A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

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It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood

A beautiful day for a neighbor

Could you be mine?

Would you be mine?

 

It’s a neighborly day in this beauty wood

A neighborly day for a beauty

Could you be mine?

Would you be mine?

 

I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you

I’ve always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you

 

Let’s make the most of this beautiful day

Since we’re together, we might as well say

Would you be my, could you be my

Won’t you be my neighbor?

 

These are the words to a song written by the iconic Mr. Rogers and sung at the opening of each episode of his children’s show, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. It spoke to the need that we all have to belong, to have friends and to get along.

 

In today’s world, when children communicate via text message, businesspeople email the person sitting next to them in the office and people use their smart phones as a way to escape the necessity of a conversation, we have to ask ourselves, “What is a neighborhood and why do we need it?”.

 

The dictionary defines “neighborhood” as a community of people who live close together and share common characteristics, interests or experiences. People are what make a neighborhood a living community rather than just a group of buildings. A neighborhood is a place where people talk in their front yards, children play on the sidewalk or the playground together, and where neighbors help one another when there is a need. It’s a place where people know each other, trust each other and enjoy being together. Vibrant neighborhoods are places that people care deeply about, and that is what we saw displayed this past Saturday at our annual Book Parade. Walton Communities had the opportunity to host it, but it was much bigger than Walton. It was the coming together of community members and partners from all over Marietta, Austell, Kennesaw, Roswell and Atlanta (including several local churches, local businesses, the National Park Service, Kennesaw State University and Pebblebrook High School) with the idea that everyone would work together to make the day extra special…and special it was!

 

The Book Parade idea started as a way to kick off the summer reading program and to encourage kids to read and parents to read to their children. After all, we all know how important reading is, but we sometimes forget how much FUN it can be. So, residents and guests were invited to come dressed as their favorite book character and join in the grand parade. There were floats (all with book themes), including the Jolly Roger from Peter Pan, Charlotte’s Web, the house from UP!, the Very Hungry Caterpillar and even Minnie Mouse. It also featured everything else you might expect from a parade… horses, a marching band, a grand marshal, mascots and even convertibles that – instead of featuring beauty queens waving to the crowd, featured smiling children being recognized for being Top Readers.

 

Following the parade, residents and guests had a chance to load up on books of all kinds and for all ages, for just nickels and dimes each, and to enjoy a hot dog, get their face painted, grab a sno cone or cotton candy, enjoy the professional storyteller and magician, ride the train or dance to the live band. The street party was full of smiling faces and excited children that, in spite of the heat, were having the time of their lives. It was the scene of friends from other communities greeting one another with hugs and for meeting new friends for the first time. It was a time of neighborliness, and it was a beautiful thing.

Let’s make the most of this beautiful day

Since we’re together, we might as well say

Would you be my, could you be my

Won’t you be my neighbor?

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