Bloc[k] Party — A Weekend in the CIty
Willow Grove holds its block party Saturday on Davisville Road.
Willow Grove is planning a block party that’s been 300 years in the making—and, everyone’s invited.
The event is called the “Davisville Block Party,” as it will take place along Davisville Road in Willow Grove, on May 21 from 1 to 5 p.m.
The block party is being held to celebrate the Willow Grove Tri-Centennial, and will feature nearly 50 community organizations and local businesses.
“I hope that everybody comes out and enjoys their neighbors,” Renee Bates, event organizer, said.
Bates, the operations captain of Second Alarmers Rescue Squad (SARS), which is located along Davisville Road, is also a member of the Willow Grove 300 Steering Committee.
SARS is one of the oldest participating community organizations in the Willow Grove 300 celebration; it is also the only EMS service organization to participate.
Originally, Bates helped organize where ambulances and SARS members would be stationed at events with large attendance, such as the John Philip Sousa Concert at Willow Grove Park on May 22.
So, it was a bit of a surprise to Bates when she was asked to organize the Block Party.
“I didn’t say 'yes' immediately,” she recalled, explaining that she asked for advice from SARS Chief Fred Trasatti and executive director Jamie Haddon. “They said, ‘Absolutely, we want to be a part of the Tri-centennial.’”
The undertaking was immense, as the event requires the closure of the stretch of Davisville Road from the Willow Grove Train Station on York Road down to Terwood Road, starting at 11:30 a.m.
Bates said that the event has two themes.
“So it’s like a combined a combined theme; it’s underlining safety, with a state fair theme,” Bates said.
“Safety is an important theme because all emergency services in Willow Grove will participate,” Bates said, citing SARS, Willow Grove Volunteer Firefighters and the Upper Moreland police. “We would much rather meet with someone in our stations, talking about safety, instead of showing up to your house in an emergency situation.
The main stations for SARS and the Willow Grove Volunteer Fire House are located along Davisville Road and will open their doors to the public during the event.
SARS will use the opportunity to highlight National EMS Week (this week), demonstrating family safety procedures, such as the proper use of car safety seats.
SARS will also invite event participants to share how SARS has touched their lives in a video montage.
According to Bates, the fire house will offer several family safety activities, including a matted section for children to practice “Stop, Drop and Rolling.” Children can also draw home escape plans for times of emergency.
“And, of course, everyone’s going to want to see the big, red fire trucks,” Bates said.
Among other safety activities at the event, Kiwanis of Old York Road will have child identification kits available, and Abington Hospital will present injury prevention workshops, as well as spin art for the children.
As for the state fair theme, musical acts are booked for the day, starting at 12:45 p.m. with a performance by Settlement Music School students and ending with 4:30 p.m. with a performance by Millville Road.
In between, participants will hear the musical styling of St. David’s Music Department, Susan Piper, and the Mummers All Stars.
Food will also be in abundance, as the following restaurants will participate:
- Carabba's Italian Grill
- Weinrich Bakery (which will give away free cake)
- Panera Bread
- Village Bistro
- Sonic Drive-In
Educational and entertainment venues will also have stands set up throughout the event, including:
- A SEPTA train exhibit
- Wings of Freedom Aviation Museum
- Upper Moreland Historical Commission
- Upper Moreland/Hatboro-Horsham High School Robotics
- Pennypack Ecological Trust
- Tiger Schulman’s Karate
- Kisses For Kyle
- A moon bounce, sponsored by Sen. Greenleaf
- And much more
Other open houses include one at Kremp Florist, where visitors can place a flower in a giant arch that spells “Willow Grove,” and the Willow Grove Moose Lodge, as well as a tour of Willow Grove’s first schoolhouse, located next to SARS.
Davisville Block Party Passport
Since there are so many things to do at the Davisville Block Party, Bates has come up with a way to help folks pay a visit to as many activities and attractions they can.
The Davisville Block Party Passport is exactly how it sounds: a small booklet for participants to use when visiting the different attractions.
Around 25 attractions will have their own rubber stamp, which is used inside the blank pages of the passport. The free passports may be picked up at the SARS station.
“This is a keepsake of the tri-centennial,” Bates said. “I know my kids will want to go out and get as many stamps as they can.”
Bates stresses that the Davisville Block Party is a rain or shine event, adding, with a smile, that both SARS and the fire house have several very large truck bays to accommodate participants.
For updated information on this or any other Willow Grove 300 event, visit www.willowgrove300.com.
Share your Willow Grove 300 experience with Patch!
Patch will join the scores of community vendors during the Davisville Block Party, where we will have a table set up in the parking lot by Kremp Florist.
The table will feature lots of great Patch giveaways and free food. We will also be asking participants at the event, or any Willow Grove 300 events, to share their views on the celebration by participating in a video montage we’re calling:
- “3 on 300”
Where we will be asking three simple questions:
1.) What brought you out to today’s event?
2.) Why is it important to celebrate 300 years of Willow Grove?
3.) What’s your favorite part about the Willow Grove 300 Celebration?
Think of the video project like a time capsule, preserving the celebration for future Willow Grove-area generations. It’s also a great opportunity to go on record and thank all the community volunteers for their work in putting on the celebration!
So, feel free to stop on by and say hi—we are, after all, your friendly, neighborhood Patch!