BOUNCE’s Chance Encounters Ball Pit.

Get to know your neighbors on Church Street tonight, May 31. One of the busiest commercial streets in Montclair will be shut down on Friday 5:30-7:30 p.m. for traffic as 200+ neighbors and friends sit at rows of alfresco tables to enjoy a free light dinner and entertainment for the Blue-Plate Bounce Community Meal, the opening of Montclair BOUNCE, a week-long new festival of optimism and resilience.  Former New Jersey Governor Richard Codey and First Lady Mary Jo Codey, as well as Mayor Robert Jackson will be on hand to help kick off festivities.  The evening’s program also offers creative activities like the Been There and Back inter-generational advice table; The Sixty-Second Novelist (aka Dan Hurley); Montclair Art Museum’s Art Truck, and BOUNCE’s Chance Encounters Ball Pit.

Author and activist Kevin Powell (“The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy’s Journey into Manhood,”) will be leading a conversation on Having Love and Hope in a Time of Hate, at the Montclair Public Library from 7-8:30 p.m. Teens can walk over to MAM’s Gathering of the Vibe 6-9 p.m., a ‘by teens for teens’ event featuring an art workshop facilitated by exhibiting artist Ben Jones, tie dye t-shirts, photo contest, food trucks, and more.  And those who bicycle over to the meal, can join Bike Walk Montclair’s Mobile Social Ride at 6:30 p.m., for a friendly, leisurely 30-minute jaunt around town.