This Sunday, North Light Community Center will celebrate its 75th anniversary at the Friends of Gorgas Park’s annual harvest festival from 11 a.m. to 4.p.m. at Gorgas Park in Roxborough.
Over the years, the center has evolved from a drop-in center for boys to a multi-faceted community center for families residing in Manayunk, Roxborough, Andorra and Wissahickon. It provides services for families on a sliding pay-scale.
The birthday bash will be a family-friendly event with a moon bounce, hay rides, face paintings and scarecrow making. To commemorate the center’s history, guests are encouraged to play old-fashioned games like sack races and egg on the spoon contests.
Karen Smith, director of marketing and communications for North Light, said they wanted to highlight the activities that would have taken place in the center’s early years of operation. Some of the Villanova Wildcats will also be there to celebrate.
Suzanne Marinell, author and illustrator of “A River’s Year,” will also be in attendance alongside Anne Tetreault, author and owner of The Spiral Bookcase in Manayunk. Tetreault will be bringing books to read to the kids.
Juniors and seniors from Roxborough High School who participated in the center’s Teens for Good program will be selling fresh produce that they grew on a half-acre of land on the property of the Schuylkill Center for Environmental education.
Guests are asked to donate a non-perishable item for the food cupboard as a reminder that some families are still struggling to put food on the table.
Smith said this anniversary is just the beginning of a lifetime of years in the neighborhood.
“[We would like] to continue for another 75 years and with luck, we will be able to,” said Smith. “[We would like] to continue to provide quality year-round school-aged childcare, leadership and workforce development for teens and emergency needs and social support to families.”
In addition to anniversary activities, the Friends of Gorgas Park will also have things lined up for the attendees including music, food and prizes.