Bradyn Keller, 5, of New Castle wears Mario face paint while working on a craft with the help of Stephanie Dean, a Crisis Shelter of Lawrence County board member and volunteer.

Three local agencies combined forces  Saturday to throw a celebration downtown.

For kids, there were jugglers, storytelling, a bounce house, face painting, sidewalk art, prize wheels, games, contests, firetrucks, the Lawrence County Safety House and a Spider-Man wall.

Meanwhile, eco-friendly vendors, informational displays and arts-and-craft sellers kept the adults entertained.

The whole family could enjoy free food, craft projects, give-aways, dance contests, and live music at the party, which stretched from Zambelli Park to Riverwalk Park and all the streets and sidewalks in between. It also included events at the New Castle Community YMCA, the New Castle Public Library, The Confluence and in front of PNC Bank.

The celebration actually was three events rolled into one.

New Visions for Lawrence County sponsored the city’s first-ever Earth Day event. Earth Day was officially Tuesday, but New Visions opted for the Saturday date to celebrate so that more people could come out, and to better spotlight the downtown.

The Crisis Shelter of Lawrence County also got in the act by moving its annual Party in the Park for Justice from Cascade Park, where it has been held for the last several years, to Riverwalk Park. The Party in the Park for Justice event included a Walk for Justice, which went through the city’s streets and ended as the walkers crossed the threshold of the park’s signed entryway. Walk participants included several groups from area schools. Each group carried a large banner it had made, which was then entered in the banner contest.

Finally, the Y also had events at its building to coincide with the downtown event, all dealing with healthy bodies and health-related issues.

The day’s celebration began about 10 a.m. in Ellwood City, but moved to the streets of New Castle around 2 p.m. and continued until after 6. Hundreds lined the streets to be a part of the event, which organizers promised was going to become an annual tradition for the city.


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