On Thursday evening the Washington Street Bridge in Muncie was busier than normal. The bridge was filled with people, food trucks, vendors and live music for the Muncie Bridge Dinner.

Erin Moore, a Muncie Bridge Dinner committee member, says the event started in 2017 in response to an author who spoke in Muncie. Author Peter Kageyama spoke in Muncie 2017, talking about the importance of having an emotional connection to the place you live. 

“He talked about how the future of community development and economic development is creating cities where people love to be,” Moore said. 

After listening to the author, Moore and other planning committee members decided what they wanted to do.

“We decided we wanted to do a bridge dinner, but do it with our own personality,” Moore said. 

The planning committee was focused on creating an event that was accessible to everyone in the community. 

“We decided to invite food trucks, have butcher paper on tables, have artwork by Muncie children and just really celebrate our community,” Moore said.

One of the art projects featured by Muncie children were checkerboards. These boards were made by students at Burris Laboratory school. 

Malissa Garrison was one of the parents who attended the bridge dinner to see the checkerboards for herself. 

“I have a second grader at Burris Laboratory School and she made a checkerboard that they have been talking about for the past few weeks,” Garrison said. 

The focus of the Bridge Dinner has always been to celebrate Muncie. That’s why the committee members have specifically invited vendors that create Muncie related t-shirts and art. 

“It’s really just anybody who is producing things that’s a celebration of Muncie,” Moore said. 

More than 15 different organizations work together to make the Bridge Dinner happen. Because of the help, Moore believes this bridge dinner is a great representation of the Muncie community.

“That just really communicates how much we are all working together to create the very best city and community  that we can,” Moore said. “It’s truly in the spirit of Muncie.”