Neighborhood block party deepens community connections


BELLOWS FALLS >> The fifth annual Park-A-Palooza was again a big success, at the Central Elementary School Playground across from Parks Place.

Greater Falls Connections, parents, youth, and other event organizers expressed gratitude to the many people, businesses and organizations that contributed to the neighborhood block party on Saturday, June 25, in Bellows Falls. Park-a-Palooza is a completely community-driven, old school, and just plain fun block party.

This year's event included a bike rodeo, bobbing for apples, a jellybean contest, face painting, donut-on-a-string, street chalk art, an arts & crafts table, and the big water balloon "throw-down." Plus, with a little help from the Bellows Falls Fire & Police Departments, everyone was able to cool off and play around the gushing fire hydrant. Officer Thaddeus Buckley helped out with this event. "Grill Masters" Jason Jacques, Gina DeCampo, and Don Tretler kept everyone well fed, along with everyone else who brought food.

Organizers credited the following local businesses, community organizations and individuals for their generous contributions and involvement that were vital to the day's success: Ed from The Moose, Mike from Lisai's Market, Greater Falls Pharmacy, Parks Place Community Resource Center, FACT TV, Windham Northeast Supervisory Union, BF Community Bike Project, American Legion, Shona Grill and Our Place Drop-In Center. Volunteers who planned and set up the event included Gina DeCampo, Bonnie Anderson, the Jacques/Provencal family, the Galandak/O'Connor family, James Galpin, and Emma Wetherby. Youth volunteers included Christopher, Skylar, Austin, Stephanie, Joey, Kiernon, and Emma.

Through creative play using the games our parents and grandparents taught us, Park-a-Palooza is another example of community-driven change in action, according to organizers. Community-led activities such as this build trust and deepen community connections. Not to mention, a whole lot of laughter. You can find photos of this event on Facebook at


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