Cheshire Block Parties Are Four Years Strong
CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Cheshire Community Association is in its fourth year of hosting block parties and the group hopes the event remains a rallying point for Cheshire pride.
Rainy weather didn’t stop the eighth Cheshire Block Party on Wednesday and residents found cover in the St. Mary’s Church Hall.
"It has only grown, and it has become a tradition in the community and people really look forward to it," John Tremblay of the association said. "It has become an event where people know they are going to see their friends and it really builds community. That has been our goal."
Since July 2015, the community group has held two block parties each summer in what is considered the small town's downtown area around Town Hall. The block parties feature food vendors, live music, crafters and other activities.
Tremblay recalled the first block party, which he admitted was a little touch and go at first.
"At 6, we were down by Town Hall and there was one person there sitting in a chair," he said. "I was a little worried because when you hold these kinds of events for the first time you never know but within 20 minutes there were probably 150 people there. We started the music and it was like the Pied Piper.
Ever since then the event has been growing and the Cheshire Community Association has secured Massachusetts Cultural Council grants to enhance it.
The association was the first group of its kind in the town’s recent history and its members have inspired other groups to form, such as the Cheshire Community Action Team and the 225 Anniversary Committee.
"We really have generated momentum and it is empowering other people to do similar things," he said.
Tremblay said unlike other events such as the Cheshire Cheese Fest that focuses on bringing people into town, the block parties are really for the people of Cheshire.
"This is a very local event and it is very community-centric," he said. "We love to have people visit from other communities, but this is really for local people, local businesses and local crafters… we really want to support them."
Tremblay added that the block parties are another way to show that they are "Cheshire Proud."
"It is really about the pride in our community and there has always been a lot of pride in this community and events like this give us a chance to really show it," he said.
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