Market event entertainment includes Chrome Hearts

A family-friendly event with arts, food, music and other entertainment is on tap for the first-ever Downtown Night Market at and around Heritage Plaza from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 11.

“We want it to be a really nice, warm event for people to come out and start enjoying downtown,” said Candy Holliday, event marketing manager for the Altoona Mirror, one of the sponsors. “A lot of new businesses have opened in downtown – or relocated there – recently, and the Downtown Night Market is a good way to showcase them.”

For example, Bombshell Vintiques has opened in the former McIntyre Candies building and Railroad City Brewing Co. is in the process of relocating downtown, but it will not be open in time for the event. Because children are encouraged to attend, along with the solemnity of the date, alcoholic beverages will not be a part of the event, Holliday said. Other new stores include Diversity Salon & Spa and Circa Squared.

“We’re hoping families will come out and have fun,” Holliday said.

She noted that in true block-party style, 11th Avenue between 13th and 15th streets will be blocked off for the event. Vendors will be on hand to provide a variety of food, as well as art, crafts, flowers, gifts and other items for sale.

The entertainment will include the Jockular Juggler, as well as baton twirlers and dancers. The Chrome Hearts of Hollidaysburg will also perform.

The Chrome Hearts provides a variety of music genres, including classic to modern country, classic rock as well as blues, said Stephanie Onkst, vocalist with the band. Its music features artists such as Johnny and June, Dwight Yoakam, Miranda Lambert, the Rolling Stones, the Eagles, Eric Clapton, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Gretchen Wilson, Little Big Town and more.

“In short, we’re a country rock blues band, adding in our originals one song at a time,” Onkst said.

The five members of the band have years of experience “gigging” in the region.

“We pay attention to the audience we are playing to and try our best to incorporate songs we think they may like or songs that they’ve requested,” Onkst said. “We play music because we truly love to perform.”

She said the band is proud that it is a top-five finalist so far in the Altoona Mirror Hometown Favorites Contest after forming less than two years ago.

“We are very excited to become part of this event,” Onkst added.