Carbondale’s dinner with a few friends
Carbondale’s community potluck returns Sunday with the second annual Our Town One Table.
“The response last year was great, and the second time is always easier,” said organizer Sondie Reiff.
Everyone is invited to reserve a table and gather some friends to contribute to one massive smorgasbord along Fourth Street from Main to Euclid and back. Participants are asked to bring their own chairs, dinnerware and coordinate food for their own group.
While a tablecloth will suffice, some participants may elect to go all out with decorations, costumes and a themed meal. A prize will be awarded for the best spread. Setup starts at 5 p.m. with dinner proper slated for 6 p.m..
Reiff hopes to have everyone seated on time to get the full community effect and allowing several strolling acoustic musicians to provide some entertainment. She intentionally avoided amplified music for the event.
“We want people to be able to talk to each other,” she said.
With that in mind, there are also options for folks who lack the time or inclination to put a group together.
“A community table is available for singles, newcomers, whoever, but in order to coordinate your dinner, we need to know ahead of time,” Reiff explained.
Even if you come with a group, there’s plenty of opportunity to make new friends from the table over or somewhere down the line.
“People might eat at one table, but there’s a great deal of intermingling after,” Reiff said. “The crossover is glorious.”
Although the planned layout will support twice as many attendees as last year’s crowd of about 425, it’s a good idea to make arrangements promptly.
“You’re going to have to bring your own table if you don’t make a reservation soon,” Reiff said.
In addition to an extra block of space, this year’s event also benefits from the direct sponsorship of the town of Carbondale. The Recreation Department will supply volunteers, and the residents of the Jaywalker Lodge will also return to lend a hand.
Although the event is free, many people left tips after last year’s event. With that in mind, an optional contribution jar will be available for Brain Train, a Senior Matters program that provides support for people with dementia and their caregivers.
The core goal remains just to unite the community through food.
“The spirit people bring to this event is amazing,” Reiff said. “Our goal is to someday do it straight down Main street and really get the whole town. … We just hope it grows and grows.”