Yesterday was one of Kensington Market's Pedestrian Sundays - which basically means that they shut the area off to motorized traffic and have a big community party. There are seven of them scheduled between May and October and each has a theme. Most of them are on the last Sunday of the month but this one was a special P.S. Kensington celebrating the anniversary of the big blackout.
There was so much energy in the market - huge games of chess and scrabble laid out on the pavement, at least three different percussion bands that I saw marching around and playing, a juggler, a demonstration of something that resembled a cross between a martial art and a dance, and a chance to pin up a statement saying where you were when the lights went out. Add to that tons of people, food stalls and vendors in the streets - it was a great, diverse, celebratory community atmosphere.
I also loved that the intent was to encourage people to celebrate without electricity to remind ourselves about the blackout and the costs of our energy use. Radios, for example, were strongly discouraged. They weren't necessary anyway - there was tons of live music and sound all around.
If you're in Toronto, check out the next P.S. Kensington days: on the last Sunday in August, September, and October, there will be celebrations of air, earth, and Hallowe'en, respectively.
See you there..?!