Yes, its time to party again for the fourth year in downtown Princeton, this year’s event taking place on Friday, July 26.
Downtown attorney Scott Berry started the block party in the summer of 2010 to remind people about the downtown. Two big highway bridges – the Dunn Memorial on Rum River Drive, and the state bridge on Highway 95 just to the east – were being torn down and replaced at the time. As a result, there were long detours around the downtown for much of that summer, resulting in less customer traffic.
The block party has been thriving as an annual event since. What this year’s block party will have for four hours, starting at 4 p.m., will be inflatable play structures, live music, food and a few things involving water.
Berry, meanwhile, has indicated that he will be turning the event’s planning over to the Princeton Area Chamber of Commerce starting next year. Berry’s office manager, Megan Hruska, has been handling the bulk of the block party organizing. She said that Berry handed the organizing over to her in the beginning and she has continued to do the job.
According to Hruska, the party site will have three inflatable structures to jump on, plus a portable water slide, a bungee-trampoline in which people swing into the air while hooked into a harness, a pedal tractor pull contest, a Princeton Police Department-run dunk tank to raise money for the department’s new K-9 unit, music by the BLT band and various food vendors.
Among the planned vendors are Pizza Barn, Firehouse BBQ, VFW beer garden, Baking You Happy cupcakes, the funeral home selling freezies, and Big T’s mini doughnut stand with cotton candy. Entertainment will include face paintings by the Princeton ambassadors and whacky hairdos by Hansen Power & Lighting.
The nonprofit organizations Ruff Start Rescue and Kinship Youth Mentoring of Princeton also plan to be there.
Hruska said that Marv’s True Value will be donating inflatable structures and helping in other ways, just as it has at the other block parties. She said that Marv’s has talked about bringing in a water-misting station and also a shade tent.
The city will have barriers set up during the block party to keep traffic out of the block of Rum River Drive between First Street and Second Street North.