Boltonstock gives way to block party. Festival on the Hill set for Oct. 8

A Festival poster from pre-pandemic times.

BHCA has proposed dropping the annual Boltonstock celebration this year and instead supporting the No Boundaries Coalition block party to be held in June, as NBC moves its offices to the new Unity Hall on Eutaw Place. The party will take place on the Eutaw Place park median that fronts the renovated building.

As part of its budget-making process and after hearing from board and other members, BHCA leaders also suggested giving up the Halloween parade. It was created two years ago to give neighborhood children an outdoor event during the pandemic. It was hosted by BHCA’s social action task force and No Boundaries Coalition and held around Sumpter Park. The hope is that the decline of the pandemic will allow traditional treat-or-treating this year.

In framing a budget to be voted on by BHCA’s board, Treasurer Chris Kingsley and other leaders held online and in-person meetings to hear from neighbors, then proposed sponsoring these upcoming events with BHCA funds and volunteer leadership: the No Boundaries Coalition Block Party on June 18; Arts in the Parks concerts from July to September; the annual crab feast for neighbors and first responders on Aug. 25; and a full-fledged Festival on the Hill Oct. 8 after two years of COVID-truncated festivals. Volunteers will be needed for each event.

The 2022 Festival on the Hill will include a Kids Zone, books, junktiques, an auction, craft venders, wine, oysters, beer, basketball hoops, Corpus Christi chili, Daunte’s soup, jerk chicken, the Bolton Hill Swim Team tacos in a bag, hot dogs and the Tilted Row restaurant. Returning to the stage will be Mombo Combo, Mr. Will and Midtown Academy, among others. Louie Wilder and Lee Tawney are organizing.

BHCA will host a “Party Planning 101” training session in the spring to encourage and educate new volunteers to take leadership in these and other neighborhood events. BHCA will continue to promote, for example, the Easter egg hunt in Rutters Mill Park and the garden club’s spring flower sale April 23. 

“None of this precludes adding additional events to the BHCA calendar,” said Kingsley. Last year’s first-time five Arts in the Parks concerts, put together by the association’s Greening Committee, drew residents to a mix of parks in Bolton Hill and nearby Madison Park and Marble Hill neighborhoods. Neighborhood associations from the three areas had hoped to kick off a Green Streets Arts Festival in May, but pushed it back a year because of COVID concerns.