Janesville48.5°

Business group plans block party

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MARCIA A. NELESEN
August 21, 2010
— When the Westgate Corridor business group decides to promote its neighborhood, the group doesn’t fool around.

It will be hard for anyone anywhere near the area to miss the fireworks scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 28.


The businesses are throwing a block party in Bond Park that will include the fireworks, music and children’s games.


Kevin O’Leary said the group wanted to give back to the community and raise the visibility of the west side and the Westgate Corridor itself.


O’Leary is passionate about the west side and its businesses, especially the homegrown variety. He is a dentist on the west side and secretary of the group.


This is the first year for the block party event.


“It’s a last hurrah before the end of the summer,” O’Leary said. “Who doesn’t like fireworks? Nothing draws people like fireworks.”


The event will include music on the pavilion by Roger Crary and games and trinkets for the kids. Eighteen businesses donated money.


Residents can buy sack lunches from the nearby restaurants, picnic in the park and let the kids run, O’Leary said. The fireworks begin at dusk.


The Westgate Corridor is a coalition of residents, businesses, property owners and community leaders. Its goal is to promote a strong neighborhood. The city recently gave the group money to buy a sign at Five Points to welcome people as they enter the city’s west side.


“We want to improve the look of the west side, particularly the Five Points area,” O’Leary said. “We just want to make sure that the folks in the Fourth Ward and Look West neighborhoods are heard from.”


O’Leary lauded the many west side businesses, especially those that are locally owned.


Blockbuster, run by a corporation, may have closed, he said, but “Dang it, we’re not going away,” O’Leary said.


“These guys live in Janesville and work in Janesville, and we really want Janesville to succeed.”


IF YOU GO


What: West Side Block Party


Where: Bond Park, Janesville.


When: 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 28. Fireworks at dusk.


Bring: Picnic lunches, blankets or lawn chairs


Cost: Free.



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