Neighborhoods separated by I-95 come together during United Neighbors festival

If you head to the 7th Street Bridge over I-95 in Wilmington during the next few days, you will be treated to a new mural, plants, flowers, fall decorations, food, and Salsa dancing.

You won't be able to cross the bridge by vehicle, but everyone is invited for United Neighbors.

The mural will eventually read "United."

United Neighbors grew out of discussions about the coming I-95 renovation according to Sarah Lester of Cornerstone West Community Development Corporation and West Side Grows Together.

"That started a lot of conversations about what was going to be happening on the highway and how it would impact the city, especially the neighborhoods," Lester said.  

Volunteers came out Thursday to finish the set-up. A free family-style community meal will be served up on the bridge Friday from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Visitors will also be encouraged to take part in salsa dancing.

"Saturday, we're having an epic block party," Vanity Constance of West Side Grows Together said. Saturday's hours are from noon until six p.m.

The completion of I-95 divided these neighborhoods half-a-century ago. As he finished work on the mural, artist Terrance Vann was hopeful there would be more.

"Looking back at the history of 95, kind of separating the city, we're trying to look back and see how we can unite and at the same time make it better," Vann said.

The concept is not lost on even the youngest volunteers, such as 13-year-old Brenden Cephas.

"When people see cool stuff like this out here, they will get to come over, the other side will get to come over, they will unite and meet each other."