Photo by Douglas McGlynn

Residents of Boyle Street in Central Northside held a block party Saturday, Sept. 30 in hopes of creating a stronger community bond.

 

By Douglas McGlynn

The residents of Central Northside’s Boyle Street held the first annual block party Saturday, Sept. 30 as block members banded together to bring the community closer after recent struggles have troubled the neighborhood.

Chris Gates, coordinator of the event and resident of Boyle Street, hopes the party will serve as a catalyst for change in the neighborhood.

“We want people to know that (Boyle Street) is not the thruway between the Mission and the projects,” Gates said.

The event featured an arts and crafts table for kids sponsored by the Mattress Factory Art Museum and musical performances sponsored by the Young Men and Women’s African Heritage Association. Performances included gospel group 1ne Ministry, a steel drum band, and a marching band, amongst others. Brown Chapel Church, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, and the local mosque were also heavily involved in setting up the event.

Daniel and Kimberly Bracken have been Boyle Street residents for six years, and originally came up with the idea of a neighborhood block party, but turned it over to Gates to make it happen.

The block party is the first step in a larger mission to improve the environment of the neighborhood and to improve the reputation it may have recently garnered.

The next step in the plan involves setting up a neighborhood safety watch and targeting certain problem areas of the neighborhood.

 

blockparty2Photo by Douglas McGlynn

Gospel group 1ne Ministry perform during the Boyle Street block party Saturday, Sept. 30