HARTFORD - The 14th Annual South Marshall Street Block Party was a little wet, but a great success nonetheless. The night started with rain and was brought to an abrupt end due to a torrential downpour, which was accompanied by pea-sized hail! Luckily for the guests, in between the two rain storms, the sun came out!
There was just enough time for everyone to enjoy the festivities, meet new people, and spend time with their neighbors. Games and activities could be found throughout the street, with plenty of food and drinks for everyone. There were tables with books and informational resources, as well as the Hartford Police Department and their off-road vehicle! There was also culturally diverse dance and musical performances that really got the crowd going.
“Even with the threat of severe weather, the community came together to show the residents of South Marshall Street how much they care!” said Lauren Fair, Director of Social Services for The Salvation Army of Greater Hartford Area Services.
As in past years, the most popular portion of the block party was the bike giveaway. This year, the bikes, as well as the helmets, were donated by Bikes for Kids. Each child who had their raffle number drawn won a bike and a helmet! For some children, these bikes are the first bikes they’ve ever owned.
Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin was on hand to welcome the crowd. He noted how the strength of the community is how culturally diverse it is and how wonderful it is to see neighbors come together for the night.
Aetna came through again this year providing the food for the Marshall House block party. The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services canteen, along with CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), served iced tea and water, and gave away plastic firefighter helmets for the children. Charter Oak Heath Center was also on hand to provide free health screenings for those in need. A special thanks to Hartford Police Officer Cesidio Palmieri (the Asylum Hill District's Community Service Officer) for loaning his personal grill for the night.
Although it was rather wet and ended sooner than expected, the night proved that when friends and neighbors are gathered together, nothing will damper spirits! A perfect example of this was the group of people who continued dancing in the streets, all while being pelted by heavy rainfall!