Over 1,000 people of all ages turned up for the Palisadian-Post’s first “Blast Off to Summer” Block Party. Antioch Street between Via de la Paz and Sunset was blocked off and transformed into an out-of-this-world festive fair on Sunday for the inaugural event.
Kids crowded around to pet an albino Burmese Python named Banana at the Critter Squad reptile petting zoo, soared high in bounce houses and played giant-sized games of checkers and Jenga. Hungry tykes and their parents had their choice of several food trucks: Cousins Maine Lobster, Great American Burger, Vchos Tapas, Hang 10 Tacos and Paradise Cookies and Ice Cream.
Kids also participated in arts and crafts, did face painting and enjoyed interactive games and activities courtesy of some of the most fun summer camps available to Palisadian youngsters.
Dawn Houston, a mom of two who lives in the Via Bluffs, said, “This is such a great community event. It’s cool to walk through and see all the summer camps our kids could go to.”
Jacob Lande, 11, said he’s gone to a summer camp nearly every year of his life and would likely be attending one of the summer camps participating in the event. “Probably Coach Steve [at Coast Sports],” Lande said.
Also joining in the fun were firefighters from Station 69, who let kids climb aboard the fire trucks. The Palisades own Senior Lead Officer Michael Moore also showed up with LAPD Community Officer Phu Ha and Senior Lead Officer Matt Kirk who covers areas in West LA. The trio brought an LAPD SUV, which kids had the chance to check out.
“It’s always good when the community has a chance to talk to us in everyday circumstances,” Moore said. “Most people only speak to the police when they have a problem or have been the victim of a crime. It’s good for them to be able to talk to us about more general things.”
The event also proved to be a good opportunity for summer camps. John Pusey, director of sports at Sports Mania, said, “It’s so great to get to meet face-to-face with potential campers. There are lots of fun activities for the kids here.”
Patrick Murphy, founder of Learn to Surf, who was helping youngsters practice ‘surfing’ on a surfboard atop a wobble board, said, “This is such a good way to get the word out about our great camp. I’m so glad the Palisadian-Post is doing this.”
On the main stage, a variety of acts entertained the crowd, including the “Amazing Music Girls” and the Ooks of Hazard.
Honorary Mayor Jake Steinfeld made a special appearance to introduce a magic show by the incomparable La Bak.
Loren and John Halleran who live in the El Medio Bluffs stopped by with their five-year-old son Bo after going to the Farmers Market.
“He’s having the best time,” John said of Bo, who was jumping in one of the bounce houses. “This is such an amazing event for kids and families. I hope it’s here again next year.”
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.