A group of teenagers invaded Main Street on Friday night to play games, listen to music and hang out with their friends courtesy of First Baptist Church and the Boys and Girls Club of Ardmore.
Youth pastor Jake Anson said the event, called Fifth Quarter, started out inside the church’s youth ministry building on Main Street. When the Boys and Girls Club relocated to a space across the street, he had the idea to close down that section of the road and open both buildings until midnight.
“After a football game, we wanted to gather everybody together here in the
community and just have fun,” Anson said. “Our hope is that more and more kids in the community come and have a good time. Our whole goal is to give kids a safe place to have fun on a Friday night. The coolest thing about this is that’s kids from every school.”
Ardmore Police Department agreed to block off a the section of Main between the two buildings. Music blasted while kids played basketball and nine-square outside and played video games and ate inside the Boys and Girls Club building.
Boys and Girls Club chief executive officer Misty Sanders said Dot Foods and Luv’s donated food.
“First Baptist approached us and we were all in,” Sanders said. “We always want to be a safe place, no matter the time of day or year. So to have a safe place at night time is huge. They’re coming from the game, they want to still hang out with their friends and to be able to offer that with tons of volunteers and free food and activities has been great.”
Sixth through 12th grade students from Ardmore and surrounding cities were invited to the event. Each kid received a ticket when they arrived, giving them access to the food and games and giving the organizers a headcount. Between 75 and 100 teenagers attended.
Ardmore Middle school students Josie Hensley and Tambra Hernandez said they came to Fifth Quarter to hang out with their friends.
“It’s pretty fun,” Hensley said. “This is my second time coming to this event. It gives us something to do, because really there’s not a lot of things to do here in Ardmore. It’s small. There’s the park, the library or the movies.”  
Hernandez said she’s met kids from Lone Grove, Plainview, Dickson and Fox at the event.
“They should do it more often,” Hernandez said.