Downtown Block Party 2014
Oct 28 - mkamplain
D. Gary Davis
Time. If we are fortunate enough to be given the gift of life each of us are given the same 24 hours, 1440 minutes and 86,400 seconds to use as we see fit. Some use this opportunity to find ways to be helpful, assist those in need and pursue activities that if and when completed contribute to a better environment for those who may follow after them. Some use this same opportunity to find ways to complain contribute to strife, produce negativity and division as a hallmark of their existence.
This Friday we get to celebrate the 27th anniversary of the idea and existence of our local community’s Block Party. Like many communities from more than a generation ago ours found itself with an opportunity or a dilemma and I am very glad they chose the opportunity. Many of our citizens saw the need and opportunity to provide a safe and secure location for both parents and children to enjoy a time of fellowship and community during the Halloween time of year. Not only were they correct, they also started a tradition of excellence that continues to expand and contribute to the enjoyment of those who participate. In 1987 the Cleveland Police Department started handing out candy to ensure that children and parents knew that it was safe for them to consume. At the same time Centenary Avenue residents became active in providing entertainment and candy for those who visited their region of downtown. These events merged in 1990 and have continued to grow. With the Cleveland Police and Bradley County Sheriff’s personnel working together to ensure safety, this year 20,000 people are expected to attend the Block Party. The generosity of donations and sponsors (some of whom have been a part of this event since day one) will ensure that from 6 – 9pm 10,000 large bags of candy will be distributed; costume contests, Karaoke, three entertainment groups as well as Tall Betsy are scheduled to appear.
Multiple venues continue to be added, local and regional vendors now call our Block Party part of their community service. Area residents and businesses also participate in the efforts to extend their welcome to those who choose to visit what is now known as the MainStreet Cleveland Block Party. If you choose to visit this event, stay in your own neighborhood, visit one of the many Churches who may offer another alternative, please keep some ideas and suggestions on the forefront of your memory as you strive to protect yourself and your family.
1) Choose costumes, for children especially, in bright colors to help make them visible in lower light conditions.
2) Make sure that vision is not decreased in anyway by your family’s choice of costumes.
3) Keep together as a group to ensure that all can return home just as safe as when leaving for your events.
4) Use moderation in consuming the vast quantities of sweets and candies that may be received.
5) If not at a "pre screened” event please check candy and treats before allowing children to partake of their foodstuffs.
6) Be considerate of those whom you visit and think of how you would want to be treated as well.
7) Be kind to one another.
We appreciate those who chose to be responsible for their actions and have worked together to leave a legacy and a plan for us as a community to follow not only during this season and the Block Party. May we also choose to use our time to not only ensure the continuation of this event but to also work to ensure ALL of our holiday festivities are safe, entertaining and contribute to enriching and strengthening the fabric of our community. In doing so we not only provide activities for today we lay the groundwork for a successful and prosperous future as well. This choice of how we use our time is yet another reason that Bradley County is Tennessee at its best.
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