Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

April 6, 2012

Festival officials hope teens get the message

Flyers have been distributed. Stories published and ambassadors recruited.

GOSHEN — Flyers have been distributed. Stories published and ambassadors recruited.

And amid all the effort, Goshen officials will see if it’s making an impact tonight on the behavior of middle school students who have become a cause of concern at First Fridays.

Tonight’s activities mark the first monthly downtown festival since officials began openly expressing concern about unsupervised youths who have flooded the festival in recent months to the point that sidewalks and store fronts have become impassable.

“There’s been a lot of education about what’s OK and not OK to do during First Fridays with kids,” said Gina Leichty, director of Downtown Goshen Inc., which organizes First Fridays. “Overall, I think positive things have happened in the last month and I’m anticipating a really good event tomorrow.”

DGI recruited nearly three dozen “ambassadors” to greet festival-goers and keep an eye on activities.

Store owners have complained about entrances being blocked by large numbers of young people, some of whom have been less-than cooperative when asked to move aside.

Incidents of shoplifting and vandalism have also been reported.

Leichty said middle school-aged students are welcome to attend festival activities, but should be accompanied by adults.

Festival organizers have also helped create alternative activities for young people outside of the festival area in the downtown business district.

DGI worked with the Boys & Girls Club of Goshen to move a popular teen dance formerly held at the Goshen Theater during First Fridays to the Boys & Girls club at 306 Crescent St. from 6 to 10 p.m.

In recent months, the dance was attracting a capacity crowd of 150 people, and moving it to the Boys & Girls Club could result in even stronger attendance, said Mike Smith, program director for the club.

“We’re planning for a big dance,” Smith said.

The club agreed to open its doors to middle school-aged students who are non members during First Fridays. There is no admission charge, but those attending will be expected to provide a school identification card, Smith said.

Other games and activities are planned as well, Smith said.

“We’ve made a heavy push for about two and a half weeks at Goshen Middle School with flyers and announcements and staff talking to kids,” Smith said.

Richard Aguirre, an administrator at Goshen College and a member of the Community Relations Commission, will be among the ambassadors working tonight.

He said he hopes a spirit of cooperation will help make the festival enjoyable for everyone.

“It’s important for us to try and put ourselves in the position of the young people,” Aguirre said.

On the other hand, Aguirre added, “If they are involved in activities (such as) blocking sidewalks, blocking store entrances or other activities that are infringing on other people’s enjoyment ... police will be asking that they be more considerate of others.”

Ambassadors will be wearing shirts that read “Event Staff” and a recruitment letter used recently said they will work with police if problems arise.

Goshen police are expected to have a larger presence tonight as well, according to a statement issued by the police department.

Police will be reminding festival-goers of existing policies and may issue written warnings in some cases, the statement said.

“We are hopeful that this increase in personal notification to the juveniles will encourage or compel appropriate behavior resulting in a positive experience for every attendee,” The statement said.

The council is in the midst of considering two ordinances, including a curfew on the nights of First Fridays to help quell problems. City leaders had hoped to have the curfew and an ordinance prohibiting the blocking of sidewalks in force before today, but efforts to pass the proposals slowed down.

The council is expected to debate those proposals at its next meeting April 17.

Tonight’s activities will be highlighted by the “Green Day 5K Run” and a 2K Fun Walk. Registration remains open until about 5:30 p.m. Race activities will begin at West Washington Street between Main and Third streets. Start times are 5:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m.

Text Only
Local News
  • BIRTHS FOR JULY 28, 2014 IU HEALTH GOSHEN HOSPITALFridayShelli and Eric Eaton, Middlebury, a son, Oliver Marcus EatonAndrea and Tim McGraw, Elkhart, a daughter, Reagan Marie McGrawCandice and Austin Cors, Elkhart, a son, Caleb Austin CorsSaturdayTiffany and Justin Klase, Gos

    July 28, 2014

  • State's attempt to ward off dangers working July 1 each year marks the day in Indiana when new laws take effect. But rather than focus on new laws, let’s observe the anniversary of a law that went on the books three years ago this month — the law that barred texting while driving.Each year sin

    July 28, 2014

  • GN140728 demo derby 02 ELKHART COUNTY 4-H FAIR: Both cars and drivers are characters in the popular demolition derby Sugg hed: Inside the mind of demolition derby drivers By ROBBY HOWARD robby.howard@goshennews.com GOSHEN — At the annual Nationwide Demolition Derby, old battered cars take on a new life before their likely demise. None of the cars featured on the fi

    July 27, 2014 4 Photos

  • SLIDESHOW: Demolition Derby

    July 27, 2014

  • GN140726 postal retiree 02 Goshen mail carrier Gary Miller to deliver his last letter GOSHEN — Its been one amazing journey, but now it’s time to pass the torch on to the next generation.That’s the word from Gary Miller, a Goshen native who has spent the past 44 years serving as a postal carrier for the city. After more than four deca

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140727 end of fair feature 03 Cool weather, improvements lead to a banner year for Elkhart County 4-H Fair GOSHEN — The 2014 Elkhart County 4-H Fair might go down in history as one with solid attendance, record-breaking support in the livestock auction and mostly cool temperatures. But above all, it was a pivotal year for the annual event, fair president

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • GN140726 fair vendor 01 FAIR FACES: There's no place like the fair for getting the word out GOSHEN — As one of the largest county fairs in the nation, one would be hard-pressed to find a location or event within Elkhart County that boasts the sheer amount of foot traffic that can be found at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair. But what does all th

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-H FAIR: Steer sale nets $15K-plus for Seed to Feed program GOSHEN — The shock on Lane Flowers’ face was obvious.

    July 26, 2014

  • NWS GN0725 clinton frame church 01 Clinton Frame eyes new conference after gay marriage split GOSHEN — There appears to be a schism forming within the heart of the Mennonite faith, and at epicenter of that schism is what some in the denomination perceive to be an increasing support for or affirmation of the controversial issue of same-sex marriage among certain Mennonite congregations.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shipshe Town Hall Council awards street improvement project contract

    The Shipshewana Town Council awarded a contract Thursday for the North Street Improvement Project to low bidder Rieth-Riley Construction Co. of South Bend for $125,152 and approved a notice to proceed with the project. 
    The South Bend company nudged out Niblock Excavating and ATI Construction, who were both within $1,328 of the winning bid.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo


Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.

With military action and tensions escalating between Russia and Ukraine, as well as Israel and Palestine, are you worried that the U.S. and other nations may get drawn into these conflicts?

Yes, it is a great concern of mine
I’m a little worried, but not too much
No, I’m not worried at all
     View Results
AP Video
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp