Pelham Palooza sees a successful return

By NATHAN HOWELL | Staff Writer

PELHAM – The city of Pelham had to make the unfortunate decision to cancel their Palooza in the Park last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With careful planning, the city was able to resurrect the event, which saw a successful turnout on May 15.

The event was organized and coordinated by Paula Holly who said that it exceeded her expectations and marked a new era coming out of the pandemic.

“I think it was a great success,” Holly said. “I think people really enjoyed themselves and being able to return to some kind of normalcy. We were able to get the community to come out and enjoy the park and our trails together.”

The event featured a number of offerings for guests including live music, food trucks and activities that the whole family could enjoy.

“We had the Billy Gant Band and Lady Divine and the Business providing the musical entertainment,” Holly said. “We also had lots of great vendors and food trucks for our guests to enjoy.”

One of the more unique parts of the event was the Kidzapalooza hosted by the Pelham Public Library. There was a variety of activities and fun educational experiences targeted at a younger audience.

“Kulture City brought their Sensory Activated Vehicle (SAVE), which is a sensory room that provides a refuge for those who have sensory needs,” Holly said. “They allow families of children with sensory needs to go to large events and take a break if needed. It was so awesome to be able to have them there. ”

There were other attractions for children including a bubble show and balloon artist who made balloons for the kids. Dynamic Education Adventures was on-site and did two science shows for the younger guests. The library also provided hula-hooping for fitness, and a story time to wind down.

“I think that having these types of activities is great for our kids,” Holly said. “These types of things expose them to new concepts and things like the science show were really fun and educational at the same time.”

After having to miss out on community events for more than a year, Holly said that the Palooza in the Park was a great way to get the community more comfortable being out and enjoying the company of others.

“I think the whole thing was wonderful,” she explained. “This was our sixth event. It is great to get the community outside exploring our trails. There was the added benefit of having everyone be together enjoying the day and feel like we are starting to get back to normal.”

The event usually has more activities for kids such as inflatables, but the city decided to be cautious and not have those. They plan to bring those things back for the 2021 event.