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Volunteers decorate Sunbury storefronts with window art

As featured in the Sunbury Daily-Item

By Justin Strawser

SUNBURY - Downtown Sunbury is shaping up to be a winter wonderland thanks to the Hill Neighborhood Council and nearly 200 volunteers. Artists Ryan Albertson, Lindie Lloyd, Joanna Shively, Sarah Wendt, Ryan McDonald and Christina Landau as well as students in the Shikellamy High School Art Club spent the last week painting the outlines of characters along Market Street in Sunbury. Different groups, including the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit’s Five-Star Program on Thursday, will fill each mural in with color. “It allows the kids to give back in a positive way and see the effects they have in town,” said Nannette Cooper, a social worker at CSIU, at the corner of Market and Third streets. “They take a lot of pride in this.


RJ Johnson, 13, paints a scene on the window of Little Addy's Inc. in Sunbury on Thursday afternoon.

 

Their parents can drive by and see what they’ve done. Our kids are very creative and artistic.” Five-Star, an educational therapeutic program, has volunteered to paint windows for the last three years. They also do other service projects throughout the Valley, said Cooper. The student volunteers were painting the windows of Little Addy’s Cafe and Gentlemen's Barbershop. They painted reindeer, elves, Santa, presents, trees, lightbulbs and baby Yoda from “Star Wars.” “I like helping people, and it’s also fun to volunteer,” said R.J. Johnson, 13, of Shamokin. “I like getting up and moving around. At school, you sit there and listen to teachers, and that's boring.” R.J., a student in the Five-Star Program, has volunteered with Toys for Tots and Caring for Kids. “I like to paint and draw,” said R.J. Natalie Marshalek, of the Sunbury Revitlization Inc.’s Hill Neighborhood Council, said 200 volunteers from the Boy and Girl Scouts, families, schools, and other organizations give their time and skills to the project. “Every year, it expands,” she said. “It’s a ‘thank you’ to the businesses, and a way to take pride in the community.” 

 

Paige Elliot, 15, paints a string of Christmas lights on a window of The Gentlemen's Barbershop in Sunbury on Thursday afternoon.

 

 

Marshalek said she is impressed with the artistic talents this year, especially the Disney characters on the windows of La Olachiana Tienda Hispana at 259 Market St. Those characters include Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore and Piglet making a snowman; Moana and her animal friends; Rapunzel wrapped up in winter gear; and Anna, Elsa and Olaf from “Frozen.” Marshalek also mentioned Jack Skellington from “The Nightmare Before Christmas” on the Original Italian Pizza at 339 Market St. There’s also Sylvester from Looney Tunes holding a pool stick and a bag of toys as well as the Grinch stealing a Christmas tree with billiard balls at Corner Pickets Billards at 245 Market St. Santa, penguins, snowmen, Minions, Mario and Luigi, wreaths, candy canes, trees, and other holiday and winter-themed murals also make appearances on the downtown windows. The goal is to have the paintings finished by Black Friday when the Santa Parade occurs. The paintings will remain on the windows until January, said Marshalek. Santa will arrive in the city on Friday by a parade at 6 p.m. ending at Cameron Park where he will take his place at the Santa House.

 

The tree lighting ceremony will take place at 6:30 p.m. followed by a live reindeer educational display until 8 p.m. Food vendors and crafters will be there as well as free hot chocolate and cookies.