"Everyone else is having festivals. Why not here?" So says Val Chapman. The Klekolo barista is the guiding force behind the coffeehouse's "Take Back the Park Festival" this weekend.
"The Park" is the privately owned strip of land that runs along the side of Klekolo's
"Center for World Domination" on Court Street, then past the parking garage and behind the Tuscany Grill to College Street. The former city street is now a grass-and-sidewalk pedestrian way, but Chapman and others believe it is underutilized.
"It used to be the big social spot", said Andy Therrien. "We want people to play here again."
Val Chapman said she'd like to see the festival become an annual event.
The normally quiet walkway certainly saw some use Friday night. The festival kicked off with outdoor laughs from members of the improv comedy troupes BenTopher and Tick! Tick! Boom!
Once the sun went down, anyone and everyone was invited to play the video game "Rock Band", projected on a giant screen.
Saturday will feature music from two popular WESU-FM deejays: Rick from "The Psychedelicatessen" and DJ Cheshire Cat. There'll also be a Parkour demonstration and a wandering juggler.
Sunday includes live music from J-Cherry at 1pm, and a 10am Tai Chi class. On both days, photos, jewelry, and art will be available from a variety of vendors.
Stop on down this weekend and explore a special little space in Middletown.