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Innisfail’s celebrated block party achieves a milestone

Residents of 46A Street Crescent gather to eat, sing and meet the ‘alley cats’

INNISFAIL – Leaving out a couple of years that was missed because of the pandemic, residents of 46A Street Crescent have proudly celebrated a decade of neighbourhood pride.

During the afternoon of June 1, about 50 residents gathered in the neighbourhood green space for their 10th annual Block Party.

And better still was that Mother Nature’s temperamental weather behaved for the entire event.

The Block Party at 46A Street Crescent, which officially went from 3 to 6 p.m., offered plenty of music, laughter, great food and neighbourly visiting.

“We affectionately call ourselves the street people and we invite the folks from across the alley to join us, and we also affectionately call them the alley cats,” said resident Murray Cameron, who is also known in town and the region for his fiddling prowess and being music director of the Foothills Centennial Fiddlers.

Cameron said the event started 10 years ago when town employee Jack Hill was a “mover and shaker” on his street.

Since Hill’s passing in 2019 a core group have kept up the tradition, he added.

And like the theme song for the hit television show Cheers, 46A Street Crescent is not only a place where everybody knows your name its where “they're always glad you came.”

The Block Party invite to the alley cats was proof of that.

“This has become a remarkable street where everyone now knows everyone,” said Cameron. “They help their neighbours with snow removal, and grass cutting and more than 20 meet at the legion for coffee each week. Everyone waves and says hi.”

As for the annual Block Party, Cameron said “most everyone pitches in” to not only make it “happen” but to ensure it’s successful in every way.

 “Around noon the tents, tables, sound system and set up volunteers showed up and by three o’clock our little green space by the mail boxes is full of hungry, happy people,” said Cameron.

He said this year’s Block Party also benefited from the generous support of Paul's No Frills, Innisfail Dairy Queen and the Central Alberta Co-op in Innisfail to ensure there was enough food for everyone.

As well, many residents brought supporting entrees and desserts, said Cameron, adding Rev. Dan Daley attended to offer spiritual words of wisdom and a blessing for the meal.

However, Cameron’s attendance was not just for a taste of the fine food.

He had his fiddle, and with block resident Barry Lloyd at the keyboards, they entertained an appreciative audience with plenty of old time music that many were only too happy to sing along to.

Cameron also led the Foothills Centennial Fiddlers for its last Thursday afternoon Olde Tyme Country Dance at the Innisfail Royal Canadian Legion Branch #104 on Thursday, June 13.

He is also putting together some music for local artist Karen Scarlett’s Heritage Crochet installation at the Innisfail & District Historical Village on Sunday, June 23.

Johnnie Bachusky

About the Author: Johnnie Bachusky

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