October 06, 2009

By Heather Johns

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Downtown Lewisburg and Bucknell University will welcome local residents and alumni for Games in the Park followed by Night on the Town, a late-night shopping event, on Friday, Oct. 23, during Bucknell's Homecoming Weekend. Last year, thousands of alumni and friends of the University returned to Bucknell.

Night on the Town, which will take place from 6:30 to 10 p.m., is the result of a partnership between Bucknell and downtown Lewisburg. Shoppers will receive a punch card that lists participating downtown stores. Participants who get at least 50 percent of the card punched during the event will be entered to win merchant giveaways.

"It's a privilege for Bucknell to have these working relationships with Lewisburg merchants," said Laura Denbow, executive director of alumni relations and career services at Bucknell. "Their generosity and support for this event has made it possible."

"We want downtown Lewisburg to be the centerpiece of Homecoming festivities Friday night," said Dan Dillon, Class of '13, who helped organize Night on the Town. The Alumni Association Board of Directors will also hold its committee meetings in downtown venues on Friday.

Shopping and family fun
Games in the Park is free and open to children of all ages in Hufnagle Park in downtown Lewisburg from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 23. Sponsored by Bucknell and the Lewisburg Downtown Partnership, the event will be staffed by Bucknell student volunteers and include inflatable bounces, an obstacle course, a batting cage, basketball hoops, carnival games, a balloon artist and face painting.

"We want to make Games in the Park attractive to the widest age range possible," said Dillon. "Hopefully, we will have a really high turnout from local community and alumni families. Games in the Park should be a fun event for everyone involved, including the students."

Community support
Merchants in downtown Lewisburg have expressed support and enthusiasm for Night on the Town, including Randy Maslow-Grindlinger, owner of the Lewisburg home furnishings store Dwellings.

"Bringing alumni downtown is really a wonderful thing for the town and for the University, as a joint effort," said Maslow-Grindlinger. "We're a partnership, the University and the town."

Maslow-Grindlinger sees long-term benefits to gaining Bucknell alumni as customers. "Bucknell alumni are going to be able to rediscover the town and see stores that may not have been here when they attended the University," she said. "If they like what they see, they can place orders online on our website long after they leave Lewisburg."

Building relationships
"Night on the Town signals that the University places a real value on downtown, and it's growing," said Lewisburg Downtown Partnership Executive Director Linda Sterling.

Homecoming is often about reliving old memories, but the University is eager to help alumni connect with newer Lewisburg businesses, as well. "We're excited to help Bucknell alumni know certain pieces of downtown have remained the same, and certain pieces have changed," said Denbow.

"This is an example of the best kind of partnership, where community is working with a local economic development partner," said Sterling. "It's a great way to get people engaged in a community."

Participating businesses
Night on the Town participants include Antiques At 221 Market, The Beckoning Cat, Brushstrokes, Big Al's Pizza & More, Bradley Shoemaker Gallery, Brasserie Louis, Brubaker's Clothier, Bull Run Inn, Campus Cycle & Fly Fishing Center, Celtic Exchange, Corner Pizza & Deli, Dwellings, Faustina's, Gingerbread House, Greek Isles Salon & Spa, Hot Diggitty Dogz, In A Glaze, La Casa De Pizza, Lewisburg Bridal, Lewisburg Hotel, Lucky Lucky Gift Shop, Mad About Ewes, Marc Williams Goldsmith, Marco's Tapas, Market Street Deli, The Mercantile, Mimi's Boutique, Mya's Café, On-Fire Promotions, Open Door Gallery, Page after page, Purity Candy, Purple Platypus, Retrah, Ritter's Critters, Robin's Nest Boutique, Scott's Floral, Spinfluence, Sports Zone Memorabilia, Terra Sylvan, The Towne Tavern, Vargo Outdoors, Vennari's Pizza, Wilson Ross, Zelda's Coffee & Bistro.

For more information about Bucknell Homecoming events, visit www.b-link.bucknell.edu/homecoming2009.

Contact: Division of Communications

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