By Matt DeBow
The Whiteaker Cocktail Society is a group of friends who decided to get involved in their community instead of just sitting around drinking beer, although they still sit around drinking beer. The first organized event they participated in was “The Great Whiteaker Cleanup Parade” on Earth Day of 2007 where Whiteaker residents dressed in costumes and cleaned the neighborhood with help from Sanipac.
The society’s efforts morphed into the Whiteaker Block Party. The fourth annual block party will be held this Saturday from noon to 11 P.M between on 3rd Street between Blair Boulevard and Adams Street.
This year the block party will feature a parade led by Samba Ja and will feature “artcars.” Samba Ja is 30-member percussion band.
According to Tribe.com Samba Ja “specialize(s) in playing wild, funky, and incredibly danceable street music from all over Brazil and the Americas.”
The block party is “what a neighborhood driven event is supposed to be,” Chris Gadspy said, member of the Whiteaker Cocktail Society and his driveway will host the G-spot stage.
Gadsby added that it is a community event that is entirely volunteer driven that takes all of the WCS and contributing businesses to put the event together.
The event is free, so the contributing businesses make the party possible said Gadsby.
“Our budget has approached record heights because of all of the infrastructure,” said Gadspy. “It’s not a money-making event.”
“Even the dunk tank and cotton candy (machines) don’t break even,” added Gadspy.
The event took more than 250 hours of meetings just to plan the event said Gadsby. Ninkasi Brewing Company, who is also a major contributor to the block party, let the WCS use their boardroom to plan the event.
One of the ways they can afford the event is that the Red Apple convinced their distributors to give free cases of soda and juice.
Allana Crabaugh has worked at Delphina’s an alternative clothing store off and on for four years. The business recently moved into the neighborhood and will be hosting the Slash and Burn stage that will be hosting several bands and an art show.
“This whole area has become a pretty unique area,” Crabaugh said. “It’s a kind of an up and coming, hip part of town.”
All the bands volunteered to play at the event and they had to turn bands down this year because so many were offering to play.
The event is “probably what the Eugene Celebration should be,” Gadsby said, “because it’s what the Celebration used to be.”