This weekend was the 26th annual street party on our street, and though we’ve only been here four years, it has become a family favourite. From noon until midnight, the city street is closed off to cars, and the kids pile into the street with basketballs and hockey sticks, bikes and trikes; they bounce on the bouncy castle and climb up into the visiting fire truck; they have epic water gun battles while the grown ups sit on the sidewalk with burgers and beer. Dinner is barbeque and salad, and bake sale goodies, all made and cooked by our neighbours. Everyone pitches in and works together, and then the east and the west sides of the street battle it out in a massive tug of war. A DJ provides the soundtrack for the whole day and night, and my little ones sing along with friends and neighbours to the sounds of summer.
For our kids, this party has become the unofficial start to summer with all its bacchanalian revelry and the rare, rare treat of being allowed out so late and sometimes even alone. Though one was sick, my boys still had a blast and played on their street, made it theirs for a day and a night. For a day, the car was not king, and the street was home to the simple fun of learning to ride a bike, of wearing a new face, of sinking shot after shot after shot.
Let the long days of summer begin.