Alan Pearson took his role as a volunteer for the downtown cleanup project by the Lehighton Downtown Initiative Committee very seriously.

While most of the other 16 or so participants picked up litter throughout the community, Pearson utilized a broom and swept the pathways in the Lower Park.

"We want to make this area look good," he remarked.

The cleanup had been scheduled as part of Earth Day, but rain postponed it for a week.

It occurred Sunday under sunny skies and pleasant temperatures.

Cleanup of litter wasn't the only thing happening.

Artist Maritza Reinbold of Lehighton was putting primer on park benches for an upcoming project.

She explained that a bench mural painting contest is planned in which artists and groups will be invited to paint murals on the benches.

The competition will be from May to September, with judging set for Oct. 6.

Individuals and groups wanting to participate should submit a draft of their mural to her at redhearts1313@yahoo.com.

She will review the drafts and then submit them for approval to Lehighton Borough Council.

"When tourists are attracted here, why not have murals or something?" Reinbold said. "We already have the benches. Artists will come and put the murals on and it's not costing the city anything. It's a good way to get the community together."

Besides the two downtown parks, the clean up crews picked up debris at the Community Grove, along Mahoning Street, along First Street in the downtown business district, and at other locations in the borough.

Todd Zimmerman, president of the Lehighton Downtown Initiative Committee, said the group's next event will be a Lehighton Community Days festival at the Community Grove on May 18-19. Featured will be carnival rides, vendors, and live entertainment.

As part of the Community Days, the third annual Amazing Lehighton Race will be held beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 19. The race features teams scanning the community and looking to solve clues they are given regarding the borough.

The teams compete for cash prizes.

For more information on the race, contact toddpzimmerman@yahoo.com.

LDIC also will be sponsoring the 14th annual Lehighton Bike Night on Saturday, Aug. 11, from noon to 8 p.m.