Pie-X Park becomes a people place for Chomedey Neighbourhood Party

Half-day celebration of community brought together hundreds of residents

After two years of having to lie low because of the Covid pandemic, the people of Chomedey were primed to get out and celebrate in Pie-X Park last Saturday when they turned out in large numbers for the 14th annual Chomedey Neighbourhood Party.

Laval mayor Stéphane Boyer (far right) and city councillor for Souvenir-Labelle Sandra El-Helou are seen here with volunteers Mariane and Édith last Saturday during the Chomedey Neighbourhood Party in Pie-X Park. (Photo: Martin C. Barry, Newsfirst Multimedia)

Back ‘in person’

It was the first time the party was held ‘in person’ since 2019. Because of the pandemic, the traditional festive gathering took a whole different form over the two past years.

After having organized alternative neighbourhood party events in 2020 and 2021, the organizing committee was very excited and impatient to have the opportunity to finally celebrate with the citizens of Chomedey in-person last Saturday afternoon at Pie-X Park.

Back on the menu: corn

In keeping with late summer as harvest season, there was lots of corn on the cob on the menu at the Chomedey Neighbourhood Party. (Photo: Martin C. Barry, Newsfirst Multimedia)

Once again, many community organizations from the neighborhood were present at kiosks to entertain and to explain themselves and their missions. The famous corn roast also made a comeback. By late afternoon, the celebrations were being capped with a performance by Kattam and his Tam-Tams.

Among the few hundred people who passed through the park grounds to join the party over the course of the afternoon were Laval city councillor for Souvenir-Labelle Sandra El-Helou and Mayor Stéphane Boyer.

A fitting end to summer

“In Chomedey these days, there is a need for events which are positive like this,” said El-Helou, while adding that she believes the Chomedey Neighbourhood Party is a great way each year to begin to bring summer in Chomedey to a close.

“I think it’s very important to have events like the Chomedey Neighbourhood Party because they allow us all to get out and meet our neighbours,” said Mayor Boyer.

Natalina Pace, a project coordinator for Agape’s Healthy Early Years (HEY) Program, was among the representatives of local community groups that sponsored information booths during the 14th Chomedey Neighbourhood Party.

“There’s been a lot of talk this past year about the increased violence in the community. But when people are able to get out like this to speak with and get to know one another, it helps to counter the other type of phenomenon and builds a stronger community spirit.”

Election year hopefuls

This being a provincial election year, last Saturday’s event brought out a number of political hopefuls running for National Assembly seats on Oct. 3 in Laval, including Québec Solidaire candidate in Chomedey Zachary Robert.

“It’s good to be here – just being around all these people and in contact with them feels great,” he said in an interview with the Laval News.

“There’s a strong sense of community here. It’s just what’s needed. There have to be connections between people. That’s very important to us at Québec Solidaire, where we are working constantly to bring people together.”

Potential constituents

There was even a chance to play a BIG game of chess during the afternoon at Pie-X Park.

The Quebec Liberal Party’s Chomedey candidate, Sona Lakhoyan Olivier, was also out and about at the neighbourhood party last Saturday afternoon, meeting some of her potential constituents.

“It’s going to be my main objective to create new opportunities for all the families and kids like those we see here today for a better quality of life,” she said.

The Chomedey Neighbourhood Party has been part of a neighborhood summer tradition for 14 years. The celebration was originally a community initiative and one of the results from the 2008 Chomedey social forum. It was all made possible thanks to the financial support of many partners, including the Caisse Desjardins de Chomedey, IGA Extra Gagnon et Filles, The Laval News and the City of Laval.