For the first time since its launch in 2017, Englewood's yearly Block Party, which drew thousands to the 3400 block of South Broadway last September, won't happen this year. City officials made the …
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For the first time since its launch in 2017, Englewood's yearly Block Party, which drew thousands to the 3400 block of South Broadway last September, won't happen this year.
City officials made the decision on Aug. 4 and pointed to current social gathering restrictions set by the state and the Tri-County Health Department as reasons why the outdoor event was canceled.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Colorado currently allows outdoor events of up to 175 people in an area if social distancing guidelines are followed.
Englewood's Block Party featured live music, food and local business booths last year. The city estimates that at least 6,000 residents attended the party that shut down the 3400 block of South Broadway on Sept. 28 of last year.
Chris Harguth, communications director for Englewood, said the city had not spent money on the 2020 Block Party, and no staff time has been spent planning the event.
“Special events can be a big part of a community's healing process. We're hopeful and excited that we can safely bring back the Englewood Block Party, as well as all of our events, in 2021,” Harguth said in an email. “This will of course be determined by the pandemic and any associated guidelines regulating special events.”
While the Block Party gave residents an opportunity to have fun and interact with neighbors, it also provided local businesses a platform to form relationships with the community.
Gallo Italian Supper Club and Bakery, a restaurant at 3470 S. Broadway, introduced itself to the community at the event last year by selling pizza by the slice, giving out samples and more. Brian Meadows, co-owner of the restaurant, said Gallo gained a large number of customers from the Block Party.
“It was a big day for us, probably one of the biggest days last year for us,” said Meadows.
“It's a great way for other communities and other cities to find out about the local spaces around here. There were times when people didn't know about us, and (the Block Party) was their first time seeing us and seeing what we can do,” he added. “It gave us great exposure to everybody in the community to have that event go on.”
Other community events like Littleton's Western Welcome Week Grand Parade have also been canceled this year due to the coronavirus. Earlier this year, Englewood was forced to cancel its annual Fourth of July celebration as well.
“(Canceling the Block Party) is simply the right decision. We must put all of our residents' health and safety at the forefront during this pandemic,” Englewood Mayor Linda Olson said in a statement to the Englewood Herald. “I hope we will have even more reason to celebrate at the Block Party in 2021 when we can say 'We did this!'”
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