The summer solstice sure lived up to its name as 4,500 summer-starved Calgarians congregated under bright blue skies to celebrate Sled Island at the inaugural East Village Block Party.
Outside Sled-Quarters in the Simmons Building (transformed for the event into the Mill Street Beer Garden), RiverWalk pulsated with slick tunes from the HiFi Club outdoor stage. Hipsters and families, suits and cyclists commingled, sipping, nibbling and sashaying their way from tent to tent.
Vendors from Market Collective showed off their characteristically unique local wares, while the folks at the Goodlife Community Bike Shop offered pedal power for rent. The people at car2go demonstrated the future of urban transportation, while the volunteers at our own EV information booth handed out Freezies, t-shirts and bike bells. Sled Islanders used river rocks as paperweights. Grooves of many kinds emanated from the stage as eight different acts took turns onstage.
The Vans Shoe Company and The Source teamed up to host a street-style skateboarding competition. “It's National Go Skateboarding Day today,” a boarding enthusiast explained, as he took a break to enjoy a Red Wagon sandwich. “We've got a dozen or so boarders from the Calgary area here to compete and we're going to be giving away a couple of thousand dollars in prizes today.” Boarders and non-boarders alike paused to marvel at the imaginative ramps dominating the temporary skate park. One five-year-old was heard clarifying the finer points of the sport to his mom. “You have to do a really big jump!” he explained, as they checked out the giant sneaker-shaped ramp.
The sun, the sounds, and the serene surroundings of RiverWalk all conspired to get people pumped up about the sweet life in EV. “I've never been to East Village before,” confessed Sean from car2go. “It's amazing! I walked around a bit just now, and I could totally live here!”
Welcome to the neighbourhood.