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Hamilton Hill neighborhood reunion planned for Sunday

Hamilton Hill neighborhood reunion planned for Sunday

Group hopes to make event an annual thing
Hamilton Hill neighborhood reunion planned for Sunday
Jerry Burrell Park.
Photographer: PETER R. BARBER

SCHENECTADY — Visitors to Jerry Burrell Park on Sunday will be transported to the not-so-distant past, as part of the inaugural Hamilton Hill reunion.

A recent Facebook conversation focused on childhood memories in the neighborhood sparked calls for the event, said Tanika Smith, one of the organizers. Sunday’s gathering will feature free entertainment and food and a chance to strengthen community ties, she said.

“We want to try to be a community again, is what we really are looking to aim for here,” Smith said. “When we were growing up, we had so many good times in the neighborhood. We have to bring back respect not just in our homes, but in the whole city.”

There will be free food, music, dancing, an “old school vs. new school” basketball game and more, Smith said. Members of the city police department will be on hand as well to mingle with residents, she said.

Smith, who grew up on Emmett and Strong streets, now lives in a house in the Woodlawn neighborhood. She acknowledged there’s a stigma of violence associated with Hamilton Hill and said the reunion can hopefully remind people of how strong the area used to be.

Some people have talked about dressing in clothes from the eras in which they grew up, Smith said.

“It is our goal to start this new tradition in hopes of making our community close-knit and safer for the next generations,” Smith and co-organizer LaShanda Blanks said in an email promoting the event.


IF YOU GO

WHAT: Hamilton Hill reunion
WHERE: Jerry Burrell Park, located between Schenectady and Paige streets
WHEN: Noon to 8 p.m. Sunday

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