Gathering at People’s Park for Kirkwood Avenue: All over the road

A little more than a year ago, on Juneteenth of 2020, the mural at People’s Park at the east end of Kirkwood Avenue got a new, unsanctioned overlay of lettering that reads “Black Lives Matter.”

That came during a summer of protests, nationwide and locally, prompted by the killing by Minneapolis police of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man.

The overlay remains in place, because the Bloomington Arts Commission was not in a rush to “buff” the mural or to replace it with a different one, even if that’s likely in the cards at some point.

On Thursday evening, Eva Allen’s original mural, together with the “Black Lives Matter” lettering, gave an extra pop of background color to park visitors who were weaving together floral crowns from bunches of flowers.

The crowns of flowers were a “make and take” hosted by Downtown Bloomington, Inc.—something the DBI normally includes at its “Taste of Bloomington” event. The annual gathering, for thousands to gather and sample local food offerings, was transformed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It became a take-out only affair called “Taste of Bloomington to Go.”

Thursday’s park gathering covered a lot of civic territory—networking for the hospitality industry, a celebration of new light strands strung over Kirkwood, remarks from Bloomington mayor John Hamilton, and the regular People’s Park concert series.

Like the new lights, the event was a bit “all over the road.” Continue reading “Gathering at People’s Park for Kirkwood Avenue: All over the road”