Thursday, September 18, 2014

Block Party: Bingo

 North Pleasant Street mobbed by pedestrians

If only town gown interactions could always be this cordial.

 Now that's what you call a blockade

The 3rd Annual Block Party put on by the Business Improvment District with lots of help from the town (Police, Fire and DPW) drew an intergenerational crowd of thousands to the heart of downtown Amherst, to amble safely down the center of a normally busy road, ignore the traffic lights and breath the fresh clean air.

 Judie and her iconic popovers

Starting at 5:00 PM, an hour earlier than the last two years seemed to help draw families, perhaps using it as a good excuse to eat out on a school night, as the food concession stands were doing a brisk business.

 Black Sheep Deli drew a happy crowd

The dunk tank -- raising money for charity -- made a big splash:

Building Inspector Jon Thompson takes a dip
Dr. Kate Atkinson exuberantly hits the icy water

Stilt lady towers above the crowd

Portable lights would turn night into day 

AFD moved 2 ambulances and Engine 1 to the DPW one mile away to avoid congestion in front of Central Station town center


Marquis Hunt said...

Funny, no craziness, no comments. Wish I wasn't working to enjoy the event. Heard it was a great time.

Shout out to Outer Stylie for headlining the music tonight. Larry, you need to write about them more. Great band making waves in Western Mass.

Anonymous said...

Better idea than the town fair as it helps our local businesses!

Anonymous said...

What a fabulous event! Our family can't wait until next year!

Anonymous said...

Thought that might be you flying the drone - the fire department folks weren't too happy about it!

Anonymous said...

Glad to see lots of students there! And sober too!

Anonymous said...

Oooooh you can see up buidling inspector's Jon Thompson's shorts!

Anonymous said...

Hats off to the BID for making it happen!

Anonymous said...

too bad the SC didn't wait for the MCAS results before giving out the big raise to our superintendent. It is not a pretty picture across most of our schools (a lot of declining achievement) and some results are plain shameful.

Anonymous said...

How about staying on topic? Sheesh!

Anonymous said...

Seems like a nice event, but not a block party, this is a town party. A block party is when private individuals in a neighborhood have a party and invite neighbors. This is very different than a town and police supported and run (af)fair.

Typical locally though, try and take a nice informal tradition and make it official by allowing your local deciders to run it (because W. Mass people outside of govt can't really handle anything on their own anymore). We (ignorantly) know that local traditions have to be codified now by govt to be acceptable and profitable these days...otherwise chaos would dominate.

Remember the good old days (or simply other communities outside of W. Mass) where things happen organically vs. with endless govt planning. Where they still have block parties and the police don't harass them for blocking the street without a permit.

Funny how all the things that make communities great come from the private sector and then are taken over by the public sector, like they take everything else they want, including the economy.

FYI, the Blowout was more of a block party, kind of ironic.