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National Night Out will bring neighbors together across Delmar Divide

ST. LOUIS – These are the final days for organizers and participants of the National Night Out Against Crime to prepare for the annual block parties here on Tuesday, Oct. 1. 

This year marks the second time in St. Louis that the block party event will take place on the first Tuesday in October instead of on the traditional nationwide date, the first Tuesday in August.

St. Louis’ change was initiated by Alderwoman Carol Howard, 14th Ward, in 2017. Howard, who sits on a variety of committees, including public safety, introduced the 2017 bill, which was signed into ordinance last year. 

2019 also marks the second year for Breaking the Delmar Divide, a National Night Out block party spanning the 4200 block of Delmar Boulevard. The party is from 5 to 8 p.m. 

The block party brings together residents from both sides of the “divide,” which is infamously perceived to draw a line between racial and economic inequities north and south of Delmar. 

The party has a dual purpose: Get people together to have fun, and offer information about a plan to physically link the two areas with a trail.

Breaking the Delmar Divide is the brainchild of Vandeventer neighborhood resident Judith Arnold and Eric Kyser, of the Central West End’s Gaslight Square district. The block party is presented under the umbrella of residents from both sides of the divide who make up the North Central Neighborhood Association. 

Residents will gather first at Galilee Missionary Baptist Church, at 4300 Delmar. There, residents will be briefed on the proposed Hodiamont Tracks Great Rivers Greenway project, which would bridge the north and south with a walking, running and biking trail. 

Along with connecting those two areas, the greenway would also connect the former streetcar and bus lines along the Hodiamont Tracks and Suburban Tracks to St. Vincent Greenway in Normandy, in north St. Louis County. The southern leg would run through the Central West End to the Chouteau Greenway, connecting the Gateway Arch to Forest Park.

Immediately following the information session, the party will begin promptly at 6 p.m. in 4200 block of Delmar. There will be a deejay as well as live music. 

Bill Beene Bill Beene was born and raised in north St. Louis. He has been a journalist for 12 years. He enjoys cooking and roller skating. He lives in the historic Ville neighborhood.

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