By Toni D. Newborn, Interim Assistant Director – Complaint Investigations
The evening of Wednesday, October 9th, the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department participated in the annual, large, and fun-filled neighborhood festival organized by the Diane Hofstede’s Third Ward Office. It was a beautiful fall evening for festival participants of all ages, complete with good food, music, and entertainment. The festival had a stage inside and outside of the Nicollet Island Pavilion and a large tent to accommodate additional vendors and the food tables.
The Third Ward’s annual Neighborhood festival promotes city, neighborhood, and local businesses and celebrates the diverse and vibrant neighborhoods of Minneapolis’s Third Ward. High school cheer teams danced outside, gathering a large audience. Qdoba handed out free burrito bowls, and local vendors handed out swag items to visitors passing by their booths.
Our group, with representation from the various divisions within the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights, tabled inside the pavilion near the stage. We visited with Third Ward residents, discussed ongoing civil rights issues, and encouraged table visitors to take a brief iPad survey about our services. Other City employees, such as police officers and firefighters, were on hand to visit with residents, and raffles gave away prizes to festival participants. Council member Diane Hofstede and mayoral candidates walked through the event to chat with families and booth exhibitors.
The festival successfully demonstrated the strength of the Third Ward community and the Third Ward City Council’s connection to its residents. The Department enjoyed the opportunity to mingle with festival goers and is already looking forward to next year.