the festival that ended Sunday evening.
"I know how hard it is to be an artist," he said of offering them free exhibit space.
The block party included music, art works and Boy Scout stands.
The major festival venue was Hess Recreation Area featuring a quoit tournament, music, living history demonstrations, shooting of model cannons, food and twisting of old railroad ties known as Sherman ties and bowties which occurred during the Civil War to destroy railroad use in the South.
Jarrett Dreese, of Northumberland, displayed his art pieces, saying he likes to be expressive and to create abstract art.
The Sisters of St. Cyril and Methodius were selling gift cards and original artwork by Sister Jeanne. "We've had people in. The music has been great," said Sister Barbara Sable. With them was Sister Jana.
Musicians included Jen DeSantis, Fricknadorable, Booth Theater Kids, Mike Hickey, Sue Bloom and Urie Kline.
Jim Clark, of the Milton area, offered all kinds of pottery at his JC Clayworkx including mugs, bowls, business card holders and vases. "It's been good," his wife Kelly said of their experience in Danville.
Christina Jordan, of Danville, manned a stand in memory of her mother Liz Jordan, a member of the Danville Art League, and Anthracite Art League. Christina was selling Liz's Legacy wire woven copper jewelry she began making about six months ago.
She said her mother worked in all types of art — oil, watercolor, pen and ink and colored pencils and her favorite subjects were wildlife, American Indians and flowers. Her work of a breaker boy was published as a card by the anthracite league. "She passed away a few weeks after it was chosen for the card," she said of her mother, who died at 64 in 2008.
"This was the first time I had a stand," said Jordan. Her daughter, Tomie Gawne, of Danville, designed her logo and gift packages.
P. J. Rosini displayed her handmade pottery while her son, Gregory, 13, was selling signs, bracelets and magnets made by Boy Scout Troop 37 of Mooresburg. "We've had a few people come by. We've done fairly well," she said.
Boy Scouts from Troop 139, of Danville, were selling glass bottles they found during outhouse digs supervised by Robert Lee III behind Pappas Restaurant and Ski Valley in Danville. They are doing a dig behind Mirror Image Fashions in town.
"We've had a lot of interest on how they got them," said Scoutmaster Ralph Lynn Baker Jr. "We're doing OK with sales," said Baker, who was with his sons, Charles, Frank and Ralph Bruce Baker. Lee was at the booth along with Scouts Donald Kuziak and Dean Tice.
Cole's Hardware sponsored a later block party Saturday with kids' activities, music, food and vendors.
At Hess Recreation Area, a crushed foot didn't keep Jerry Reitmeyer, of Pottstown, from entering the United States Quoiting Association Tournament that attracted 30 teams of two players each. Most teams traveled from Berks County and the Danville area with some from the Philadelphia area, said Carl Harter, of Reading and an association board member. Players ranged from early 20s to their 60s.
Reitmeyer used a knee scooter so he could throw 4-pound quoits. While his foot was run over by a truck at work in April, he said he was able to throw quoits in June at an event in Bethel. "I put my bum knee on the seat and throw," he said.
He and his partner, Willie Wandress, of Dowingtown, will be entering more competitions this year. "I have been throwing 30-plus years. I started as a kid with my grandfather," Reitmeyer said.
"We have been a team for 25 years," Wandress said.
"What I miss real bad is that I can't shift my motorcycle," said Reitmeyer, who hopes to be able to be walking by the end of the year.
The only woman in the tournament was Christine Luckenbill, of Lake Wynonah. She said she has entered quite a few tournaments this year and next will be in Mohnton Aug. 5.
"My brothers taught me how to throw," she said. Having entered tournaments for three years, she said she was partnering with a friend but sometimes enters with a brother.
"I love being outside and like the challenge," she said.
Harter said the tournament has been held in Danville for at least 12 years. Teams gain points from the events with the winner getting money along with points.
They hold a championship event in Berks County in September usually drawing 60 teams.
Players throw quoits, which they often decorate in favorite colors or even in polka dots, 21 feet around a hob.
A player for 13 years, he said a friend heard about tournaments after throwing quoits in backyards and "I decided to go do it." He said he hasn't won an event but he's come close.
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