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Back to School Blast aims to bring out the kid in everyone

Megann Horstead, Reporter – news@thetimesweekly.com | 8/7/2018, 6 p.m.
Whether you want to play some games with your kids, jump around in the bounce house, or try your hand ...
Mickey Mouse greets children at the Back-to-Bash at Nowell Park.

Whether you want to play some games with your kids, jump around in the bounce house, or try your hand at winning a free giveaway, the seventh annual Back-to-School Blast on Aug. 11 is the event for you. The festivities are organized by the Joliet Park District, Joliet Times Weekly, and Crossroads Christian Church.

Co-coordinator Jake Garcia, who is the discipleship minister of Crossroads Christian Church, said it is important to continue the tradition of the Back-to-School Blast.

“It’s about our community coming together,” he said. “We work really hard at that.”

Festivities will include live music, face-painting, bounce houses, games and more.

The event will offer school supplies, backpacks and other giveaways at no cost.

Last year, the Back-to-School Blast gave away more than 500 backpacks. The event typically distributes 500-600 backpacks.

“We were thinking of planning this year’s event in 2017,” Garcia said.

There are approximately 100 volunteers signed on to donate their time this year to help support the Back-to-School Blast.

Garcia said he is appreciative of the partnerships made with local businesses, community organizations, and volunteers—all of which make the event possible.

“To me, it tells me we’re doing something right,” he said. “There’s a need. It’s something everyone can get behind.”

Organizers encourage those at the Back-to-School Blast to have some fun before going back to school.

When asked if he feels there’s a great need in the area for the Back-to-School Blast, Garcia acknowledged that similar type events are organized and said “the more, the better.”

“We have thousands of kids heading back to school,” he said. “We see a lot of families that walk in or come to this event because of its location. I don’t see it as competition.”

Garcia said the Back-to-School Blast complements the work of Crossroads Christian Church nicely.

According to its website, it is the church’s intent to connect Christ to our community through corporate worship, constant devotion, committed relationships, community service, and contagious generosity.

“We love doing things like this,” Garcia said.

Back-to-School Blast

When: Festivities begin at 11 a.m. Aug. 11

Where: Nowell Park, 5 Mills Rd., Joliet

Cost: Free