By Linda Benson

Saturday June 11th was a busy day, not just for my-self but for Hamilton in general. There were street fests and all kinds of entertainment dotted throughout the city. And, in my own backyard was the annual Barton Village Festival that is held on Barton Street between Wentworth and Victoria Street. The weather cooperated, at least until late afternoon, and there was a feeling of euphoria and joy on the street. I enjoyed walking around meeting members of the community, both residents, and business owners.

The Emerald Coffee Co was crowded both inside and outside under their canopy. Barton Lettuce, Dawson’s Hot Sauce, Royal Flush Vintage, and Duarte’s Supermarket all had their own tents too. Verlan had their side patio open and by mid day it was overflowing with customers. Of course, the Portuguese restaurants were offering their BBQ meats (my favourite is their traditional bifana sandwiches, which I always look forward to). There was extra seating at many of the restaurants and bars along the road side. The Barton Salumeria Charcuterie & Cheese had set up tables in the alley next to Darryl Allen Salon, complete with fairy lights right next to the amazing new mural. Have you seen it yet? It is absolutely amazing. Darryl had also painted 3 or 4 antique doors, in a vibrant yellow, on which he hung potted plants. I do believe I live on the best alley in Central Hamilton! Bias, I am…

Even our very own Brenda Duke, who needs no introduction, Editor from The GALA Herald community newspaper had her own table with Chris Pearson, a board member from the North End Breezes community newspaper. They were handing out their latest May issues and selling 50th anniversary tickets for the North End Breezes that was being held at the Hamilton Yacht Club on Saturday, June 18th.

I will be attending the event myself and volunteering at the 50/50 table. I look forward to meeting the many readers from the Gibson and Landsdale and the North End community, including getting to know a potential writer for the North End Breezes.

There were a few bands and solo singers on the street as well. It was quite festive and honestly there was something for everyone to do, no matter the age. The Barton Library had a table and there were crafts and arts for the children. I’m sure a favourite, with the little ones at least, (including many adults no doubt) was the big shiny fire truck. My own kids used to love sitting in the cab of these trucks and interacting with the first responders.

I had to leave the street festival fairly early, to attend a wedding, but I am glad I was able to spend an hour or so just browsing around and talking with our vibrant community. It is times like these that I am proud to say that I live in Barton Village.