November 18, 2015
By Brian Golberg, Prospect Park 2020
On October 3rd, Prospect Park 2020 in partnership with the Prospect Park Community Gardens (PPCG), held the first Harvest Festival at the Prospect Park Community Garden Cornerstone located at 29th Ave S. E. and 4th Street S. E. in Minneapolis, just north of the Prospect Park Green Line station. The Festival brought together two hundred guests to both celebrate the harvest from the community garden and to demonstrate the potential of the garden as a magical community gathering place. Most guests were new to the community garden, not knowing that it even existed and joined in the celebration after stumbling upon the lights and action.
This was the second event this year and the third event held in the community garden. Both earlier events were hosted by the Textile Center – one featured felting and the other indigo dyeing. The Prospect Park neighborhood is striving to create a gathering place in a location that has the potential to become a sorely needed park.
PPCG volunteers prepared pizza in a wood-fired oven built by PPCG, using many fresh ingredients from the garden. Afro Deli from West Bank and the Silhouette Bakery from Little Mekong in St. Paul provided delicious ethnic food from the rich cultures along our Green Line. S’mores around the fire pit closed out the evening.
The Women’s Drum Center opened the evening with their rousing music. Mexico Azteca, in their dazzling costumes, provided fantastic dancing and delighted the guests by inviting them to join the dancers around the fire pit. The evening was capped off all too soon by an Ethiopian/Eritrean band. Artist Rachel Walker kept the kids entranced (and awake well after bedtime!) in helping to create a sculpture from found objects. Prospect Park 2020 has received many very positive responses from those who attended.
This event was made possible through a generous Cultural Corridor (C4) program grant and the volunteer efforts of many Prospect Park residents. Prospect Park 2020 plans to hold a late fall event as a finale to this year's C4ward efforts.