Block party provides summer getaway


Food trucks, shiny red fire trucks, bouncy house and a free photo booth? First Monroe Baptist Church had it all at their third annual Downtown Block party on Wednesday. Nestled in downtown Monroe, Anna Gray Noe Park was jam packed with family fun.
Bradley Bridges, a Christian singer-songwriter, and his band provided live music at the event. Bridges said that he enjoys the event every year.
“It really showcases the heartbeat of First Baptist which is stepping out into the community and doing outreach outside the church walls,” Bridges said. He had nothing but kind words to say about the church’s lead pastor James Doughty who made his rounds during the event, greeting attendees and thanking them for coming.
Senior nursing major, Hannah Logan said the party was “a good break in the middle of the week.”
“It’s definitely family-oriented and relaxing. I can come here and meet some friends and take my mind off of school for a minute,” Logan said.
A Smile More photo booth, manned by Steven Meyers, was located inside the First Monroe church where attendees could get their pictures taken and printed free of charge.
“I love coming here and doing this event every year,” Meyers said.
The photo booth had a plethora of props to choose from including sunglasses, boas, and of course a couple outlandish wigs.
The Monroe fire department also appeared with two gleaming red trucks standing guard, citing their presence as one of safety and just public community involvement. Kids were allowed to take pictures hanging on and off the truck as well as with the local firefighters.
Many took advantage of the free snowballs and plentiful flavor options. There was also an opportunity to enter into a drawing to win prizes, sponsored by church members.
One of the more popular sites was the food truck . “The Cookout,” with its friendly staff and fresh chicken wings, was never without a line. Next to it was “Two Dude’s Barbecue,” which featured made to order barbecue sliders and French fries.
Although the weather was a concern for a while, the event continued on even under darkening skies. ULM students and community members of all ages were in attendance, eating and enjoying the free events that the church block party had to offer.