Party in the Park!

All the Saint's Theater Park Parade

Photo by Poison Affair Photgraphy

Fun times were had by all on Saturday’s Party in the Park, put on by All the Saint’s Theater Company to celebrate 1,000 signatures on the petition to Save Monroe Park. The festivities also presented as a form of carnival-esque protest against the City’s plans to shut down Monroe Park for almost 2 years for renovations. A coalition of individuals from various churches, social justice groups, and groups that regularly use the park, unofficially dubbed “The Monroe Park Campaign” has been working to organize around the issue. One of the group’s early efforts was a petition demanding that 25% of the park be kept open, and that no private security force would be used to police the park after renovations were complete. The Campaign has been stepping up their efforts in the last few weeks, and a new meeting is being planned. If you are interested in getting involved, you can visit their website or join the Google Group, “Monroe Park“.

The festivities kicked off at noon, with only minor harassment from police, asking people to arbitrarily move tables of food around. The success early on was bystanders claiming “No one is in charge, that is everyone’s table, we don’t have the authority to move it.” and walking away. After a couple tries, the police gave up and it was rumored that some even loosened up and enjoyed some of the music!

Kenny at the IWW table

Peggy, of the IWW and a local church

Photo by Poison Affair Photography

The biggest success, from my perspective anyway, was how the organizers seemed to make a strong effort to encourage participation from bystanders and the homeless who frequent the park. Most people that were there for meal servings in the morning stuck around all day and enjoyed the music, face-painting, hula-hooping, LARPing, and just being outside in the park, it being one of the warmest days in the last few weeks. Charles Samuels (the councilman backing the renovations) was proven wrong on Saturday, as all different groups from the City of Richmond came together and enjoyed the beautiful green space that is Monroe Park, and ate, sang, danced, and hooped together.

RVA Hula Hoop Lovers

Photo by Kromatic Photography

Eric Scott as Charles Samuels. Of The Wingnut Collective and Food Not Bombs

Photo By Poison Affair Photography

Just Plain Sounds Hip-Hop Collective

Photo by Poison Affair Photography

Participating organizations and performers:

All the Saint’s Theater Company
Richmond Industrial Workers of the World
Lamplighter Coffeeshop
Crossroads Coffee & Ice Cream
Richmond Food Not Bombs (Monroe Park & Church Hill)
Cafe Gutenburg
Richmond Really Really Free Market
RVA Hula Hoop Lovers
MCC Social Justice Committee

No BS! Brass Band
Dave Watkins
Pedals On Our Pirate Ships
Diamond Center
Julie Karr
Lobo Marino
Better Not Makeouts
Alison Self
Gandhi’s Gunmen
Cmilk and Reeverb Collective
Just Plain Sounds Hip Hop Collective

– Nathan

p.s. if I didn’t include a link, its because I couldn’t find a good site for your group. If you have one, please leave a comment and I will add it!


~ by flyingbrickrva on January 18, 2011.

One Response to “Party in the Park!”

  1. You can find more photography by Poison Affair Photography by searching for us on Flickr or Facebook, or by visiting, or you can contact me at for more information.

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