BY MARLYS WEAVER
GOSHEN -- Works by some of the county's younger artists were on display Friday night during Goshen's First Fridays and the kickoff for the annual Youth Art Hop.
This month's block party included the unveiling of more than 100 pieces of artwork from area students. The pieces will remain on display the rest of the month at downtown Goshen businesses.
This isn't the first time Jessica Rodes, a fourth-grade student at Chamberlain Elementary, has had her artwork on display, but she was glad to have it up for others to see.
"It's a white-tailed deer," she said. Her drawing was the result of an art class where her teacher played some instrumental music. The students were instructed to draw what the music made them think of.
Jessica almost had to create her piece of work twice. The family's dog, Cookie, nibbled the corner of her drawing but her dad caught the dog in the act before too much damage was done.
Friday evening, Jessica carried her certificate of participation around town. She said it was nice to have her work on display, but that she was also "kind of embarrassed."
Family members came out to see works by their children, nieces, nephews or grandchildren, First Fridays director Grace Hunsberger said, but this was also the warmest First Fridays yet this year.
"We think with the warm-up, people are getting spring fever," she said.
Michelle Huddleston, president of the Goshen Orchestra Boosters, said the change in weather would be changing its menu items too.
The group has been selling loaded baked potatoes the last few months to raise money for scholarships, private lessons, instruments, competition fees and more for the district's school orchestras. It also has been selling hot chocolate, but Huddleston said it's time to switch to water.
"There were a lot of people out," she said. "It was nice to see a lot of people, all ages."
The Boosters tent was outside a main hub of entertainment, the Goshen Theater.
Several musicians played there throughout the evening and Spacious Heart Yoga gave a yoga demonstration, but the performances paused for a half hour for an art awards ceremony for high school students in the Youth Art Hop.
Alyssa Rodes, a student at Fairfield High School, won best in show. First place went to Shina Park, a Bethany Christian High School student. Second place went to Riley Miller and third went to Mary Shipley, both Fairfield High School students. Crystal PieKunka, a Goshen High School student, and Rosalyn Miller, a Fairfield High School student, earned honorable mentions.
Elementary and middle school students all received certificates of participation.