EUGENE, Ore.– The Whiteaker came alive on Saturday, with music, food, and lots of people for the 8th annual Whiteaker Block Party in Eugene.
“We are down here because we’re really excited about what’s going on in the Whiteaker and we love the culture and the people,” said party goer Rudolph Korv.
The party draws thousands of people every year, but organizers expect this year to be bigger than ever.
“This is the first year we sold all the vendors. We booked all of our vendor spaces and we couldn’t book anymore,” said organizer Nathaniel Klute.
They credit the recent revitalization of the Whiteaker. It was once branded as a dangerous neighborhood, but now draws record breaking crowds to the block party each year.
“When we first moved here it didn’t have that great of an image. People would just drive by and say oh God, that place. But it’s really transformed into a community atmosphere, more family friendly,” said party goer Troy Gile.
And on non-party days, the Whit has become a destination for foodies and beer lovers.
“Over the years we’ve seen just a tremendous amount of more people here with the growth of Ninkasi and microbreweries and soundstage,” said Gile.
Grit owner Ashley Hawkins adds “It’s wonderful to see new faces in the neighborhood and people acknowledge that it’s a good neighborhood and it’s not dangerous.”
While it may be a year of new businesses and new faces, the Whit maintains the old culture and annual traditions, like the Block Party, which is now in its 8th year.
“The feel of this area is really artsy, anything goes. It’s really neat, said Korv.