Greenwich Avenue is ready to party

Greenwich Avenue will be transformed into a pedestrian playground on Sunday, Aug. 5, for a good cause at the fourth annual Greenwich Avenue Block Party.

Hosted by the police department’s Silver Shield Association, in partnership with The First Bank of Greenwich and J House, a new hotel on East Putnam Avenue, the party will take place on the lower part of Greenwich Avenue south of Grigg Street and on Fawcett Place.

 

In past years, the event has functioned as a benefit for Police Officers Antonio Rivera and Roger Petrone and last year benefited Sheila Uhl, who had suffered a severe stroke. All of those people were in great need of assistance and the community delivered. This year, however, the party will take a more celebratory turn, according to retired Greenwich officer Lt. Tom Keegan, Silver Shield’s director of special events.

Proceeds from this year’s event will be donated to the Greenwich Parks and Recreation Camp Scholarship Fund, which allows children from local low-income families to attend summer camp.

“This year, fortunately, we’re going to be able to raise some money for something that’s a bit more positive,” Lt. Keegan explained.

Other exciting changes to this year’s block party include its expansion onto Fawcett Avenue, the addition of seating and tables all along lower Greenwich Avenue, and extension of the event by one hour.

The “Kid’s Court” is another fresh feature this year and children’s activities such as face painting, a three-story water slide and a dunk tank will be available throughout the event, Lt. Keegan said.

The party also features plenty of activities for residents of all ages who will enjoy festivities on foot as the road is closed to traffic. Live music provided by Billy & the Showmen, Superhero and The Bored Lords will entertain party-goers throughout the day. All neighborhood businesses and restaurants will be open, with the option to dine al fresco, and several restaurants, including Sundown Saloon, MacDuff’s Pub and Druro Restaurant will be participating in the street fair festivities.

This “unique” community event is something the Silver Shield Association hopes to continue into the future, provided the town enjoys and supports it, Lt. Keegan said.

“My vision is to one day have the entire length of Greenwich Avenue be one big block party.”

The block party will take place from 3 to 9 on Aug. 5. A donation of $10 is asked of all adult attendees. A Ride the Slide all-day bracelet will cost $10.

This event is being held with not only the blessing of the Board of Selectmen, which approved the partial closure of Greenwich Avenue for it back in April, but with the merchants as well. Lt. Keegan said that the businesses have “embraced” the idea, especially the restaurants because they would have outdoor seating, including umbrellas, during the event.

After a debate over who would be in the dunk tank, with Lt. Keegan first suggesting First Selectman Peter Tesei and Mr. Tesei claiming Selectman Drew Marzullo would be a far better choice, the board gave the party itsfull support. Selectman David Theis said he would encourage residents to come to it because it’s an event that “gets bigger and better every year.”

“You do a great job with it,” Mr. Marzullo told Lt. Keegan. “No one does it better.”

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