Saturday, July 16, 2016

16th Annual Melrose High Hopes Neighborhood Block Party

Warm summer weather graced the sixteenth anniversary of the Melrose High Hopes Neighborhood Block Party. This year the block party took place on the playground at Horace Mann School at 5222 Ygnacio Ave in Oakland, CA. It featured live music, poetry, children’s games, food and craft booths, and a raffle.  The event is organized by the NCPC Beat27x Melrose High Hopes Neighborhood Council, a neighborhood safety group.

Off the Hook
Among the booths were Friends of the Melrose Library and Off the Hook, two organizations that raise funds for the local public library at 4805 Foothill in Oakland. Off the Hook is a knitting and crotchet group that raises money with handcrafted clothing and accessories.

“We appreciate that this happens every year, giving us an opportunity to raise money for the Library. We always sell books and Off the Hook also raises money for the Melrose library,” said Susanne Perkins from Friends of the Melrose Library
Children's Activities
A children’s jumping balloon, face reading, and other entertainment were on hand for entertainment. Local law enforcement entertained the kids by showing them how to turn on the police siren in their police car and posing for photos with them. Part of the mission of the NCPC Beat groups is to improve relations between Oakland residents and police, and help neighbors and local police get to know each other.

Friends of the Melrose Library
The event also included dance performances and live music.

“I enjoyed the mariachi band and I loved the kids dancing. They bought out the crowd. They were so fun,” said Sue Gregori of Off the Hook

Mariachi International La Barca was among the musical acts to perform at the event. A real hit with the visitors was NSM Youth, an Oakland youth performance group associated with the dance group New Style Motherload.

“There was a great mix of people, and I think those dancers were the highlight. They call themselves NSM Youth,” said Caroline Rosenberg from Friends of the Melrose Library