By TIA CAROL JONES
More than 40,000 people attended the 2018 Silver Room Block Party, and they brought an estimated $2 million to businesses in the Hyde Park community.
That effort earned the Block Party and its creators, Eric Williams and Rob McKay, the first Economic Impact Award from Downtown Hyde Park Chicago.
“It fells great that we are recognized for the work,” said McKay, who is director of productions for the Block Party. “It’s definitely an honor to be recognized by the community you work in.”
The Silver Room Block Party began in 2002, when the business was located on the North Side. In 2015, the business moved to its current location at 1506 E. 53rd St. And, it brought the Block Party with it.
“We’re definitely being embraced here. This feels like home,” Williams said. “People definitely appreciate it even more down here.”
“So many of our retail vendors, it was their first time,” Williams said. “It actually gave them the confidence. For a lot of vendors it was validation for what they do.
“You had local businesses who had more business because of the Block Party, first time customers. It’s not just for one day, it has reverberation for years. These kinds of events are good for the culture, for the spirit, for the economy.”