On The Ave: Friday Play Dates

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Imagine a downtown street on a sunny summer day, where the hustle and bustle of traffic is replaced by the sight and sounds of children engaged in fun and games. Imagine a city town taking some time out of the everyday downtown routine for something like that to happen.

The truth is that this is starting to happen in cities and towns throughout the country and, for five consecutive Fridays this summer, it’s going to happen in Vineland. This initiative, called Play Streets, turns downtown streets into celebrations of play for youngsters. It’ll take place on June 29, July 6, 13, 20, and 27 on Sixth Street, between Landis Avenue and Elmer Street. That block will be closed to traffic on those days.

'Diamond in the Rough Talent Competition' Takes Center Stage at the Landis Theater 

A collaboration between Main Street Vineland, Vineland Community Policing Unit, Cumberland County Positive Youth Development Coalition, and several civic and non-profit organizations, the program is organized in Cumberland County by the Cumberland County Positive Youth Development Coalition, has already taken root in Millville and Bridgeton.

Called “a playground in a box,” Play Streets offers constructive outdoor play opportunities for youngsters while, at the same time, creating a family-friendly atmosphere on the streets. It’s been highly successful in cities such as Philadelphia, New York City, and Los Angeles.

It’s a marvelous program that accomplishes so much good for downtown communities, bringing people of all ages downtown, while providing fun and fresh air for our youngsters in a safe, structured environment. At the same time, it brings community agencies together for a wonderful cause.

Here’s the schedule of events—which will take place between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

June 29: Fitness and Health (host: Vineland Health Department)—yoga, youth fitness initiative, obstacle course, Zumba, dietician

July 6: Carnival Day (host: Vineland Municipal Event Planner)—children’s tattoos, dunk tank, inflatable goal posts, Kenny the Clown with magic show and balloon animals

July 13: Field Day/Blacktop Bash (host: Daniel’s Den Community Center)—Duck Duck Goose with water sponges, white shirts to be decorated with watercolor bubbles

July 20: Express Yourself (host: Vineland Public Library)—Pokémon station, “Tell Your Story” magnetic board, photo fun with selfies station, sidewalk chalk, bag design, scavenger hunt

July 27: Public Safety Day (host: Vineland Police Department)—Vineland Fire Department, Vineland EMS, Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department, Cape May County Sheriff’s Department Mounted Patrol with horse, drunk goggles for youth, games, and basketball

Each week will also include a DJ, hot dogs, snacks, and a bounce house.

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Don’t forget about the event trifecta coming up this week. (1) Our next Mix, Mingle & Meet will be on Thursday, June 7, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., at Bruni’s Breakfast & Burgers, The Ave’s latest eatery—at 601 E. Landis Ave. It’s free and open to the public. (2) “The Ave Presents…Diamond in the Rough Talent Competition,” on June 8, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., at the Landis Theater, 830 E. Landis Ave. Tickets can be obtained by going to the landistheater.com. (3) Cruise Down Memory Lane (see insert).

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This is all the more reason to make The Ave your destination for your shopping needs, as well as your dining, entertainment—and living—needs all year round. Save money on gasoline, avoid the long lines at the big-box stores, malls, and shopping centers—and also enjoy the events we have on The Ave. n

For more information on Main Street Vineland, call 856-794-8653, visit TheAve.biz or check them out on Facebook. You can also e-mail rswanson@vinelandcity.org.

On the Ave: Trifecta of Events 


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