By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
You might have noticed the small park in the heart of the Village adorned with bright and colorful knitted decorations this week—that is because the Palisades Village Green has been “yarn bombed” by local mom Michelle Villemaire, DIY and content creator, who has taken on the project each year since 2015.
Villemaire usually does the yarn bomb for National Women’s History Month in March, but this year is different because the display features patriotic adornments in honor of the Fourth of July.
“I hope by having [Michelle’s] colorful display up over the Fourth, we can give a feeling of normalcy to the community and put a smile on people’s faces,” said Marge Gold, president of the Palisades Village Green.
Villemaire shared that in years past, she would gather an “army of yarnies” from across the country to assign different pieces and sizes for tree trunks, light posts and benches.
But this year, Villemaire said she called upon local friend Karyn Newbill Helmig, who teaches knitting at Palisades Charter High School, for help. She and her students made around 100 pom pom “sparklers,” while Villemaire made the knitted bikes and placed red, white and blue pieces from her stash to fill out the grassy bit along what, in a typical year, marks the parade route.
Palisadians would have been gearing up for what is known as the biggest community event of the year at this time—the annual parade, concert and fireworks. Due to COVID-19, the line-up of events have been retooled to limit large social gatherings.
“Since the parade was canceled this year, I knew I wanted to yarn bomb some folding chairs—the ones we put out days in advance to secure a prime spot along the route—but we’re a very different America now,” Villemaire said to the Palisadian-Post. “We’re living through a deadly pandemic and the greatest civil rights movement of my lifetime. The conversations are different.
“The empty chairs represent us, our community, and the beauty and complexity of us all. They also symbolize hope that we will again sit side by side along Sunset Boulevard and celebrate our country together.”
Villemaire said this year is more of a drive-by yarn bomb, not intended for interaction.
“I think it’s important for our community to have some colorful eye candy right now,” she said. “The yarn bomb is uplifting and somehow brings us together, even when we’re not.”
This year’s event is sponsored by the Palisades-Malibu YMCA and the Palisades Village Green. At the end of the installation, the blankets will be donated to the West Los Angeles VA Hospital.
The pieces will remain on display through July 5.
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