It sounds like such a simple concept. Close down a section of the ‘main drag’ of a village, set up some tables, invite local business to serve food, offer a beer tent, and add people. Then party.
That is what North Dundas did in celebration of Canada 150, five times over. Morewood, South Mountain, Hallville, Chesterville and Winchester each partied like it was 2017.
It wasn’t just five separate villages partying, it was one municipality partying.
Week after week, the crowds increased. Residents from other villages in North Dundas joined in these inclusive events. By doing so they brought the whole township together.
Take the final event on August 2nd in Winchester. Area businesses were all set up on “Main Street”. There were inflatable bouncy castles for children. A live band played. Service clubs, like the Leos, helped out. The North Dundas fire department had equipment on display. There was a cash bar for adults.
This was an old-fashioned block party. It was extremely successful. North Dundas mayor Eric Duncan already announced that Meet Me on Main Street will be returning in 2018.
What makes this event stand out is that all municipal areas were included. Granted, every tiny hamlet and crossroads did not have its own Meet Me on Main Street, but five communities in five weeks did. Instead of all special events being centered on one community, they were spread out.
South Dundas has all of the potential to copy this success. Our businesses, service clubs and groups are already involved with many activities in our communities, but more exposure is always good.
It would be great to see a Main Street happen in Brinston, Williamsburg, Iroquois and Morrisburg. Perhaps we could add in Riverside Heights and Dundela too. South Dundas could even partner with North Dundas and share an event in Winchester Springs.
Oscar Wilde once wrote that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. In this case, South Dundas should absolutely imitate North Dundas.
A series of block parties could bring people together from around the municipality, simply and effectively.
So South Dundas, why not?