#ygkChallenge: Unplug

unplug, power outage 2003,YGK Challenge, Kingston, OntarioThe #ygkchallenge is an ongoing series where we dare you to be different, resolve to be better, and or do something awesome in support of our beloved community. Each week, Kingstonist establishes a new, ambitious or quirky goal, encouraging you to step out of your comfort zone and do something great, and hopefully a little out of the ordinary. By taking part in this community-wide initiative, we hope to make Kingston (and the world) a slightly better place to live, work and play.

This week’s #ygkchallenge encourages you to:

Party like it’s 2003. On August 14th, 2003, Ontario and parts of the Northeastern and Midwestern United States experienced a huge power outage that lasted hours and even days in some areas. I’ll never forget that night. The power went down in the afternoon immediately following work. I worked as a musician for a tourism company in Caledonia that summer and was living on-site in a trailer. It was hot enough on a good day but without our trusty fan, there was no way we could stay there. My colleague and I borrowed some gas from our boss and hit the road towards Toronto. Probably not the best plan in retrospect but we ended up having a fantastic time. After realizing we weren’t going to be getting any food anytime soon, we found a group of people hanging out in a downtown park. They had a generator and were projecting art onto the side of a building. Some people (who knew what they were doing) were putting on a fire show in the streets surrounding the park, and everyone else had laid blankets, were sharing food and wine and telling stories. There was so much laughter and joy in the air. While the darkness definitely added some elements of danger in a large city, it also encouraged people to forget about what they were supposed to be doing – driving somewhere, watching a movie, playing video games – and go outside and talk to the people in their neighbourhood. This week, with the 13th anniversary of the big blackout coming up, we challenge you to unplug completely for a whole day. Go outside, sit on your porch, talk to your neighbours. Have a picnic and invite people in your neighbourhood to join you. Whenever I talk to people about that night, they have so many great stories to share but we never seem to revisit the things that made it so great. Tell us your story about the Blackout of 2003.

Join us in completing this week’s #ygkchallenge by liking it on Facebook and/or re-Tweeting it on Twitter. By liking and sharing, you’re not only committing to doing something great, but you’re also helping us spread the word and hopefully encouraging others to participate.

Photo credit to Sebastian Vandry for today’s pic.

Danielle Lennon

Danielle Lennon is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. She was the Editor, Community Event Coordinator and Contributor at-large (2008-2018). She is otherwise employed as a section violinist with the Kingston Symphony, violin teacher, studio musician and cat lover. Learn more about Danielle...

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