The sun may not have been shining on Kentucky on Saturday morning, but along Knox Boulevard in Radcliff a Derby Block Party brought some fun to the community.
The Gathering Bakery, TF Games and The Healthy Lounge have teamed up for Derby-themed events and food.
Summer Darnell was eating Saturday morning at The Gathering Bakery with her family. They had come to meet other family members for Mother’s Day and a birthday and had no idea there would be Derby Day activities.
“I am impressed with how much they involve the children. It’s really cool,” she said. “We don’t have anything like that near us, so that’s good.”
His daughter Margot was fascinated with Batman coming from TF Games across the street. Although too few to really say what she was thinking, her parents were sure she had said something about loving Batman.
Deb Suratt, owner of The Gathering Bakery, said she has planned a day for all ages to celebrate the Derby. The children were there to hear Fairy Book Mother Caroline Schafer read a story and Loren Hales of the Radcliff Literacy Project brought over 1,000 books to distribute to the children.
The crowd was a typical Saturday crowd that often comes for breakfast and coffee robberies, but there were more children than usual to see the mother from the fairy book, Surratt said.
“A lot has come for Derby and the mother of the fairy book,” she said.
Surratt said the companies hope to hold a block party once a month to engage many businesses on the street. She said the activities will overlap so families can move from one activity to another throughout the block party.
“You can park here and spend all day just on the north side to get a better sense of the community at that end,” she said.
Community is important because businesses can come together and attract a variety of customers to each business and open doors to become more involved in community activities, Surratt said.
“It’s important to us,” she said.
Surratt said theme days, such as Derby Day and Star Wars Day, are always popular and customers are always up for them. They hope to have a Harry Potter day later in September and a Halloween theme.
“It’s so much fun,” she said.
Abigail Patterson, owner of The Healthy Lounge, had two special Derby-themed nutritional energy drinks. She too was dressed as if she were at the Derby, fascinator included.
The salon is a nutrition club offering healthy choices for daily diet, she said.
“I’m very passionate about the community,” she said when explaining why she decided to participate.
When organizer Pete Countryman told Patterson about it, she said she knew she wanted to be involved.
“I loved the sense of community,” she said of the day’s events.
At noon at the Derby block party, Countryman said there were more than 300 visitors to participating businesses.