Neighborhood group holding eighth annual block party

Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Gerald Jones serves up hot dogs outside the Christ Episcopal Church during the Neighborhood Connections Block Party on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2007, on the 100 block of North Fountain Street. (Aaron Eisenhauer)

Neighborhood Connections, the local neighborhood watch group for the area around May Greene Garden Park, will host its eighth annual Block Party from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The Block Party and picnic will be held at May Greene Garden Park and on Fountain Street between Broadway and Themis Street.

The Rev. Bob Towner of Christ Episcopal Church, which is near the garden, said he expects hundreds of friends and neighbors to enjoy a beautiful fall day, in a festive and relaxed atmosphere.

Joan Jones, a group member, said the group started having the block party eight years ago because they "needed neighbors to come out and meet each other."

Thanks to local businesses, the party is a free event. According to Towner, many local restaurants will be donating food specialties, and hundreds of hot dogs from Schnucks will be grilled.

Jones said children will be able to enjoy pony rides, a clown, a fire engine, face painting and chalk drawing. There will also be a basketball clinic held in the nearby Fountain House parking lot. In addition, free children's books will be given out. The books have been donated by Beth Shaw, a resident of California and daughter of Bill and Marion Green of Cape Girardeau also members of the neighborhood watch group.

There will be live music performed by Joey Parent and the Cape Girardeau Police Department's Dare car "boom box" will offer street dancing. Special guest Tracker from the Southeast Missourian will be there as well. The first 300 families will be offered a week's worth of free groceries from the Southeast Missouri Food Bank. This is made possible by co-sponsors Christ Episcopal Church -- The Red Door and 1st Security Bank. The free food will be distributed behind Christ Episcopal Church.

The Neighborhood Connections has been in existence for about nine years now and is a local neighborhood watch group which is dedicated to keeping the area safe, beautiful and diverse where people can walk safely and enjoy their neighbors.

Jones said it is "neighbors looking after neighbors." According to Jones, the group started because there was a "need in Cape Girardeau to look after things to make Cape Girardeau a safer, great place to live." The group is there to help the police and fire departments. At their meetings they work with the residents on problems. Cpl. Ike Hammonds is the police department liaison who has been with the group from the start.

The group is open to all and meets on the third Thursday of the month. Anyone who lives, works or prays in about a four-block radius of May Greene Park are encouraged to sign up to be a part of the organization and will be able to do so at the party Saturday.

Any local church, service organization or retail store within this area that would like to may set up a table if they first call the church at 335-2997 by noon Thursday to reserve a space.

Map of pertinent addresses

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