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Bergen Street, Newark’s largest Block Party

BY lyanne

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On Saturday, the Bergen Street Merchant Association, held their 19th annual one-day celebration of culture, economics, education, health awareness and good ole fashion fun has attracted people from the community, surrounding areas and beyond.  Branded as Newark’s largest Block party, equally important to note, that this area and event is also the home of many of the political power base and elected officers for the city of Newark.  

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The block party was hosted by radio personality (WBLS) Tony Vaughn.

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Established by the Bergen Street Merchant’s Association in 1995, the festival has been a unifying force in Newark’s South Ward community for the past 16 years. The event originated with the intention of creating a stimulating, family-friendly environment where the merchant and residence collectively energized people will the neighborhood and the business corridor.

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These amusement rides were added to the Block party line up.

I must admit the most exciting moment of the Block party wasn’t the performances but rather, it was watching the girl’s dance competition.  It was non-organized and spontaneous feature, when a music vendor began to play hip-hop, a group of girls begin dancing and challenging other, a crowd ensued and the competition for the best “Winding on the block for street  ”cred” was on.  Winding is a dance craze that is basically Newark theme dance.  It involves putting your “Bad” hand, (a.k.a., im a lefty, so my bad hand is my right) behind your back, on your hip, on your chest, or on your stomach. Many people agree that Winding is actually a form of Krumping}. When you wind, or “Kake”, as it is called when a boy and girl face off, your hips move in a smooth, un-rigid motion. In 2006, white, female singer, Gwen Stefani, released the song “Wind It Up”. Even though a California girl should be rapping about Krumping, the song is now a theme song. The moves included chest contraction, arm and hand movements, drops to the grounds and after the challenge hand gestures as if to pass off to the competitor to bring it. Some moves were hard and aggressive, while others moves were small and precise.  The event was friendly and fun.

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