Harrisburg expands Kipona festival

With a basketball in hand, Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse announced changes to next weekend’s Kipona festival.

Papenfuse said the closure of Front Street has been expanded to Forster Street beginning next Friday morning so that Harlem Globetrotter and Harrisburg native Chris “Handles” Franklin can host the festival’s first 3-on-3 basketball tournament.

Papenfuse passed the ball to Franklin, who did tricks as only a true Globetrotter can before announcing all proceeds from the event will help revitalize city parks.

Franklin said the tournament will take place along Front Street next Saturday and Sunday with multiple age categories. He said teams of three or four will cost $80 and teams of five will be $100. Registration can be found online at www.ultimatespincamp.org or at Kline Plaza.

Another tournament will be the double-dutch jump rope competition, which is free to anyone who enters. Registration can be found on City Island near the Ford tent.

The Pride of the Susquehanna riverboat will boast a beer and wine tasting dubbed the “Paddle Wheel.”

Last month, the mayor said the majority of the events would take place on City Island and a few vendors would set up in Riverfront Park.

Many of the traditional Kipona celebrations will continue. Papenfuse said he has been invited to dress in Native American garb and participate in a pow-wow on City Island beginning next Saturday at 10:30 a.m.

A free concert will be offered at the City Islanders soccer stadium starting at 5 p.m., but you must bring blankets or chairs.

Free parking will be available all weekend on City Island and at the River Street garage, and meters will be free on Sunday and Monday.

“Hopefully, we’ve gotten the word out. Hopefully, you’re incredibly excited. Now you know about some new things that we didn’t know about when we had our press conference a month ago,” Papenfuse said. “You see that’s it’s really turned into something special. We’re going to have a great weekend. I look forward to seeing you all there.”

For more information, visit stayandplayhbg.com/.

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