Potwin neighborhood holds open mic night, softball game celebrating 4th of July

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – People who live in the Potwin neighborhood usually throw a big get together for the Fourth of July.

But because the coronavirus has canceled a lot of events, Ann Beall said they decided to switch things up so they could still celebrate the holiday.

“We all just wanted to do something for the fourth that was socially distanced and safe,” Beall said. “But still an event since a lot of other things got canceled.”

Neighbors came up with the idea for “PotwinPaLooza”, a small front yard gathering where people listen to music and reunite with friends.

“Honestly, I haven’t seen some of these people in months,” Beall said. “And it’s good to see them out and in a community setting again.”

Her sister, McCall, also sang at the musical event with Ann. The idea spurred from something they’ve been doing in quarantine.

“I’m happy cause at least me, and I think all of us, have been using music as our quarantine coping mechanism,” McCall Beall said. “So it’s nice to see that people can appreciate that.”

Christopher Reynolds also lives in the Potwin neighborhood and dresses up as Uncle Sam every fourth.

Reynolds said it was even more important this year to still celebrate what the holiday is all about.

“No matter what trials we face, what obstacles we have, we will remain Americans, and we will come through this all as Americans,” Reynolds said. “That’s the one label, the one group, that all of us belong in, and that we’re all equal in.”

The “PotwinPaLooza” music fest wasn’t the only event happening in the Potwin neighborhood on the Fourth of July.

Every year, people who live there have a softball game at Auburndale Park in Topeka to have some friendly competition with neighbors. In this year’s case, it was also the perfect activity to practice social distancing.

“I’m having so much fun, more fun than in the previous years,” Devan Tatum said, one of the players. “You can see the fun on my face…because there are Sonic drinks on the line.”

Tatum said there weren’t nearly as many people this year, but the friendly bet of Sonic drinks on the losers made it a little more interesting.

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