PICTURED, from left to right, are event organizers and hosts Lily Wall, Joe Phillips, Mayor Paul Brodeur, and Jen Earls.

MELROSE — Mayor Paul Brodeur and Melrose Human Rights Commissioner and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Advisory Task Force Chair Joseph Phillips invite residents to join them for an afternoon of music and dancing at the first-ever Melrose Dance for Community event taking place this Saturday, October 8, from 2 to 5 p.m. in front of City Hall on Essex St. Food will be available for purchase during the event.

The event provides an opportunity for community members to reunite over good music, good food, poetry, art, and free salsa and community dance lessons taught by Melrose resident Jen Earls. Earls is the founder of Dance for Humanity, an organization based around community-building through dance, and is excited to bring to Melrose her mission of helping people connect with themselves, each other and the land for greater health, happiness and wellbeing.

“Over the last few years, the global pandemic has taken so much of our attention. It’s time we shift our focus from the pandemic back to each other on a local level,” said Mayor Brodeur. “Strengthening our community is key to rebuilding Melrose. To do that, we can start by bringing everyone together for an afternoon of fun. I am grateful to the Human Rights Commission, as well as Joe Phillips, Chair of the Melrose DEI Advisory Task Force for his commitment to the Melrose community and for my staff for helping make this event possible.”

“We recognize the importance of togetherness, especially after the past few years that we’ve had and the political and pandemic environment we’ve been in that has to some degree divided us within our own communities,” said Phillips. ” It would be great for the city to come together as one community and celebrate with one another.”

“Come out and dance with us! Enjoy local art, food, music and re-connecting with friends and neighbors. No dance experience needed. All ages and levels welcome! My dance lessons are designed to be a fun, unifying experience to bring us together in a special way. As humans have done for ages, there is nothing like dancing together in the streets to strengthen and celebrate ourselves, each other and this incredible community we all belong to,” said Earls.

Please note that during the event, Essex St. from 562 Main St. to 23 Essex St. (the Post Office) will be closed to vehicle traffic from 1 — 6 p.m. and there will be no on street parking in this area from 12 p.m. — 6 p.m.

The event, which is sponsored by the City of Melrose and the Melrose Human Rights Commission, will include the vendors Dance for Humanity, Michelle La Poetica Richardson, DJ Fritz, Clovers Kitchen, C.R.E.A.M., Mud Dove Pottery, Elysian Design, Rahimgrayart among others.

Please contact the Mayor’s Office with any questions by emailing [email protected] or by calling 781-979-4440.