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On September 17, 2017 the residents of Innis Place in Keremeos, BC held a wonderful Block Party so that we could get to know all our neighbours a little better.
We also invited the neighbours of the recently developed residences on the lane to the west of Innis Place and adjacent to the RCMP office.
This meet and greet was held with the financial help of the Community Foundation of South Okanagan/Similkameen through their Neighbourhood Small Grants Program. Several residents were unaware that such an organization existed and were very impressed that the Neighbourhood Small Grants program was available. We were able to provide them with information and there were also brochures available that provided information on community services available in our community and in the RDOS area.
Our day started around 1PM and it didn’t take long for most of those attending to appear on the street. As we live on a cul-de-sac, we were able to keep traffic limited to only local residents and their visitors.
There were approximately forty five people in attendance which included nine children. The day began with neighbours greeting each other and setting up their chairs on the street. Several games were set up for both the children and adults to use and the children made use of the ladder ball and ring toss games. The younger children took part in the egg-on-the-spoon races and several of them showed their ability to balance their egg on the spoon with finesse.
A highlight of the day was that the ice cream ball was used by the kids. It is a ball that is filled on one side with rock salt and ice and the other side is filled with cream and flavoring. The kids kicked and chased the ball for a total of twenty minutes and then the cream side of the ball was opened and very delicious ice cream was spooned into ice cream cones.
We had the honour of a representative of the Keremeos Detachment of the RCMP attend and mingle with the neighbours. Also a member of the local ambulance attended as he is also a resident of the new development along with his partner for the day, the local unit chief. This allowed everyone to get to know our police and emergency representatives.
Overall it was a great afternoon and talk soon took the direction of “We must do this again next year” and “Let’s get together on the street to welcome in the New Year.”
The group of neighbours who initiated this idea, namely Beverley & Leroy, Greg & Joanne, and Sonja & Carroll worked diligently to see that the project was successful and were very pleased with the response of all the neighbours who supported the idea and came out to participate.
We used much of the funds provided and now that we have had the experience of putting this together, we will be able to do this again without Community Foundation funding. We are very grateful to Community Foundation South Okanagan/Similkameen for their help in getting our neighbours out in the neighbourhood and everyone feeling that their street is a safe and friendly place to live and share.