Culture crawl provides exposure to downtown

Sept. 24 – Johnstown, Pa. – On Friday, the second annual cultural tour in Johnstown brings people downtown to mingle with each other and enjoy a diverse array of local musicians, artists, writers and poets. live performance.

The attendance was lower than last year, but it was still fun, said Mike Messina, owner of Chameleon Bookstore and event organizer.

“Nights like this are important,” he said.

A series of arts-focused events across the city have exposed more than a dozen downtown businesses, as well as other restaurants not directly involved in the crawl.

Gazebo Park is the nexus of Culture Crawl events, with events being held at Chameleon Bookstore at 144 Gazebo Park, Gallery on Gazebo at 140 Gazebo Park and GAR Post 30 at 132 Gazebo Park.

At the Gazebo gallery, where visitors can sit back and enjoy cartoons by Daisytown artist Duane Webb, or view a display of Kim Williams’ nature-inspired art, gallery board member Vicki Truscello said Culture Walk has a simple message to send.

“Art is vibrant in the city center,” she said. “This is the second year of the culture crawl, and it seems to be taking off.”

Pitt-Johnstown student Angel Auxtero reads a poem in front of the bookstore at 144 Gazebo Park. She visited the bookstore last year as part of a culture crawl and has become a regular, taking a more active role at this year’s event.

Beginning in the gazebo park in the city center, the crawl spreads in both directions on the street.

New to this year’s culture crawl is Elevate at the upper end of the street. The new and used clothing retail store opened at 517 Main St. in February.

On Friday, in-store partner Kristy Hagan served coffee and pastries at the Flood City Cafe on Clinton Street and showcased products from local artisans, including Patty Pea Check (Patty Pisczek), they offer festive pumpkins made from upcycled sweaters.

“It’s great to see that part of Main Street being reinvented,” said Jim Carroll, who participated in the culture crawl with his wife Carol.

Also at Elevate is David Lane, co-owner of Hope Cyclery at 647 Railroad St. He offers a bike rack for people to park their bikes and a list of merchandise in his store.

Carthew also noted that GAR Post 30 in the park area is “keeping the history alive” and visited the site of a former meeting of the Grand Army of the Republic. Formed after the Civil War, the organization was the first veterans organization in the United States.

On the lower end of Main Street, people drink wine at Main St. 345 Classic Elements, listen to live music or chat with local writers promoting their books.

The Johnstown State Theater at 336 Main Street is open to visitors. As people walked down the street outside the theater, they spotted a gap in activity. But as they moved on, the sound of the saxophone took them to Art House 6 at 126 Walnut St.

Saxophonist Daniel Hutton performs on the house’s roof deck, and visitors can admire artwork by local artists as well as the house’s 1800s architecture.

“It’s beautiful,” said Shannon Errett of Johnstown.

Just three years ago, the artists’ venue was a closed historic home.

“I like what people are doing to revitalize the city center,” Errett said.

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