By Max Bowenfirstname.lastname@example.org
A North Attleborough mainstay was back for 2021, and the people turned out to enjoy a night of live music, food, and good company.
Approximately 1,500 people packed a closed-off section of North Washington Street for the North Attleborough Block Party on Wednesday, Oct. 13. The event was run by a collaborative group of business owners and volunteers led by Town Councilor Annie Slobogan. Slobogan was quick to credit the team she worked with—Rachel Weiss, Joy Tate, Toni Klopfenstein, Caitlin O’Donnell, Tracey McGill, Sarah Stone, Lisa Deck, and Bob K Sound. She said the idea for the block party had been in her mind for a couple of years, and it was over the summer that planning began.
“It was a passion project of mine,” said Slobogan. “We often asked online what people wanted to do and 9 times out of 10 people said they wanted a block party. Everyone worked so seamlessly together and after the two years we felt it was the thing to do.”
Slobogan added that everyone at the party had positive feedback, many grateful that the event could be back. A similar one was run by the Downtown Associates of North Attleborough until around 2013. Planning is already underway for next year’s party, slated to be held in late September.
“If you could see my face, it couldn’t grin any more,” she said.
One feature of the event was the Stuff A Cruiser food drive run by the North Attleborough Food Access Collaborative, a partnership between Lenore’s Pantry, Our Open Umbrella, and Hockomock YMCA. People stopped by to make food donations that were placed in an NAPD vehicle. Our Open Umbrella founder Sarah Stone expressed gratitude for the many people who volunteered their time.
“It’s great that North Attleborough comes together after a year of craziness,” she said.
Stone said there was concern over the weather cooperating, but the skies were clear all day, with the autumn chill making for an enjoyable evening. Stone said the event has a history in North Attleborough, and it was good to bring it back and showcase the downtown area. She hopes that long-term, those attending the party would continue to patronize the businesses.
“It showcases how amazing they (the businesses) are,” she said.
Business owners such as Mackie’s Restaurant, Striking Beauties, and Los Antojitos set up tables that saw long lines all evening. The North Attleborough Soccer Club, Mastery Martial Arts, and Rozeworks were among the many vendors with tents up and down the street. There were a number of live music options, including a performance from the School of Rock in Attleboro.
Families lined up outside the Regal Princess Parties tent so their children could get a photo taken with a cosplayer dressed as Elsa, followed by face-painting. Rochelle DeForest said being there reminded them of past years when the party was around.
“It brings back memories,” she said.
A popular site during the party was dozens of classic and contemporary cars which lined both sides of North Washington. Fred Munsen sat next to his 2015 Corvette, a deep red that shined in the lamplight. He joked that he bought it because the classic Corvettes don’t do well on Massachusetts roads. Munsen said that he’s driven them since he was a kid and has his current model often on the road.
“We do as much driving as we can,” said Munsen, adding that he regularly attends car shows at the Elks Lodge and Gilette Stadium.
As the night wore on, crowds remained strong, enjoying the food and the opportunity to connect once again. Beth (last name withheld at request) said the event was a regular part of summer in North Attleborough. She said seeing all the different kinds of entertainment was great, but she also enjoyed the chance to see friends once more.
“It’s just nice to see everyone,” she said. “Especially after everything we’ve been through.”