Lake Forest Park Summertime Reflections: 182nd Street Party

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Neighbors setting up the 182nd Street Party lights
Photos courtesy of 182nd St. Party

By Donna Hawkey

This is a second post in a series of three that highlight summertime fun and community building in LFP.

Photo by Donna Hawkey

A tenth annual homegrown extravaganza street party took place on 182nd street in August.

Photo by Gary Hawkey

Street Party Organizer Sally Yamasaki (pointing) enjoys an evening moment with neighbors and family.

It all began when residents Sally Yamasaki and Polly Saunders were brainstorming ways to discourage the speeding of cut through traffic they were experiencing in their neighborhood.

They found research that shows when communities claim their streets by making their presence known, it reminds drivers that this is a residential street, and they become more responsible for driving safer.

Photo courtesy of 182nd St. Street Party

But what they ultimately found out is that when neighbors work together, they can do almost anything.

It all starts months ahead with a potluck breakfast to gather and socialize, and to begin making plans for the event. This includes a community yard sale, music rehearsals and more potluck gatherings on the street.

Photo courtesy of 182nd St. Street Party

A homemade grill named “BeniYama” that weighs about 1300 pounds is moved to the street party site by neighbors.

Photo courtesy of 182nd St. Street Party

Neighbors come together to practice songs, build stages and hang lights. They start in the daytime and work through the night.

Photo courtesy of 182nd St. Street Party

On the day of the street party, a parade kicks off the event.

Photo by Gary Hawkey

Live music is provided by neighbors and friends - from folk to jazz - to a parody of rock and roll songs.

Here’s an excerpt about LFP’s tree canopy, sung to the tune of Bill Withers “Ain’t No Sunshine.”

“Ain’t No Sunshine in the Park.” 

Ain’t no sunshine from above
Only shadows, lotsa grey
Ain’t no sunshine from above
Cuz it’s blocked by what we love
What’s a Park without the trees? 

Ain’t No sunshine in my yard…. 

Organizer Sally Yamasaki says, “Even though the work is huge, it is that aspect that brings us together, both young and old, such that after ten years, we all know each other well and have a directory, a Yahoo group and enjoy each other’s company throughout the year.”

Photo by Gary Hawkey

This street party is a fun day for everyone.

Photo courtesy of 182nd street party

A popular tradition at this party is called “amateur minute.”

A tradition meant to brings smiles and love to everyone.

Photo by Donna Hawkey

Watch for tomorrow’s National Night Out post.


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