The weather was warm and sunny on June 9th, 2018—a perfect day for our 3rd annual summer block party in the Northwest
neighborhood of Rutland, VT. Arriving very early to help out, Mandala House volunteers literally swept the street with local resident and sculptor Nick Santoro and helped arriving vendors set up their canopies and tables.
There were 25 local organizations that tabled the event and brought the real fun to this block party, from Wonderfeet’s big blue building blocks to Stafford Technical Center and Dismas House face painting; there were tons of kid-friendly activities to be enjoyed. A special highlight was Doug the “It’s Magic!” magician walking around showing off his magic skills on the street before returning to his canopy to perform a magic show for all ages.
For the adults, raffle prizes were awarded every half hour, including some beautiful flower baskets from Blossoms N’ More, that Baxter Street residents were happy to receive and display outside their homes. Throughout the event, Southwestern Vermont Council on Aging proudly volunteered to serve over 400 hotdogs and hamburgers to participants, as well as some much-needed ice cream on such a warm and sunny day.
With some rough stats, it was determined that approximately 400-430 individuals came out to celebrate NeighborWorks Week with us. The farthest someone traveled to Rutland for this festival was approximately 30 miles from Ludlow! Word spread fast over Facebook, through flyers, the Rutland Herald, and general word of mouth.
This wonderful afternoon could not have happened without the help and donations of our generous sponsors: NeighborWorks America, Southwestern Vermont Council on Aging, Rutland County Solid Waste District, Rutland Rec, McDonald’s, McKenzie Country Classics, Jean’s Kickin’ Karaoke & DJ, Keyser Energy, Freihofer’s, State of Vermont Division of Fire Safety, Rutland City Police Department, and the Rutland Fire Department.
Our amazing vendors this year included: Rutland Rec, Bettie O’s/Art is Vital, Rutland County Solid Waste, Wonderfeet, Dismas House, BROC, Department of Labor, Habitat for Humanity, Youthful Creations and Everyday Chef, Rutland Free Library, NewStory Center, Stafford Technical Center, Homeless Prevention Center, Red Cross, 2-1-1, Relay for Life, VSECU, Starbase, and the State of Vermont Division of Fire Safety with their safety trailer.