Frank Potoczak, owner of the Castle Grill in Lehighton, has assumed the presidency of the Lehighton Downtown Initiative Committee (LDIC).

Potoczak had been vice president. He succeeds Todd Zimmerman, who resigned as president last month.

The vice presidency is currently vacant. Other officers are Georgia Traupman, secretary, and Potoczak, acting treasurer.

Potoczak said one of his main priorities is looking for new members. "We're looking for new people to get involved."

The LDIC is the sponsor of Lehighton Bike Night, which is scheduled for Aug. 11 at the Lehighton Park, and a Fall Festival, which will be held in October.

One of the highlights of the Fall Festival will be the judging for painted park benches. Artists were invited to paint scenery or decorations on park benches in the Lehighton Park.

There also will be events involving pumpkins and scarecrows at the festival.

This is the 14th annual Lehighton Bike Night. "This is one of Lehighton's biggest events," said Potoczak.

Bike Night attracts hundreds of motorcyclists. There also is live entertainment, competitive events, judging of bikes, and the blessing of the vehicles.

The blessing of the bikes will occur throughout the day.

Many churches and other non-profit organizations will have stands at Bike Night and raise funds for their respective organizations, the LDIC president said.

Potoczak said volunteers are needed to help the LDIC at Bike Night. Anyone who can assist should phone him at 484-357-6549.

A memorial paver project around the fountain in the Lower Lehighton Park is also a project of LDIC. More information is available on LDIC's Web site, at experiencelehighton.com.

Potoczak said, speaking as the LDIC president, "What I'd like to see as a small business owner is more small businesses involved. They can't just sit on the sideline waiting for someone to get involved. There are a lot of opportunities in Lehighton. I see them everywhere. We need to be pro-active."

One of his goals is to utilize the Lehighton Park Band Shell more often.

"I feel people interested in playing music could utilize the resources the borough has," he said.

Anyone with ideas or recommendations should call Frank at his cell number or e mail him at frank@experiencelehighton.com [1].

Potoczak said the group already is thinking about a community festival next year. The first such festival was held on June 1 "and it was a success," he said. "We had a lot of the community come out for rides, food."

The new LDIC president moved to the Lehighton area 17 years ago. He said he would come up with his parents, who owned property in the Lehighton area, since 1981.

He initially opened a firm called Secure Technologies.

He opened Castle Grill three years ago.

Potoczak also has organized a weekly farmers' market along Sgt. Stanley Hoffman Boulevard, Route 209, each Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. He plans to have the farmers' market each week through the end of October.

Later in the year, he is planning to use the same site of the farmers' market for a Christmas related setup, including trees and sleigh rides.