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BRIDGE PARK BOOGIE slated for September 17, 2022

Last updated on August 5, 2022

The first, annual Bridge Park Boogie event will be held Saturday, September 17th, from 2:00-6:00pm at the Bridge Park in Downtown Sylva. Attendees can enjoy dancing and music with a DJ all day and games and activities provided by businesses and organizations who serve and support this special part of our community. Free services like sensory-friendly hair stylings and photos will be available, as well as a cool down tent, and a variety of active, sensory, and creative activities. Volunteer dance buddies will be present helping participants enjoy music and movement. Thanks to our sponsors, water and snacks will be available for attendees. The event is free and welcomes everyone. The day of the event, several downtown businesses are offering promotions and donations to local nonprofits who serve persons with disabilities.

Organizers include the Bridge Park Boogie Accessibility Committee, a dedicated volunteer team of special educators, occupational therapists, social workers, and disability advocates. This team reviews the venue, the restroom access, parking, and the set-up of every games and activity. They make recommendations for accommodations to ensure that all guests can participate comfortably.

Bridge Park Boogie began after a local DJ, Kris Bowers, of DJ Probable Cause, began a discussion in a local Facebook group. He offered to donate his time, talent, and equipment to host a dance for children with disabilities. A planning committee formed, people began volunteering, and Bridge Park Boogie was born! Several local businesses, nonprofits, and individuals have reached out to offer their support. The response has been moving; it has truly become a community-wide effort to celebrate inclusivity and access for everyone.

The event relies entirely on volunteer organizers and in-kind sponsorships. Local businesses and organizations are supplying the event with materials, equipment, and volunteers. Many have inquired about making monetary donations. While this is not primarily a fundraising event, we recommend any donations be made directly to DisAbility Partners or Full Spectrum Farms, two local nonprofits who serve persons with disabilities in Jackson County. 

Event sponsors include Innovation Brewing; State Farm Agent, Patricia Bryson-Wink; Mountain Credit Union, Studio e Salon, High Noon Tattoo, City Lights Café, Baxley’s Chocolates, Triple Threat Performing Arts Academy, Smoky Mountain Cheer Club, WCU School of Nursing, and DisAbility Partners. Bridge Park Boogie has also received tremendous support from Main Street Sylva Association, The Town of Sylva & Public Works, and the Sylva Police Department. For more information on becoming an event sponsor, email bridgeparkboogie@gmail.com. 

A+ Access Advocate Training: Tuesday, September 6th at 4:00pm at Sylva Town Hall

Event Organizers are hosting this FREE training to help businesses and organizations create an inclusive environment in which ALL patrons can enjoy your products and services. The training will address ADA compliance, use of technology, display or structural recommendations, use of person-first language, employing persons with disabilities, and an orientation for waitstaff and retail employees to make them feel more at ease and knowledgeable as they serve patrons with intellectual or physical disabilities. Upon completion and commitment to implementing the accommodations that work for your business, attendees will receive an A+ Access Advocate Badge to display and promote in their storefront on September 17th, with the hope that these inclusive practices last long after Bridge Park Boogie. Training is free and open to all Jackson County businesses, but registration is required. Email us to register you and your staff today.

We encourage you to follow our Facebook Page for regular updates, or email the Event Organizer for more information at bridgeparkboogie@gmail.com

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