Elmira is known as a friendly place, but the area around Hampton Street will be a little extra sociable today (Saturday) as residents gather for the annual Hampton Street Block Party. This will be the eighth year that the community has gotten together for good food and good conversation.
Typically drawing anywhere between 40 and 100 people, the block party at 32 Hampton St. welcomes all people in the area, young or old, to come out and meet their neighbours.
“The trouble with neighbourhoods now is that you may know your neighbours on either side of your house, or maybe a couple houses down but other than that, who do you know? We think the kids need to know more people than just their parents,” explained organizer Randy Smith.
The event kicks off at about 5 p.m. and includes a BBQ, a 50/50 draw – proceeds from which are donated to the Woolwich Counselling Centre – and movies for the kids in the evening. Smith said they also ask people to bring some non-perishable food items that they later donate to a food bank.
Noting the community has a noticeably different feel from the Toronto-area home where he grew up, Smith said he he hopes the event will continue to reflect Elmira’s small-town charm in the years to come.
“This is our neighbourhood. Neighbourhood Watch is not nearly as important as it is to actually know your neighbours, wave to them on the street and develop friendships.”