I grew up in a community where we knew most of the people on our street and our families would celebrate long weekends with fireworks and once every summer there would be a big pool party in someone’s backyard. As we grew up together, the kids played capture the flag, and football/hockey on the street. We sold girl guide cookies, and stopped at every house at Halloween. We knew if something was wrong or if there was someone strange walking around, we could go to the closest house and get help. This is one of the reasons I think so fondly of my childhood growing up in the east end of the city. It really was special and it’s something I hope that my children are able to experience as well.
That is why I feel so blessed to be living where we do now. This weekend was the 9th annual Pumpkinfest for our neighbourhood and Sunday couldn’t have been more perfect weather for the day.
Seeing the kids dressed in their costumes running around having so much fun and spending time chatting with all the parents was an amazing way to spend a fall afternoon. We were treated to pulled pork, butternut squash soup, chilli, samosa’s, cupcakes and hot chocolate to keep our hands warm.
The main event at Pumpkinfest is the carving contest. This is quite the competition every year with 30 entries and lots of creativity on display. Two years ago the winner was a pumpkin painted like a Minion. That same year we won 3rd place for a pumpkin with bulging eyes and turnip tongue. This year we did even better winning 2nd place with a ‘Terrible Toddler’ pumpkin dressed in my 2 year olds pants, shoes, hat and gloves. It was so much fun to see everyone’s creativity and imagination.
This annual party is a great example of communities coming together. Every year my neighbours collect donations for the Daily Bread Food Bank and each family drops off a few cans or a few dollars to support the cause. It’s wonderful to be a part of something that is also helping others.
I know that now a days it is difficult for families to even find time to talk to their neighbours. But I really believe that something special happens when you do. A group of people living on the same street become a community, and that community becomes a very impactful part of your children’s lives.
So if you can today, say hi to the people who you see on your street/elevator/community park. Building friendly communities with neighbourhood connections helps both you and your children. Plus you could get lucky and make a friend or two along the way.