Last night there were two neighbourhood parties going on. Okay, so they weren’t exactly in OUR neighbourhood, but they were within walking distance and free.

Retro rocks at the Annual Hintonburg Street Dance

Retro rocks at the Annual Hintonburg Street Dance

The first one was the 10th Hintonburg Street Dance, located on Armstrong between Hamilton and Parkdale. This was the better organized one, with fencing around the area to control the beer drinkers. All proceeds from food and drinks went to Rochester Heights Community House and Somerset West Community Health Centre.

We arrived around 9:00. The bands had been playing through the rain from about 6:00. Retro was playing when we arrived. Their repetoire included all of Rob’s favourite classics: CCR, the Doors, Eric Clapton, John Lennon. We grabbed a beer and watched as a few people got up to groove. You can judge a person’s age  by how they dance. One hippyish-looking couple hit the pavement as soon as they arrived and didn’t stop all night. Loads of energy in those shoes!

Unknown band playing Tragically Hip

Unknown band playing Tragically Hip

After a couple of songs we wandered over to the Hintonburg Street Party, over on Hinchey. It felt more like a backyard party, with no food (at least that we could see) and what seemed like a garage band.  They weren’t really bad, just not as grooving as Retro. So we headed back.

When we got back, the last band was setting up. A lot of people moved inside the Carleton at this point because it was starting to feel like a cold winter’s night. Okay not really that bad, but a lot of people were wearing shorts. And Retro was setting up for their indoor gig, so the faithful fans followed.

Going to the street dance made me feel like I was in the Canadian real-life version of Corrie. The Carleton is truly a meeting place of people from all walks of life. Last night, there was Cowboy Bob who reminded me of Les at a Quo concert, hitting on all the ladies. Other characters covered last night would include Liz, Becky (a few of those!), Vern, Steve. All the favourites!

But that’s what makes a neighbourhood interesting, right?

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