NARRAGANSETT- Local residents have joined together to bring back the sense of community in Narragansett. A resident of Narragansett for more than 40 years, Marie Younkin-Waldman created the organization Where’s the Town? (WTT) in Fall 2011, in hopes of rejuvenating the Pier.
WTT will do its part on Sunday, June 9, as the organization holds its second annual Seaside Village Fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Pier Marketplace.
Although Younkin-Waldman was born in another area, she feels as though Narragansett is her home town.
According to WTT, the Pier has suffered spiritually and economically ever since the town center was removed. WTT is a grass roots organization focused on establishing a meaningful town center for Narragansett. Younkin- Waldman said she created the name of the organization when Deborah Kelso, executive director of the Narragansett Chamber of Commerce, told her that everyone always asks where the town is.
“We want to revitalize the area and make it more beautiful,” said Younkin-Waldman. “We need to all look at Narragansett as a whole, in my opinion, if we want to succeed economically and socially and also we want to be more vibrant year round. There are families that live here year round, so I think it’s time for that.”
Once WTT formed a committee and board, Younkin- Waldman decided that they needed to have an event. The organization planned the event in five months and hosted the first annual Seaside Village last year.
“It was complicated, everyday almost was a big hurdle that we had to jump over but we made it and we had the fair and several thousand people came and they were very happy,” said Younkin-Waldman.
The event included children activities, entertainment, and town groups and organizations which allowed people to meet their town and the local businesses. This year the organization will host the second annual Seaside Village fair on June 9 at 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Narragansett Pier Marketplace. They will also be presenting a Children’s Tea Party during the fair at 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., for children ages 4 to 9 years old. Children can pre-register for the tea party on the organization’s website, www.WheresTheTown.org .
The admission to the event is free and WTT has added additional local entertainers, groups and towns for the fair this year including the children’s library activities, ballet dancers, belly dancers, carnival activities and a children’s area. Other highlights this year include food trucks, martial art demos, kayak specialists, paddle board specialists and local retails who will be hosting special sales. The retailers at the Pier Marketplace will be offering special sales to encourage people to become more aware of the local businesses.
All of the donations received by WTT is funded directly to promote their efforts and towards the fair event and to the non-profit organization Kid’s Action League of Martial Arts (Kaloma).
“It brings me satisfaction to help my town where my family grew up and my children grew up and I feel strongly about Narragansett, I feel strongly about the concept of community,” said Younkin- Waldman. “I like doing these things for people and getting involved and being creative, I enjoy it. I feel a connection to Narragansett and it can be better than it is and if there is anything I can do to help, I’m happy to do it.”
Younkin- Waldman encourages other residents to become involved with WTT and to show support for the town of Narragansett by attending the Seaside Village Fair.