It’s a dinner invitation unlike any other.

You are invited to join hundreds of your friends and neighbors for Muncie’s Bridge Dinner Thursday, April 27, on the Washington Street Bridge.

The free outdoor community event will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Rain date will be May 4.

Grab some food and beverages from local vendors – or bring your own – and take a seat at one of the large community tables on the historic bridge to enjoy music and, of course, the beautiful views of the White River.

Music will be provided by DJ Kendrick Shadoan from KLS Digital and food vendors will include Neighborhood Pizza, Three Bears Concessions, Payne’s, Sea Salt & Cinnamon, Karma Kitchen, and Downtown Farm Stand.

More than 15 groups and organizations are involved in the planning and support of this annual dinner, and that includes a very creative group of kindergarten, first and third grade students at Burris Laboratory School.

The students in Danielle Phelps’s art classes created 152 flowers for this year’s dinner using pool noodles, pipe cleaners, coffee filters and scraps of paper.

“I wanted to try and use as many recycled materials as I could, but also unconventional items as well,” Phelps said, adding that she was thrilled with the results. “I adore their flowers! I am very proud of the work that they did and how excited they were to make them.”

The colorful centerpieces offered more than an art lesson for the students.

“It is so important for students to get involved with community projects because it shows how art can be used in a different way,” Phelps said. “Our projects can go beyond just for ourselves or our school. … They can be used to add beauty to our community. “

Muncie’s Bridge Dinner is hosted by Muncie Action Plan, City of Muncie, Shafer Leadership Academy, Muncie Downtown Development, Muncie Community Schools, Ball State Office of Community Engagement, Polcz Volbrecht Homes at RE/MAX Real Estate Groups, Muncie/Delaware County Economic Development Alliance, The Community Foundation of Muncie & Delaware County Inc., Walls Furniture, Burris Laboratory School, Woof Boom Radio, Ivy Tech Community College – Muncie, Muncie Department of Public Works, Muncie Sanitary District, and Words with Jas.

The idea for a community dinner in an unusual location was inspired by Peter Kageyama, author of “For the Love of Cities: The Love Affair Between People and Their Places” and “Love Where You Live: Creating Emotionally Engaging Places.” Peter spoke in Muncie on March 15, 2017, at Cornerstone Center for the Arts, and provided a new language for speaking about community and economic development – a language that includes words like beauty, passion, and fun.

In September 2017, the first Muncie Bridge Dinner was hosted on the Washington Street Bridge. More than a dozen organizations were involved in planning and supporting that first event. This will be the sixth dinner on the bridge.

Phelps said she is encouraging her students – and their families – to attend so they “can see their flowers at this fantastic community event.”

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