Centennial residents celebrate final district summer social

Event featured live music, yard games, local vendors and opportunities to meet city officials

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Crouched down in the grass, Jerry Wasikowski smiled at his 2-year-old son, Cam, as he played with pieces of a giant Connect Four yard game during the Centennial District 4 summer social event at Indian Ridge Elementary School on July 26. 

“We like to do local community events, and so obviously getting him out of the house and listening [to] some music and playing some games, that was the motivating factors,” Wasikowski said about why he and his wife, who live near the school, came to the event with their son. “It’s good to meet some of the community leaders.” 

Families gathered on the school’s field to enjoy an evening of yard games, live music, food trucks, local vendors and conversation with city council members and city officials, including Arapahoe County Sheriff Tyler Brown.

The event was the last of the four summer socials the City of Centennial hosted, one for each district, as a way to bring community members together.  

District 4 council members Don Sheehan and Marlo Alston welcomed attendees to the event, inviting them to enjoy the range of attractions and to also visit the city’s housing booth, which collected community input as part of the city’s ongoing housing study.   

“Stop by and say hello to everybody here, if you would. Say hello to some of the folks that are here from Arapahoe Park and Rec; stop over at the city booth and say hello to those people,” Sheehan said. “Thank you for coming — appreciate it.” 

Along the line of booths of local vendors was an art station set up by Krista Krol, a fine artist who operates the business KKrol Art, which is a participant in the ‘Spark Centennial’ program that aims to help boost local businesses

Children gathered at a table with Krol to create items, such as necklaces, out of a variety of miscellaneous materials that Krol provided. She said she wanted to create a space for parents and kids to spend time together and create new things.  

“The idea is that…it’s not hard to entertain and make things, and we can make some cool stuff together,” Krol said. “Things that are simple and easy for anybody, at any age, to do. And just trying to keep using materials instead of throwing them away.” 

One of the most popular attractions at the summer social was the face painting and balloon twisting booth, often having a line of children eagerly waiting for their turn, such as 7-year-old Cienna Cunningham, who lives nearby the school. 

While heading home from a taekwondo class, Cunningham, who attends Indian Ridge Elementary School, asked her grandmother, Tonia Cunningham, to bring her to the gathering. 

“I just think it was, overall, a nice family event,” said Tonia Cunningham, adding that she enjoyed the music and seeing the variety of vendors, the food trucks and city officials engaging with the kids.

Throughout the event, city council members, including Tammy Maurer of District 2 and Mike Sutherland and Richard Holt of District 3, visited different booths and spoke with attendees. 

For her conversations with community members, Alston carried with her a pile of printed copies of the drafted ballot language for a potential lodging tax that city council is considering, as well as contact cards. She handed out the papers to residents to make sure they were aware of it and to get their feedback.  

“Everyone is just really happy that I’m giving them information to hear their points of views and explain to them what it is,” Alston said. 

Alston said her favorite part of the summer social, besides having her son at the event with her, was seeing so many people in District 4. She said the purpose of the event is community, and that she hopes people who attended had fun.  

“This is the most people we’ve ever had, so it’s amazing to see all of these people here,” Alston said. “They live in a city that really cares about them.” 

Centennial, City of Centennial, Community event

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