Thursday, October 4, 2018


It was a lovely night at Clarksville Commons.

Everything was prepared and ready to go.

As night fell, the bonfire came alive.

The homecoming week bonfire has long been a tradition at River Hill High School. It has recently become a joint venture with the folks at Clarksville Commons. I continue to be impressed with how they are inviting community events into that space. 

Last night it was buzzing with teens and their families. Someone was handing out free glow necklaces in River Hill Blue. There was music. The Common Kitchen opened its folding doors to the evening and patrons were happily coming and going with Indian food, Egyptian food, ice cream from Scoop and Paddle, and snacks from Trifecto. Others chose You Pizza. Some parents headed upstairs to Food Plenty to give their teens some space.

It struck me that this was exactly the kind of event to show off what Clarksville Commons strives to be. It feels more like a Village Center than the actual Village Center. And that’s pretty deliberate, I think. They are making the  kinds of choices that put them at the heart of the River Hill/Clarksville community.

A few things made me smile. One was the fellow who passed by our table in the crowd and said, “Dude! There’s nobody here!” (Remember being a teenager? “Where is everybody?”) Another was the man who lay flat on his back on the cobblestones with his young son to watch the sparks from the bonfire fly up to the sky.

As we left, we spotted a small stream of teenagers heading over with food from Wendy’s. Sometimes when you’re a teenager you just want burgers and fries.

A shout out to the River Hill Parents who organized the event and to Clarksville Commons for hosting it.

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