Are you ready to party, Nashua? Here’s your invitationBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent September 19. 2013 9:08PM
NASHUA — On Saturday, all city residents are being invited to attend one of four block parties taking place simultaneously throughout Nashua.
The city’s inaugural Nashua Block Party will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. at four different sites, an event organized by the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce, the Nashua Police Athletic League, NeighborWorks Southern New Hampshire, Gate City Community Gardens, local officials and the city.
The brainchild of Chris Williams and Chris Malloy, the block party is designed to bring families together in a traditional neighborhood setting while also promoting community kindness, good food and local entertainment.
“We have purchased enough food to feed about 300 people at each location. Hopefully we will be close to that for participation,” said Williams, president of the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce.
Local restaurants will be providing food for the parties, while city bands and other entertainers will also be on hand. Games for children and other fun activities are being planned to help make the event fun for people of all ages, according to organizers.
“This is intended to bring back the feeling of community that often gets broken down,” said Alderman Diane Sheehan, Ward 3. “This is an ideal time to celebrate what is being done well in the city.”
Citizens are being encouraged to attend the block party closest to their residence, and if they have extra time to also stop by a second block party in the city.
The four parties are being held at: Atherton Park, 10 Atherton Ave., for residents who live in the city’s north end, French Hill or Thoreau’s Landing; Kirkpatrick’s Park, 22 Shady Lane, for residents who live between exits one and four; Nashua Police Athletic League, 52 Ash St., for residents who live in the Tree Streets area; and Nashua High School North, 10 Chuck Druding Drive, for residents who live elsewhere in the city.Organizers have had a great response from entertainers, including local magicians, youth theater groups and karate students who have offered to provide free entertainment.
“Come out, meet people that are local to your neighborhood and don’t spend any money in the process. This is about spending some family time without hitting your pocketbook,” said Sheehan, adding live music from a local guitarist and renowned saxophone player will be on hand at Atherton Park, along with kickball games, face-painting and a bike race.
Organizers are hopeful that individual neighborhoods will soon plan their own smaller block parties after attending Saturday’s citywide event.
To help streamline that process, block party kits will be distributed that outline how to organize a neighborhood block party, what type of permits are necessary and who to contact in the city to move the process forward.
The city has offered to help with the event, agreeing to fund $4,000 of the $10,000 budget for the event. Four of the major sponsors are Pennichuck Corp., Saint Joseph’s Healthcare, the John J. Flatley Co. and Nashua Wallpaper.
The rain date for the block party is Sept. 27. For updates on the event, visit www.nashuablockparty.com.