I’ve made a tradition of attending the downtown Amherst Block party, and last night we kept it going, meeting up with family and friends at those round tables they park in the middle of North Pleasant St.
I am very fond of events that involve blocking out cars, since I think our culture is too wedded to parking, and cars and it was nice to see those giant yellow trucks blocking all the entrances as people strolled up the street.
So far I’ve been to very successful block parties in Turners Falls, Amherst, and Greenfield. And I did enjoy a fun jazz festival in Northampton last weekend.
But I hope that some day Northampton too, will close off their streets and bring food booths, acrobats and music into their town for a night.
As I walked down the street checking out the food, I ran into many people my age, and of course, a throng of UMass students and little kids too. That’s what is fun about the Amherst block party, you connect with people you haven’t seen, and everyone is just chilling enjoying the entertainment or munching on noodles or ice cream.
Even when it began raining, and people sought refuge under the eaves near Bart’s it didn’t dampen the spirit. I saw people walking in the rain and even dancing in the rain. It was all good! Block parties take a lot of work to organize but what better way to make a statement about a new Business Improvement District than to bring together so many businesses and customers?