Bay Area/ San Jose/ Fun & Entertainment
AI Assisted Icon
Published on June 30, 2023
East Palo Alto Celebrates 40th Incorporation Anniversary with Block Party & Parade ExtravaganzaCity of East Palo Alto

In celebration of East Palo Alto's 40th anniversary as an incorporated city, a spectacular parade and block party are set to take place this weekend, attracting residents and visitors alike to join in the festivities and experience the diverse culture and history the city has to offer.

Though the city came into being about a century ago through the merger of two towns, Ravenswood and Runnymede, it remained unincorporated until July 1, 1983, which serves as a reminder of its unique history. Over the years, East Palo Alto has seen a diverse population, partly due to redlining policies and gentrification, and has undergone significant physical change in the past quarter-century with developments like University Circle, the Ravenswood 101 shopping center, and the EPACENTER creative youth center, as noted in the Mercury News.

The daylong celebration includes a parade, set to start at 9 a.m., consisting of two segments: one departing from University Circle and the other from Cesar Chavez Ravenswood Middle School on Bay Road, according to SFGate. Both parts of the parade will converge at Bay and Pulgas Avenue for the block party festival, which will be packed with various forms of entertainment, from food stands and kids activities to live music on two stages, per The Almanac.

Adding a touch of New Orleans charm to the parade, a jazz band along with a variety of community groups such as Step it Up Dance and the East Palo Alto Razorbacks rugby team will be participating. On the other hand, the block party, starting at 10 a.m. and continuing until 7:30 p.m., will feature an array of cuisines from food stalls, children’s activities like face painting and games, all-day musical entertainment, and giveaways, as outlined on the City of East Palo Alto website.

In addition to the exciting line-up of the day, the EPACENTER will also host an art initiative to celebrate the anniversary in collaboration with artist Cristina Velázquez, who grew up in East Palo Alto and will be capturing images of residents, workers, volunteers, and others to create street pole banners on Bay Road saluting the city's "hometown heroes" throughout the year.