San Carlos experiments with a downtown block party


Audrey Boyce

People gather on the corner of Laurel Street as the event kicks off.

Audrey Boyce, Scot Scoop Editor

Laughter rings through the air as the sun shines brightly overhead, celebrating one last hurrah as the summer comes to an end.

On Sept. 8, the San Carlos community held its first-ever downtown block party, organized by the Chamber of Commerce.

“Councilmember Adam Rak came to the chamber with the idea of keeping the streets closed after a Farmers’ Market, having families get takeout food from the many downtown restaurants, and just enjoying a closed street with friends and neighbors,” said Tom Davids, director of the San Carlos Chamber of Commerce.

Before the event, an annual public safety meeting was held simultaneously with the Farmers’ Market, making it easier to keep the streets closed for the Block Party.

The event included music on the downtown stage, children’s games at the intersection of Cherry Street, a kids’ painting activity in front of Laurel Street Arts, and restaurants serving beer and wine in three locations.

A variety of restaurants located within the boundaries of the block party wanted to get involved. Some brought samples outside, while others created special dishes for the event.

“We got an invitation from the Chamber of Commerce notifying us of the event,” said Henry Eng, the owner of a new restaurant on Laurel Street, number5kitchen. “They wanted it to be family-oriented, so we made a family meal to-go that ties into our menu of seasonal local products.”

A local business, Clock Tower Music, hosted a live performance at Frank D. Harrington Park. As the musicians performed, people danced, sang along, and enjoyed the take-out food.

“I found out about this event on Facebook, but signs were put up all over the City advertising it. I came to hang out with friends and have a good time,” said Carrie Branch, an attendee of the event.

The turnout was relatively small, as the activities were limited compared to more established events such as the Art and Wine Festival; however, many are hopeful for the future of the event.

“We are keeping this first event very simple and will review after for future block parties. If the community enjoys this event, we will hold it again next year, maybe four or five times during the warmer months,” Davids said.

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