EAST PROVIDENCE — The 21st Annual Central Avenue/Onna Moniz-John Park Neighborhood Day takes place from morning to evening Saturday, Aug. 17.
Events step off at 9:30 a.m. with the traditional Memorial Walk, which recognizes those loved ones lost over the past year. The walk is approximately a mile and traverses many of the streets in the Central Avenue area. Walkers are escorted by East Providence Police.
Once back at the park, balloons will be released as a remembrance in memory loved ones and neighbors. This year’s Neighborhood Day specifically honors the memory of noted local resident Joe Silva and Paul Michael Gomes.
Mr. Silva, who was a supporter of Neighborhood Day and helped the coalition plan last year’s 10th Anniversary, passed away in February of this year. He was the Warden for the East Providence Knights of Columbus, Council 1528 and was a Faithful Navigator for St. Pius X Assembly, 1060. Mr. Silva ran the Children’s Toy Drive Dinner through the KofC to benefit Children’s Friend for over 20 years. He was a board member of the Holiday Toy Drive for Children’s Friend and a board member of the Red Bridge Neighborhood Association. He was a committee member of the East Providence Winter Fest.
Mr. Gomes, a 23-year U.S. Army veteran, passed away two years ago. He was one of eight children of Jennie and the late Frank Gomes from Blanding Avenue to grow up in the neighborhood. As a child, Paulie loved the park and played there every chance he got. He was known for his infectious smile and good nature.
Following the memorials, Neighborhood Day kicks into high gear with a host of activities for both young and old alike.
Events include the Jamal Jackson Invitational 5-on-5 basketball tournament, seniors bingo, Zumba lessons by ShapeUp East Providence, a Reiki lesson, East Providence Police and Fire vehicle demonstrations, children’s games, face painting, music, Ms. Moniz-John’s “Roll Out the Black” Black History Exhibit and much, much more. Various foods will be served and Monroe Dairy is providing beverages.
The 21st Annual Central Avenue/Onna Moniz-John Park Neighborhood Day is free and open to the public. The event is sponsored by Park Neighborhood Coalition, Red Bridge Neighborhood Association and Trinity Tabernacle Church in cooperation with the City of East Providence Affirmative Action Office.
“We want to encourage everyone to come out and walk with us to remember their loved ones they’ve lost. And we also want people to come out and enjoy the day,” Ms. Moniz-John said. “We start with the walk in the morning and we stay there until the mosquitoes eat us up.”