It wasn’t hard for Tamia Hawkins to find some joy Saturday at a “Rock the Block” party.
As the 8-year-old waited in line for one of the rides and attractions filling Washington Square Park, she said her favorite part of the celebration came in meeting new people.
The annual city event bearing Mayor Sly James’ name helped celebrate a summer’s worth of events organized by the city for young people.
“It shows the kids that others do care, that the community does care about them and their upbringing,” said Tamia’s mother, Rosa Hawkins of Raytown.
The summer activities for the Kansas City program included a range of interests from basketball to DJs and dancing, according to the city’s website.
A scattered crowd listened to music and celebrated sports awards for kids Saturday afternoon as some children ran around the park chasing bubbles while others rode small amusement rides and tired out a bounce house.
“This is an opportunity for them to show their talent,” said Janice Settles of Kansas City, whose son Joshua played basketball in the summer league. “We get together and just have a good time.”
Taylor Brown with ArtsTech, a group that partnered with summer program, said at a minimum it gives kids something to do.
“I just think it’s one day where everybody can come together,” she said of Saturday’s celebration.
The party was put on by the Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department, the Kansas City Police Department and the mayor’s office, according to a city hall press release.
For some, Saturday’s celebration was the culmination for a summer’s worth of fun.
But others said they wandered to the party because they were just passing by.
Holly Cox of Trenton, Missouri said she brought her children to the event after spotting the event across the street.
“This is awesome for them,” she said.