Many who arrived at Rock the Block had no idea what to expect but were pleasantly surprised to find an event akin to the county fair. Local residents found free food, booths and games, and a spirit of unity and love spread by the people working the event.
Rock the Block was a carnival run by several local churches who came together to host an event for the community. Coordinator Corey Joy stated that inspiration for the even came from asking the questions “What if we just loved on the community unconditionally? What if we created an environment where kids and adults could come and just have fun. No one’s trying to promote their church…we’re just here to love on the community. ” Food such as hot dogs and popcorn were free, and booths with different activities were scattered around for kids to explore.
The biggest attraction was a miniature skate park set up by some local skaters and bikers. This emphasis on skateboarding is what attracted the Kids on Wheels organization to Rock the Block. It is lead by BCHS Senior Emma Snyder, who says that “we are currently working on putting a skate park in town. Right now it should be going out at Deer Run.” Rock the Block also gave them much needed publicity, according to Snyder: “We are working on a $50,000 grant, and we have sixty days to raise that money.”
Several current and former students were involved with setting up and running the event, including Faith Parry, who graduated with the class of 2018 in June and ran the “bubble booth” at Rock the Block. “I think that its awesome” She said when asked about her feelings about the event, “It was greatly appreciated by the community.”
Everyone interviewed seemed amazed at the turnout, and most hoped for Rock the Block to become an annual event for the community. Mr. Joy could barely control his excitement as he walked through the carnival, past laughing kids and smiling adults. He stopped in front of the dunk tank, and cracked a smile as he looked at kids waiting with smiles on their faces to get a chance to dunk local pastor at the Salvation Army, Kenneth Alip. “Good night! Look at those kids!” He said, “You know why these kids are lining up? Because at the fair you have to pay a dollar, but today for free you get to dunk someone. How fun is that?”