Sparks Fly: Fireworks and Conversation
By: Julia Hall – Summer Intern 2017
On a magical evening involving sparklers, soccer, and snacks, Twin Towers neighbors mingled at the Lincoln Hill sight for the Fourth of July celebration. The Fourth of July drew a large gathering with several kids running about the open, grassy area along with the presence of dogs accompanying their best friends. The event hummed with conversation, anticipation for the firework display, and hotdogs on the grill.
This celebration broke records: the turnout of neighbors and friends exceeded the attendance at any previous event held by Mission of Mary & East End Community Services at the Lincoln Hill site. Nearly two hundred neighbors participated in the Fourth of July festivities.
Upon the outdoor food hut (acquired via Garden Station last year), strawberries, hot dogs, popcorn, and s’mores piled high. Around the campfire, families roasted marshmallows as they avoided the smoky breeze. Kiddos wore ketchup and nutella grins as they ran about catching frisbees, passing the volleyball, and dancing to the latest Ed Sheeran song on top of the mulch pile.
Around 10:30 p.m., the Dayton fireworks began to explode across the dark sky. Through a grove of trees, bursts of glittering colors mesmerized all ages- as well as incited some excited whoops. After sundown, glow bracelets and gloves began flashing, mirroring the magnificent display of fireworks. Despite the darkness of night, these vibrant, rich lights burst forth.
Amidst the activity, people had the opportunity to spend time in conversation. Neighbors showed up with both joyous celebration as well as weighty concerns. From my experience, topics ranged from silly puppy dogs’ names to serious discussion regarding the opioid epidemic and generational poverty to personal struggles relating to health issues. The conglomeration of conversations was insightful and meaningful.
Lincoln Hill functioned on this occasion as a space where neighbors were able to engage in these dynamic conversations as well as participate in lively, fun activities. This gathering, in addition to previous events, have provided the opportunity for neighbors to deepen and further relationships with each other and with MMC.
The expansive plans for the property (in conjunction with the Hanley Institute and East Dayton Community Center) are still ongoing and exciting- the construction of an outdoor kitchen, nature play area, and other additions will be implemented to expand the types of events held at this location. We (MMC) look forward to the ways in which Lincoln Hill can continue to function as a place of gathering, celebration, and conversation.