Block Party-- 08/09/03

It was Block Party time again in Wakefield. (I live in the Town of South Kingstown, but the "urban core" (*snicker*) of the town is the village of Wakefield.)
They usually do this twice a year -- I expect there will be another one early in the fall -- just close down the longest block in the "downtown" shopping district on Main Street (this is what folks in the U.K. would call the High Street) and set up for a party. There are no side streets along the right side in this picture -- there is a town parking lot (free parking) behind most of those buildings and the Saugatucket River is behind the parking lot. There is a street coming in from the left just behind where I stood to take this picture, so they just set up some signs to block traffic from this section of Main St. and park a police car there with its lights flashing. The same thing is done a the next intersection, which comes about two or three buildings past that group of three story buildings you see in the center of the picture.

That odd looking thing on the right is a huge inflated pirate ship -- younger children can bounce around on its deck along with some inflated pirate figures. One of those booths just down the road past there was selling various toys and souvenirs; the big hit of the evening seemed to be Harry Potter-inspired wizard's hats with flashing lights on them. Reminisce -- a very popular Rhode Island band, specializing in oldies music, 1950's & 60's, lots of Beach Boys songs -- was playing in the middle of the block for listening and dancing enjoyment.

Food? Well, the local fire department selling hot dogs, hamburger, and cheeseburgers. The Mews Tavern had tables set up where they were selling sausage and pepper grinders (submarine sandwiches to you non-Rhode Islanders) and bowls of chilli as well as Sam Adams Summer Ale and lager. Those food options had been available last summer. New this summer was In Town Meat (butcher shop and deli) setting up a table to sell a more up-scale sandwich: grilled ribeye steak with horserelish, cheddar, and vidalia onion.

[When I wrote about a Wakefield block party last summer I mentioned that Nancy said that living here was like living in Mayberry RFD (in a very good sense) -- but then I commented that the fictional town Mayberry had been inspired by where Andy Griffith had grown up in rural Pennsylvania -- well, Wendy (as a good daughter of the South *grin*) quickly let me know that he had grown up in Mount Airy, North Carolina -- duh! I then realized that my brain had become confused by there being a Mount Airy in the Poconos region of Pennsylvania]

Nancy and I rode our bikes to the block party, using the South County Bike Path, which has now been continued from Peace Dale down through the center of Wakefield (although the "official" opening of the new section won't come until the fall). This meant, of course, that we also rode them back home. Although the bike path is not illuminated and we don't have headlights on our bikes, we were able to ride home comfortably enough thanks to the general glow of lighting plus a full moon (although somewhat obscured by clouds).

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