BROOKFIELD, CT — Following a three-year hiatus brought on by COVID and construction, Brookfield’s “Spring Into Summer Block Party” will return to the Brookfield Town Center District on Old Route 7 (formerly the Four Corners) on Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The block party is the brainchild of the founding members of the Brookfield Town Center for Business (BTC4B), which includes Angelo DaCunha, proprietor of Brookfield Cleaners & Tailors and a member of the town’s Economic Development Commission.

He said you can chalk the event’s genesis up to avenue envy.

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“I kept hearing over and over for many years how ‘Bethel has a beautiful downtown. New Milford has a beautiful town green. Ridgefield has a nice area where people can park their cars, walk down the sidewalks, go to the mom-and-pop boutiques and restaurants and pubs,’ and we have nothing,” he said.

The BTC4B figured that an annual blowout downtown would “bring some awareness to people in town that we’re here,” and the town celebrated its first block party in 2018.

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The event’s baptism wasn’t by fire, but by wind. A freakish “macroburst” turned Brookfield into a warzone, shutting down power stations and throwing down trees and utility poles. Many businesses and residences were without power for a week or more.

It should have strangled the block party in its cradle.

“I remember our debate about whether we should cancel, due to the storm,” said Kathy Creighton, another BTC4B founder, and the owner of Body Vision on Federal Road. “But it seemed that with all the troubles we were having in town, this party took on a whole new purpose, so we decided the show must go on!”

“And lo and behold, we were mobbed!” DaCunha said. “I think we had about 800 people that day. It was fantastic.”

After the block party’s two-year inaugural run, COVID-19 sidelined it for 2020 and 2021, and completion of the streetscape construction put it on hold for 2022. DaCunha is predicting the three-year hiatus has not dampened enthusiasm.

“Because the support that we’ve had this year is tremendous. We’ve got nearly 60 vendors, we have a band, we have food trucks, beverage trucks, and it’s a way for local mom-and-pop businesses to showcase their products and their services,” DaCunha told Patch.

The event has become so popular that some of those businesses even had to be turned away this year, according to Greg Dembowski, Brookfield’s community development specialist.

For those local businesses who made the cut, the decision was a no-brainer.

“If we have a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon, we’re expecting over a thousand people,” Dembowski said, emphasizing that the whole event is “weather dependent.”

Vendors pay a small fee for their space at the event, and that goes towards publicity and permits, mostly. The party is also made possible through the generosity of a number of corporate sponsors.

What remained in the kitty following the first two parties went to Parks and Rec for the reconstruction of the gazebo on the Greenway, DaCunha said. This year, BTC4B has teamed up with the Brookfield Volunteer Fire Department, who will be making their apparatus available to delight the children. Whatever funds are still on hand the end of this year’s event will be donated to the BVFD.

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