Sunday’s block party in East Falls, an event that has coincided with the annual Philadelphia International Bike Race along Kelly Drive for the past eight years, added a new component to the mix this year.
The event brings together vendors of all kinds, but this year, Executive Director of the East Falls Development Corporation Gina Snyder wanted to provide a cycling element that appealed specifically to kids.
“We’ve expanded [the party] to include trike races and bike races for kids,” Snyder explained. “It’s just a fun new way to get kids involved in athletics and get them interested in this competition, since it’s happening in their neighborhood.”
While cyclists from around the world competed in the 28th annual TD Bank Philadelphia International Bike Race, younger riders competed in the unique trike races, while children aged twelve and younger took off in timed dashes throughout the day.
Among Sunday’s other kid-friendly attractions were performances by music group Diva Dollz, elaborate face painting sessions from Fabulous Faces, and an ice cream making demonstration using liquid nitrogen from Wondergy of University City. In that demonstration, copious amounts of milk, cream, sugar, and actual liquid nitrogen were mixed together to provide a cool treat for spectators.
The House of Martial Balance & Fitness performed impressive martial arts stances. A six-year-old student wowed the crowd by breaking a piece of wood with his fist.
Women and children picked up the pace with an afternoon Zumba class, a Latin-inspired fitness method that places emphasis on dancing, along Kelly Drive. An instructor from East Falls Fitness led the group, which included mothers and grandmothers, as well as their energetic children.
“We’re having a good time, we come here every year,” said Gale Phillips, a resident of East Falls for more than 40 years. “It’s a safe neighborhood, and as long as they have the block party, we’ll keep coming to it.”