Block party today in park

Published 5:08 am Friday, October 28, 2016

Get the kids ready, because this evening marks the sixth annual Business on the Block event.

Kallie Breland, one of the organizers of the event, said the fall bash began as a way for the business community to give back to neighborhood kids around Avenue F. Breland and her mother own La Boutique, a children’s clothing store on that street, and several years ago the two decided they wanted to host a block party.

“The first year it just blossomed and the community’s supported it since,” Breland said.

It’s also grown quite a bit larger, too. In fact, the event got too big for a mere block party and has moved to Cassidy Park. However, the event serves the same purpose.

“We try to give families a safe space to come together for the night in a drug and alcohol free environment,” she said.

In addition, the whole event is still free for residents and for the city. However, Breland said organizers are asking for donations of food and old coats in order to clothe and feed needy families. In addition, while most of the event is free, there will be a food vendor on-site selling food.

“There will be a charge for the food,” Breland said.

Last year Breland said she thinks a few thousand people attended the party, and she’s expecting the same turnout this year. About 50 local businesses are participating and many will offer giveaways or have donated to the event itself.

“We have a big layout this year,” Breland said. “Northshore Game Truck will be there, we have professional face painters, we have a trick-of-treating costume contest for kids and a costume contest for pets, also.”

The big draw, however, is the “candy rain.”

“Firefighters and city officials get on stage and we throw pounds and pounds candy and stuffed animals into the crowd,” Breland said. “We also have train rides and a carousel, we have games and literally there’s just a plethora of things to do.”

The party kicks off at 5 p.m. and Breland said the goodies are doled out on a first-come, first-served basis, although proverbial early birds will get no early worms.

“No early birds,” Breland said. “There will be nothing to give away before 5 o’clock … please park in the designated parking area and do not come before 5. The gates will not be open and we will not allow people in.”