Block party planned for Mitton Village on Saturday

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Mitton Street in Sarnia’s Mitton Village is only open to pedestrians on Saturday, when a grassroots group holds its annual block party.

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Mitton Street in Sarnia’s Mitton Village is only open to pedestrians on Saturday, when a grassroots group holds its annual block party.

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Eight bands are playing, vendors line the street between Kathleen Avenue and Wellington Street, there are prizes and there’s a kids’ area with face painting, a dance party and water balloons, said Chrissy McRoberts, one of the Mitton Village organizers. Citizen Collective.

In its first year, the community party aimed at instilling pride and breathing life into the downtown-adjacent neighborhood drew perhaps 500 people, said McRoberts, owner of Dog Eat Dog.

“Last summer we crushed it,” she said. “There must have been around 3,000 people throughout the day coming out.”

Previous years have used sidewalks, she said, with musicians and artists in front of stores to lure people inside.

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Taking inspiration from downtown street closures for Sarnia’s First Friday and Weekend events, and the old downtown Artwalk Festival, the Mitton Village Block Party is adopting the street closure format this year, she said.

“Anything to draw people in, to know that Mitton Village is growing and getting vibrant.”

Vendors don’t have to be from the residential and business district, and everyone is welcome to come and watch the event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., she said.

A recently awarded $522,000 contract to Sev-Con Paving to redo the Mitton Street parking lot and add a park for public events, along with decorative concrete paving and new streetlights is another example of continued investment in the area, she said, as is a city’s Community Improvement Plan grant program for downtown and Mitton Village businesses.

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“I’m definitely thrilled” to see the evolution, she said.

The core group that includes six core members is working to keep the momentum going, McRoberts said, adding that she is also a member of the Mitton Village Community Development Advisory Committee, and one of nine municipal candidates for a seat. to Sarnia City/County Council in October 24 elections.

The collective is focused on building a strong community and reaching out to neighbors to help get them involved, she said, noting that there are longtime neighbors and also new families in the area.

Storefronts are lit at night to help people feel safe, and areas are free of debris, she said.

“We want more people to walk, we want neighbors to be neighbors,” she said.

“We want to rely on each other for communication, security and to encourage shopping in our own area of ​​Mitton Village, including the Farmer’s Market.

“We have to go back to spending more time with everyone here around you and then spending time driving your car somewhere else, in another city. We must support ours.

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