SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A community came together to celebrate itself and spread positive energy after nearby violence put the neighborhood in the news, for all the wrong reasons.
The McKnight Neighborhood council told 22News, the goal of the annual block party is to socialize with neighbors and ultimately, have each other’s back.
“It’s meant to be a positive event where people come from all areas of the neighborhood and hangout with each other,” said Bryan McFarland, Vice President of the McKnight neighborhood council.
The McKnight Neighborhood Council held their ninth annual community block party at the Thompson Triangle Park in Springfield, where residents got to know each other.
McFarland talked to 22News about the impact it’s leaving on the neighborhood, “It’s really about making a peaceful and positive energy that can kinda spread throughout the neighborhood but also to the city as well.”
Nearby Burr Street has been in the news a lot lately, after several shootings. Within the last month, there have been five shootings. Just last week, a 17-year old was shot, and a 21-year old was shot a few days later.
Two men were also shot, and at least 30 gunshots were fired into a house. Burr Street residents told 22News that they now live in fear.
Sergeant Devon Williams from Springfield Police’s C3 community policing told 22News, events like this allow police to create a bond with residents, so they feel safe reporting crime, “So we have to talk as a community. We have to let the people know. We have to let the police know. You know, talk to each other. Talk to your community leaders, your church leaders, and then give the police the information. So we can go out and arrest the responsible individuals.”
Iris Rivera, a McKnight resident, was able to showcase her crocheted designs to neighbors that had no idea about her business.
Rivera told 22News, “Everyone that has seen it, was just like, blown away. The reaction, it just makes me happy, you know.”
The Basketball Hall of Fame donated tickets, and residents also got a chance to vote for next year’s neighborhood council members.