My coworker (and all-around super citizen) Deborah and I headed to Heat Up the Ave: 2011 Safe Streets and Night Market after work on Wednesday. The original date in June had been rained out, so the rescheduled event made sure to have an indoor component in case of inclement weather (and, sadly for me, also meant the horse and buggy ride had to be cancelled). That turned out not to be necessary – yesterday was a gloriously hot summer night.
Heat Up the Ave
I’ve written before about my love of block parties – I think they provide fantastic opportunities for neighbours to meet and connect, especially vital for distressed and at-risk communities. In Central McDougall/Queen Mary Park, these informal gatherings have been used as a part of its revitalization strategy (Safe Streets was first held in June of last year, and the Night Market in August). As someone who works in Central McDougall, I am rooting for these initiatives to achieve their goals!
The Queen Mary Park Community Hall parking lot had been overtaken by tents featuring vendors, local businesses, non-profit organizations, and the Edmonton Police Service.
Deborah bought some bannock from the Creating Hope Society
Heat Up the Ave souvenir!
Live entertainment also helped set the tone, and I’m sure the music could be heard far down the street (that’s how block parties should be!).
It was great that a singer from Sudan was featured as well!
The community league and City of Edmonton had set up shop inside the hall, but it was clear the party was outside.
Inside the Hall
It was the perfect location for such a hot day, as a playground and spray park next to the hall were drawing many families to the area anyway. With face painting, a jumpy castle and hot dogs, kids were having a great time!
Queen Mary Park
The crowd was modest (though apparently we missed the biggest rush closer to the start of the event), but this event seemed better attended than the two last year. It was great to run into many familiar faces, and meet new ones too!
Central McDougall will be hosting a similar event in September – here’s hoping it will be even bigger and better!