Parade highlights block party

Nathan Liewicki
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Alexzander Wright, middle, and Summer Borg, right, ride their decorated bicycles down the 400 block of Lillooet Street West as part of the South Hill Block Party's Bike/Trike Parade on Saturday. The parade was one of a number of activities that comprised the inaugural block party. 

Froese pleased with inaugural event's turnout

After about six months of planning and preparation by the South Hill Community Association (SHCA), a new tradition began Saturday in South Hill.

Opening with a pancake breakfast, but also including trolley tours of South Hill’s heritage, various kids activities and live entertainment, the inaugural South Hill Block Party was a hit for attendees of all ages.

Brandi Welch, a resident of South Hill, was one of the couple hundred people who experienced part of the daylong festival.

“She wanted to see Bike/Trike Parade,” Welch said about her daughter. “It was awesome.”

The parade, which started shortly after 11 a.m., was the highlight of the day, especially for the children – although the box city was also thoroughly enjoyed.

While the pancake breakfast was underway, children tediously worked to decorate their bikes and trikes ahead of the parade.

Led by the blaring siren of a fire truck, kids on their bikes and trikes had an opportunity to be part of the parade that rolled down the 400 block of Lillooet Street West.

“The old fashioned bike parade that we haven't had in the city for so long was great,” said Crystal Froese, chair of the SHCA. “I'm a huge, avid cyclist. I cycle to work every day, so I think it's important to promote that through the bike parade, which will hopefully get kids more engaged, too.”

Judging by the number of participants in the parade, the kids were certainly engaged.

Froese, who told the Times-Herald that the idea for the block party derived from the process associated with the South Hill Local Area Plan (LAP), said she was enthused by the turnout.

“South Hill is such a great community and this was a really high profile location,” she said. “I’m really happy with the turnout.”

Visitors also had an opportunity to view information pertaining to LAP, including the proposed zoning district map changes to South Hill.

However, according to Froese, the block party was predominantly about resurrecting the South of Bridge Days, but with a twist.

“SOB was great when it lasted and it had lots of stuff going on,” said Froese. “The block party was geared toward a more family-oriented atmosphere that was a little more inclusive, so that we could invite anyone from the city to join us.”

Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks

Organizations: South Hill Block Party, Times-Herald, South Hill Local Area Plan

Geographic location: South Hill

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