The 12th annual Community Block Party will welcome approximately 290 new University of Jamestown students to the area and will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28, along First Avenue South.

The event will begin with UJ President Polly Peterson leading the new students on a walk from campus to downtown, where the group will meet the rest of the community.

"This is really their (new students) first opportunity to get downtown and to see what services are available for them in the community," said Trish Herzig, conference services coordinator for UJ. This is Herzig's first year tasked with handling preparations for the event.

"It's been a good learning curve," Herzig said. "Ultimately it's important to me to show students what Jamestown has to offer."

The event is designed to welcome new students to Jamestown and familiarize them with Jamestown businesses and organizations, according to the university website. Several blocks will be blocked from traffic and booths will give away food, drinks, prizes and information.

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"It goes both ways, really," Herzig said. "It gives the students a chance to see what's out there and also gives businesses a chance to advertise themselves. Students may not know certain places exist until they see them at the event."

Herzig said the university is anticipating a crowd of 3,000 to 4,000 people. As of Aug. 26, 112 booths have been registered for the event.

Emily Bivens, executive director of the Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber has partnered with the Jamestown Downtown Association and local businesses to promote the event.

"We invite the community to participate," Bivens said. "It's nice to give the students resources that they can utilize."

Herzig said students will be able to shop for potential grocery stores and churches to attend, while also facing certain decisions such as where to get insurance or what dentist to use.

"We are very appreciative of our numerous sponsors," Herzig said. "They, along with the tremendous community support, help make this event possible year after year."

The event is open to the public and is free to attend.