Gather in Oak Park for new foodie block party

A new monthly block party is hitting Oak Park this summer, with a focus on community-building and culinary exploration.

It’s called Gather, and it’s organized by the very hip people behind Unseen Heroes. Unseen Heroes also puts on GOOD: street food + design market on Del Paso Boulevard. (By the way, that returns on Sunday, June 1.) Essentially, the Oak Park Business Association saw GOOD, loved it and wanted something similar for Oak Park.

But instead of shopping and crafts, Gather will be all about the food. Expect about six restaurants and food trucks dishing out locally-sourced plates for $5-$10, plus up to 20 vendors selling jams, vinegars and other artisanal treats.

Beers in Sac will curate the beer selection—local, of course—and the upcoming Oak Park Brewing Company is expected to pour. The California Food Literacy Center will put on chef demos.

“There’s an educational component,” said Maritza Davis, an Unseen Heroes partner. “We want people to know they can afford quality food, and here’s where they can get it.”

This is especially needed, she added, since Oak Park is a notorious food desert.

And to build a sense of community, the party will feature a super long, communal dining table in the center. A stage for live music, a pop-up park and interactive art installations will keep folks entertained and mingling.

“We want to bring people out of their houses to meet each other,” said Roshaun Davis, another Unseen Heroes partner. “But we also want visitors to come and learn about this great neighborhood.”

The very first Gather is Thursday, June 12, from 5 to 9 p.m. at 3rd Avenue and Broadway. Gather will continue every second Thursday through June.

In related news, Unseen Heroes is also going to partner with the Crocker Art Museum to ramp up its monthly Art Mix party, starting in July. If you went to Art Mix Prom, you know it was unlike any other Art Mix event. Just look to the numbers: usually around 25 pre-sale tickets are sold for Art Mix, but for prom, the Crocker sold more than 200 advanced tickets. Guess who helped plan that one?

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