Block Party in McCauley: A Sundae Sunday
So what is a block party anyway? It’s a gathering of neighbours to get to know each other. In this case a little ice Cream was the magnet that brought us all together. What could be sweeter than an ice cream party in the middle of a summer afternoon? This one happened on August 17 in the alley between 109A and 110 Avenues – the extension of 94 Street across the back of Caboto Park.
It was an idea based on a get together I organized a couple of decades ago. This one was very co-operative – everyone had to bring an ice cream topping, and a chair, a bowl, and a spoon for each member of their family. We asked also for people with folding tables and coolers to bring those along too. The ice creams and ice were provided through a Small Sparks Grant (up to $250) from McCauley Revitalization. Save-On Foods also donated some of our ice cream and ice. We applied to the Traffic Department for a permit to close down a block of our common side alley linking 109A with 110 Avenues, which cost $100 for barricades. The rest was easy – just come and enjoy making an ice cream sundae on a warm Sunday afternoon, and get to know your neighbours. As the planning grew, people volunteered to help in various ways: a lemonade stand, games, performing, a croquet set, and coolers.
I had made 130 invitations and left them at all houses along three avenues: 109A, 110, and 110A, plus 92 Street. I was surprised how many houses there were on these three streets. We had no idea how many people to expect. Around 90 people showed up (including Councillor Scott McKeen) and some neighbours even provided music! Thanks to everyone who participated in making the FUN happen!
And by the way, anyone in McCauley can apply for a Small Sparks Grant through Revitalization – info is on the City website under the Great Neighbourhoods office, or call Jane Molstad at (780) 496-6887 for more info. The whole purpose of the grant is to get people together to improve the community.