Pirate day is part of town's downtown marketing

September 14, 2010|By ANDREW SCHOTZ
  • May Weather, which lists its style on its MySpace page as Christian, pop punk and ska, will perform at "Pirate's Plunder" in Williamsport on Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m.
Submitted photo,

WILLIAMSPORT --Williamsport plans to give its downtown a boost on Sunday by shaking its booty.

The town's "Pirate's Plunder" will coincide with International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

The event also will showcase the "town center" area -- Conococheague Street in front of Town Hall, said Michael Sparks, Williamsport's director of economic and community development. The street will be closed.

Sparks said the town has been working on revitalizing its downtown and tying in the C&O Canal National Historical Park and Byron Memorial Park.

The newest asset is the Springfield Barn, which has been renovated, he said.

Mayor James G. McCleaf II said Monday that the idea is to get more people downtown, boosting business for existing shops and possibly encouraging more to open.

There have been other downtown events in recent months, including a kickoff for a new ice cream shop and a cruise-in.


A cruise-in called "Mom's & Dad's Night Out" will be Sept. 24, followed by an Elvis tribute show in front of Town Hall.

McCleaf said the town might have been seen as unfriendly to business in the past, but "we've changed that altogether in six months."

The town is using social media to help spread its revitalization message. As of Tuesday, the town had 725 fans on its Facebook page at

It also has been working to appeal to bicyclists. There have been new bike lanes and, on Conococheague Street, new bike racks, in place of a few parking spots.

McCleaf said people traveling between Alexandria, Va., and Pittsburgh, especially bicyclists, have heard about the changes and are using them to visit Williamsport.

Recent visitors have come from Indiana, California and even London, England, McCleaf said.

Pirate event details

"Pirate's Plunder" will be held in Williamsport on Sunday from noon to 8 p.m.

Michael Sparks, Williamsport's director of economic and community development, said Conococheague Street near Town Hall will be shut down.

Three bands are scheduled to perform:

o Paint the Sky, which plays in the style of Jimmy Buffett, from 12:15 to 2:15 p.m.

o May Weather, which lists its style on its MySpace page as Christian, pop punk and ska, from 3 to 5 p.m.

o The Rhythm Kings, playing blues rock and funk, from 5:45 to 7:45 p.m.

There will be a "Buccaneer" area of games for kids, a "Mayor Jimmy's Buffet" food area, contests for best-dressed pirate and best pirate talk, peg-leg races and drawings for booty.

The rain date is Sept. 25.

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