Neighbor Day brings people together
September 20, 2016
Now is a good time for Park City and Summit County neighborhoods to come together.
With the deaths of two Park City School District students and the attempted suicide of another, Park City Neighbor Day is a much-needed event that is designed to connect the community, according to Mary Beth Maziarz, who was one of the founders of last year's Neighbor Day.
"This was originally a Leadership Park City project," Maziarz told The Park Record.
"This is a day that highlights the neighbors and neighborhoods of Park City and surrounding areas.
"What we're encouraging is for people to use the opportunity of Neighbor Day to reach out to someone who has either moved in or someone they have meant to introduce themselves to for a few months," she said. "It's a way to increase our sense of community identity, safety and connectedness."
This year's Neighbor Day is officially set for Saturday, Sept. 24, although it has expanded to include the whole weekend to make it more convenient for neighbors to get together.
"It was made an official holiday to take place on the fourth Saturday of September every year by the Park City Council," Maziarz said. "Even Summit County did it for a weekend in August."
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There is no central activity; instead, individuals, areas, HOAs, and companies can all take place by hosting or collaborating on events focusing on their neighbors or neighborhoods, Maziarz said.
"We ask that people plan their own micro events to take place throughout our great community, and people are welcome to post what they have planned on the event map online [at http://www.pcneighborday.org]," she said. "The nice part about it is that if you don't have an idea, you can visit the website and find ideas or activities you can participate in."
Last year activities included an open event at Pinebrook Point called Coffee and Cornhole, hosted by a real estate agent named Jody Kimball.
"Everyone brought donuts, coffee and tea and juices for the kids and played cornhole," Maziarz said. "I couldn't believe how many people were getting to know each other at that event, even though a number of people had lived there for several years."
Another event was called Driveway Cocktail Ping Pong.
"It didn't take a ton of prep," Maziarz said. "It was just pulling the ping pong table out to the driveway and people bringing bags of snacks and something to drink and hanging out all afternoon."
Another neighborhood hosted a community garage sale that they made a point to host on Neighbor Day.
People have already started planning for this year.
"I've heard about the outdoor movie, some community yoga in a park and a hike for people who may not know the trails in the area," Maziarz said. "I'm thinking of doing a cupcake-a-thon. My kids love making cupcakes and we will decorate them and hand them out to people who pass by our house."
Neighbor Day isn't just a Park City and Summit County event.
"We've heard about it in a number of communities across the country and there are some really big cities that are doing this, too," Maziarz said. "In a small town, it's a little more natural for people to want to get to know their neighbors, but the bigger cities are finding that this is a valuable process and effort as well.
"I imagine there are some people who completely missed it last year, so this is a great opportunity to reach out to a couple of their neighbors this year," she said.
The second annual Park City Neighbor Day will be held Friday, Sept. 23, through Sunday, Sept. 25. For more information, visit http://www.pcneighborday.org.
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