Brainerd’s Block Party Celebrates a Sense of Community
“I think it’s what neighborhood living is all about,” said Martin Freeman, a resident of Brainerd for eleven years.
Great music and the smell of pulled pork filled the air in Gregory Park tonight as part of Brainerd’s 16th annual block party.
“Every year we get more and more people to come out, and word gets out,” Krista Soukup, the Block Party’s Organizer, said. “It’s just an awesome way to meet neighbors.”
The block party is hosted by the Brainerd Northside Neighborhood Association, a group that is important to the community.
“I think that neighborhood organizations are important to the whole city,” Soukup said. “Because you get to communicate and get that information from what’s important to neighbors, and we can reach out and talk to the people that represent us.”
Along with the food and music, local law enforcement was present to celebrate crime prevention in the area.
“We get a lot of positive feedback, but when you’re here, you’re mingling, and speaking to community members, you hear some things that you may not here when you’re out on patrol,” Troy Schreifels, Brainerd’s School Resource Officer, said. “So, it’s nice to get involved in these events, and you can follow up later on that stuff.”
Community members were also able to get an inside look into the firetruck that helps protect their community every day.
The event is especially important to new families that just moved to Brainerd.
“So, we specifically try to invite all the new neighbors to this party because it’s a great chance to know everybody, and see the heritage of our community, and make them feel welcome and a part of Brainerd,” Soukup said.
“We are used to being a community where you know everybody and everything,” Alisan Sandin, a one month old resident of Brainerd, said. “Now we are in a new community, so we are kind of getting a feel of it.”
In this day and age, it can be easy to lose that sense of community, which makes these events more important than ever.
“So many people work, and have such busy schedules, that you could live here for years and not know who lives across the street,” Freeman said.
The block party was a huge success as people connected with old friends and met new ones. The fact that so many people came to the block party says a lot about Brainerd as a community. The Brainerd Block Party will continue to grow as the community does, and will be back next year.