In hopes of boosting the local economy during a tumultuous pandemic, and recovering from the impacts of the Almeda Fire, businesses along Highway 99 came together to host the block party.
“I like to buy from local flower farms that grow organically, so these right here [flower arrangements] are from our valley, so that’s really great,” said floral shop owner, Deanna Mulaskey.
Businesses including The Oregon Cheese Cave, The Grange, and The Pollinator Project Rogue Valley, and many others were open for business.
The Bee Sweet Blooms floral shop even had its grand opening during the event.
“When we were evacuated, I guess that’s when I decided to go for it and open my own [shop] and I wanted it to be right here in Phoenix,” said Mulaskey.
Mulaskey says she’s grateful to be opening her new business.
“I just wanted to do something for the community and celebrate spring.”
One of the block party’s main organizers, Melodie Picard, says she wanted to bring the community together and build support for the local businesses in the area at the same time.
“It’s very stressful for all of us and for the people, and everybody wants to do something so, we’re trying to do something to support each other,” said Picard.
The event had many people strolling along the sidewalks, checking out flowers, baked goods, cheeses, food trucks, and more.
Something, Picard says, is a morale boost for small business owners hit hard.
“It cheers us up [seeing all these people] because it’s always hard to have a small business and during this pandemic, it’s been extra hard,” Picard said.
Picard says the businesses are discussing hosting a larger block party in July and even hosting block parties every 1st Saturday of the month.
“The civic center wants to participate in doing something with us, more food trucks and more vendors, and also the Phoenix Industrial Studios all the way at the other end.”