Montrose street fills up for block party

The June gloom burned off just in time for Montrose's "July Fourth Weekend Block Party and Hot Rod Show."

The 2300 to 2400 blocks of Honolulu Avenue had a lot to offer for those looking for a slice of Americana and something to do before it was dark enough for fireworks. There were activities for the kids, a vintage hot rod car show and a farmer's market. The celebration started at 9 a.m. and wrapped up at 2 p.m.

"It's better than I thought it would be," Sharon McDonald said. "It seems two times bigger than it was last year."

Many stores on Honolulu Avenue opened on the holiday in hopes of attracting some shoppers. A number of vendors also filled the street, selling books, food, vinyl records and more.

There were pony rides and a small petting zoo, and the Montrose Bounce Company set up several bounce houses and an obstacle course for kids looking to expend some energy before watching fireworks.

The block party has been around since 2002 and has become a staple of Montrose. The city's goal for the event is to unite neighbors from surrounding towns to celebrate the Fourth of July.

"I think this event really does bring people together," McDonald said. "It has a real small-town feel, and people always come out to support it."

David Ross came out with his wife, son and daughter. The family came empty-handed and left with arms full of fresh produce from one or two of the 60-plus farmers and vendors who set up shop in the middle of the street.

"We just wanted to get out of the house," Ross said. "The kids wanted to see the cars and we came for the produce."

Jana Jacobsen walked down Honolulu Avenue looking like the Jolly Green Giant. She came dressed as a garden to "pump it up a notch," she said, and several people took pictures of and with her.

"It is such a flawless, beautiful day for something like this," Jacobsen said. "This is a great event; we need more stuff like this in Glendale."

But the most popular draw for the event was the car show. More than 65 vintage hot rods were displayed proudly, as their owners took a seat near them hoping for a chance to tell the story behind the automobile.

Joe Eatherton of La Crescenta attended the car show for the third time. He brought his own vintage car, which he got when he was in high school in the early 1960s.

"It's my favorite holiday," Eatherton said. "It's a chance to celebrate all our freedoms, personal and religious, and everything else that our country stands for."

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