PORTSMOUTH—First Presbyterian Church will host their first-ever community block party on Saturday, August 6th, from 4-7 p.m.
The block party was inspired by First Presbyterian’s mission to get to know their community even better, according to Ruling Elder Diane Boster. After enjoying community events with her granddaughter last summer as COVID restrictions eased up, she knew that First Presbyterian could offer some of the same community engagement and fun.
“I took my granddaughter to the summer carnival last year at the library,” Boster said. “She was seven years old at the time and she just loved that. So I came back to the church and I said, ‘we need to do something so that we are as visible with the community, so that the kids can be outside, and have some fun things.’ I can’t say I got a revelation or anything, but she enjoyed it so much that I thought, ‘we can do that, too.’”
From there, a committee at First Presbyterian worked hard to utilize their existing connections to bring the idea for the block party to life. By working with their friends at All Saints, Community Action Organization (CAO), and with other members of their congregation, Boster says the organization of the event was, in itself, an exercise in community involvement.
“We placed a call over to All Saints and a couple of folks from All Saints came over to join us. We made a call to Community Action and […] Community Action joined us. So then we started a steering committee sometime in the early spring, got some people together, took a look at some dates, and just said, ‘let us know who you know, and we can bring them in,’” Boster said.
Saturday’s block party will offer a wide array of free entertainment, games, and food. Boster says that keeping the event free was an important aspect to the block party planning.
“Since everyone is one of God’s children and we are all part of a community, we just want people to know that we do care about them. We just want to share our love of people, have some fun, get to know people in the community, and let them know that we are still here in the community and that we are here to serve,” Boster said.
Musician Jason Burton will set the stage with musical entertainment for the block party. While taking in the tunes, attendees can enjoy inflatable slides, face painting, carnival games, a K-9 dog demonstration, and much more. Cabin Critters Rescue is also scheduled to bring some animals for the community to enjoy.
Free food options for attendees include hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, and sno-cones. Additionally, representatives from Scioto County’s CAO Head Start program will be in attendance with registration information available to parents or guardians interested in enrolling their child(ren) in the program.
Boster and First Presbyterian hope that the community will turn out for the block party to enjoy a fun, free day of getting to know their neighbors.
“Whoever we are, we can show love for each other and with each other,” Boster said. “And that’s really what this free community block party is all about. It’s about having a good time and letting people know that we care. We want the community to know that we do care.”
For more information about First Presbyterian’s first-ever block party, visit them on Facebook. To live-stream sermons or learn more about the church, visit their website at www.firstpresportsmouthoh.com
First Presbyterian Church is located at 221 Court Street in Portsmouth.