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New Event Draws Crowds to Downtown Macomb

Victoria Fagbohun

The Backstreet Bash organized by Build a Better Block – Macomb featured live music, games, and activities for families. 

The festivities drew people from throughout the community. Sydney Dewees said she hopes to see more of such events in the future.

‘’Oh, my goodness, completely!  Having good-spirited people around and being able to support local organizations and support communities, this is what it’s all about,” she said.

“I think being in a small town, seeing more diversity of programs and helping out people of different backgrounds, that’s what Macomb needs.”

The event was called Backstreet Bash because many of the activities took place in the Ewing Way alley on the northeast side of the courthouse square.

Rocio Ayard Ochoa, Director of the Western Illinois University Multicultural Center, said she hopes to collaborate again with the Build a Better Block program. 

“The event has a lot of potential. I think we can continue to do things like this to bring the WIU and Macomb communities together,” she said.

Other organizations involved in the event included the Good Food Collaborative and the Macomb Park District.

Linda Lee Blaine of the Build a Better Block program said they wanted to draw people downtown by giving them an avenue for socializing and engaging in activities. 

“I like to be involved in the community and I like to support ideas that are going to make our community more vibrant,” Blaine said.

“I’m personally very passionate about the arts and the possibility for the arts to really be a major draw for our community.”

Blaine said the organizers were excited about the turnout. she said the Backstreet Bash showed the potential underutilized spaces have to become vibrant public places.

About the Build a Better Block Organization

Build A Better Block is a group of members interested in making Macomb a better place. They aim to create projects that will improve the appearance or function of the community while bringing people together.

Build a Better Block’s mission is to engage the public in improving the community. Volunteers band together to create vibrant active spaces where people interact and help one another.

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