On the afternoon of Sunday, September 10th, 4th Street between 4th Ave and 5th Ave became fun Street! Over 80 folks gathered to enjoy potluck recipes and tasty treats to complement slow-roasted beef brisket and hotdogs served by the organizers. When folks were not chatting, they engaged in games that ran five houses long, including corn hole, street hockey, soccer, bubble hockey, and giant Jenga. Our kids area offered bubbles, temporary tattoos, a playhouse, kids crafts, toys and bouncy fun.
A highlight of the event was the live musicians Midnight Honey, a local ukulele duo whose sweet tunes filled the Street. Kids danced, adults sang along and their sound drew folks out from two streets over! Fresh popcorn and ice cream cones were served to all. As the sun set, neighbours and friends shared their appreciation for the opportunity to gather as a community and meet new neighbours and say hello to familiar ones.
The event was planned by a committee of neighbours who wanted to get to know the Street after COVID. Both had moved in during the pandemic and had found it difficult to connect with the community. They advertised the event with a small flyer that they handed out to the surrounding area – made easy by sizing it like a photograph for colour printing at London Drugs Photo Lab!
The permit and insurance were secured online and were relatively easy to process – thanks to our project lead for her insurance leads. With the committee’s event planning background, the event execution went smoothly and was enjoyed by all. The biggest takeaway would be while people may not always be able to help in the planning, they are always up to join an event that brings people together and celebrates community. Start small and grow your event year after year. Plus, think about who will attend and consider their needs to ensure you have food and entertainment for all.