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Ten Reasons You Don’t Want To Miss the Party in the Park on Saturday, June 25th

The Tenney-Lapham Neighborhood Block Party is soon! For the second year, I’ve been working with a wonderful group of friends to plan the Party in the Park. Like last year, the casual neighborly gathering will be at Reynolds Park from 1-5. 

I have to admit, the Party in the Park last year was a real highlight of my summer. There was music, lemonade, friends and neighbors, and an undeniably good vibe. And this year’s party, on June 25th (my dad’s birthday, coincidentally), is going to be great. 

Here are just ten of the many reasons why:

ONE: Cork and Bottle String Band! The band that our neighborhood is
famous for will be partying with us. Thankfully their busy summer schedule obliged this year (they were so bummed they couldn’t play the Party last year) and, while we are not ‘just another summer music festival,’ we are so happy to have Cork and Bottle String Band as our soundtrack. They go on at 2:30 and are followed by Francie and Josh at 4PM.

TWO: A signed & framed print by Aaron Bohrad! He is one of Wisconsin’s most famous artists (read about him here) and the U Frame It shop on East Johnson will be featuring his work this summer. This is one of the many amazing things you could win in the raffle. The businesses in the neighborhood have been unbelievably generous and there are some really excellent prizes to be won. And all the money raised goes to support Lapham Elementary School and neighborhood parks.  

THREE: Dogs on parade! I’m not personally a dog owner, but I am excited to see other people’s dogs dolled up and showing off for their canine buddies. The parade starts at 1:30 PM and the Dog Haus University on East Johnson Street will be giving out bandanas, so even if you don’t have a Super Dog cape or little pumpkin outfit on hand, you can still let your dog join the fun. And the rest of us will be happy bystanders. 

FOUR: Tour Water Well #24. This is back by popular demand. Last year I asked the Madison Water Utility if we could have a peek at whatever is under the tennis and bike polo courts in the water facility building. They were humbly accommodating and truly flattered by the huge turn-out. The water well tour was a hit. So again this year, General Manager Tom Heikkinen will open the doors and lead a tour of Water Well #24 at 1PM. 

FIVE: The biggest game of Red Light/Green Light ever. In case you don’t remember how to play: A whole bunch of people start on one end of the field and try to run to the other end while the light is ‘green.’ If the light turns red while you are still running, you are out! And if running around a field isn’t your thing, there will be plenty of other games. We have some classics, and some innovative adaptations, planned for this party. 

SIX: The puppet man. Ken Vogel has promised to bring out some of his remarkable puppet and marionette collection for us to admire. He makes every single one by hand. The designs are all his own, though you can recognize some famous folks, like Belle La Follette, Hank Aaron and Georgia O’Keefe. And if you have ever been to Ella’s Deli on East Washington, you’ve probably marveled at some of Ken’s work. He is one of our local artists and it’s a treat to have him as part of the Party in the Park again this year. And if you have kids, make sure they ask him for a free pass to ride the carousel at Ella’s. 

SEVEN: Get lost in a maze! The Tenney Nursery and Parent Center folks have been scheming all spring in order to debut the original and wholly unique Marvelous Maze at the Party in June. I have heard whisperings about it, even seen some of these good people scavenging supplies, but I don’t know the secrets. I will be lost in there, too. 

EIGHT: Climb around on Fire Truck Engine #3. What more is there to say. 

NINE: Eat and Drink! Again this year, there will be amazing food and
drink donated by local brew masters, chefs and culinary artists. Again the sips and sweets will be part of our lure to get you to donate generously to support our school and neighborhood. Three will be treats from Macha Tea Company, snacks from Festival Foods, ice cream from the Chocolate Shoppe, root beer from Cork N' Bottle, phosphates from the Robin Room, and more. If you want some more substantial fare, the Underground Food Truck will be on site and you are welcome to BYOB (Cork N' Bottle sells cans, which makes it easier to keep our park glass-free). 

TEN: Hang out with friends and neighbors! This was the best part for me last year. After months of planning (and that was actually a lot of fun, too, because my co-conspirators are such capable and joyful people), at the Party I truly sat back and enjoyed the good company and beautiful scene. But 

Not everyone has gotten the memo, so do invite your friends and neighbors and help us spread the word:

EVERYONE is welcome!

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