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WELCOME TO JAMESTOWN ‘Rock the Block’ Community Block Party Thursday in downtown

The streets of downtown Jamestown will be filled with University of Jamestown students and community members for the annual Community Block Party on Thursday. John M. Steiner / Sun file photo

Cellphone wallets, hacky sacks, water bottles, pens, candy and food items are among items up for grabs at the ninth annual Community Block Party Thursday in downtown Jamestown.

The event provides an opportunity for new and returning UJ students to mingle with community members and get to know the Jamestown area. As the event has grown in popularity, businesses and community groups that rent booth space at the party find they have to keep pace by supplying more items to give away.

“We make sure we have enough of everything to last throughout the event,” said Ally Nills, communications coordinator for First Community Credit Union in Jamestown.

On Thursday credit union staff will hand out bottle koozies and water bottles that turn different colors with temperature changes. Nill said there will also be candy, a game to play and a drawing for a gift card.

“The cellphone wallets will also be available,” she said.

Terri Rosemore Bostan, owner of Body & Mind Massage Therapy Center, said she will be handing out hacky sacks, small ball-shaped bean-bag-like objects that people can kick around. She said she is upping the number of items to give out from 250 to 300.

Last year she and her staff put out food items, Chex mix and flavored waters, but they were scrambling toward the end.

“We started running out in the last hour,” she said.

Katie Roehm is a UJ resident director and this is her first year organizing the block party. She said 112 vendors will have booths, up from 108 in 2016.

Roehm said she hadn’t heard any concerns from booth vendors about running out of items to give out during the party.

“I did inform everyone we had over 1,000 people check out the block party last year,” she said.

Nill said one vendor asked if she could make brownies.

“If you can make over a thousand brownies, go right ahead,” she said.

Roehm said the James River Valley Library System will have its newest bookmobile on display on 3rd Street Southwest. The Arts Center will have the band Bolder Shades of Blue performing on the recently completed stage of the Boulder Pavilion in the Hansen Arts Park. Roehm said having live music playing will be a great addition to the block party.

The UJ freshmen, who are required to attend the block party, usually walk down College Hill together and arrive at the party between 5:30 and 6 p.m. Roehm said the UJ pep band will play a few songs once the freshmen arrive.

In addition to knick knacks and other small items, several vendors will have food on hand, everything from hotdogs and popcorn to high-end options.

(701) 952-8454


What: Community Block Party When: 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 31 Where: The party is on 1st Avenue South from 1st Street to 3rd Street Info: The party is organized by the University of Jamestown and Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce to welcome new students from UJ to the community.

Chris Olson

Hometown: Traverse City, MI College: Northwestern Michigan College and Michigan State University

(701) 952-8454