Street fair planned Friday downtown

A street festival featuring magic, music, games, food trucks, and other activities will unfold from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday on a closed section of Fifth Street and also on the Bartholomew County Public Library Plaza at 536 Fifth St. in downtown Columbus.

First Christian Church has organized the gathering that is free — though a variety of food will be available for purchase — in partnership with the Bartholomew County Public Library, Lincoln-Central Neighborhood Family Center and the Council for Youth Development.

Illusionist Zak Mirz, who has worked for the internationally known David Blaine and fooled TV’s Penn & Teller, will entertain. A dunk tank including such notable dunkees as Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. Superintendent Jim Roberts, First Christian Pastor Steve Yeaton, Tim Green from the Council for Youth Development and the library’s Dakota Hall. Those hoping to have Roberts make a splash must make a donation of nonperishable food to the library’s or First Christian’s blessing box of food for the struggling.

“Our overall purpose is just to provide a fun, family friendly event for the Columbus community,” said Nancy Lewis, Connections minister at the church. “All of this really turned out to be very kid-oriented.”

There will be food trucks such as TaColumbus and JT’s Barbecue, Kona Ice, Miss Rachel’s Neat Treats, a firetruck for youngsters and others to see, free popcorn and some free YES Cinema tickets, games, a chance to win food from Chick-fil-A, bounce houses, large yard games, and a library children’s story time at 5:30 p.m.

Ideally, organizers hope this can become an annual event.

“I would like to see that,” Lewis said. “The planning has gone really, really well. For me personally, the success of it would be simply that people come and enjoy themselves.”

Lewis explained that, in the past, First Christian has hosted a fall kickoff event in its courtyard, but decided this year to expand the concept into a broad community-wide event.